Ducks on the pond may be something you see in your backyard or at a park; ducks are also on the pond at most every baseball game played. Ducks refers to base runners and pond refers to the bases.
This term is typically used by the offense when cheering on a hitter to drive in a few runs. It can be said in a state of relief (We finally got some ducks on the pond) or in a situation where runs are needed (Let’s go! You got some ducks on the pond!). Either way, you know that there are runners on base who are ready to cross home plate and score some runs. They don’t want to be stranded in the field.
While it is typically used with the bases loaded, the term can refer to any number or runners on base. Another variation in using the term is that it could refer to a batter being an easy out. There is an old saying that something is “as easy as shooting ducks on a pond,” which would imply that the runners will not score and do not need to be worried about.
The origin of “ducks on the pond” is believed to have come from Arch McDonald, an announcer for the Washington Senators in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. While it does sound like a term used by an older generation, this is still used today in baseball. It is a saying that many casual fans will not understand simply by hearing it said at a game.
Next time you are at a ballgame, you can impress the people sitting next to you by tossing around an old baseball term and tell them the origins. You will be an instant baseball expert!