A Texas leaguer is a base hit that falls in between the infielders and outfielders. It is not a hard hit line drive or a ball that looks particularly good off of the bat; rather it is a hit that could be easily caught if it just didn’t travel as far or would travel a little bit farther.
You might think that every base hit is a good hit – that’s true in the sense of getting a man on base any way you can. However, when a hitter gets on base by mishitting a ball that happens to flare just beyond the infield, everybody, including the hitter, knows it wasn’t a great hit.
The biggest disappointment of a Texas leaguer can be if a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter or even a perfect game. If it is in the middle innings or later of a game, and the pitcher hasn’t given up a hit, the opposing team obviously wants to change that. For starters, an unwritten rule is that you don’t bunt to get your first hit late in a game. Another stigma is that a Texas leaguer isn’t a well-deserved hit even though it counts as a hit in the books.
This is the perfect example of a Texas leaguer (no pun intended with the Texas Rangers hitting). Ian Kinsler hits a ball that falls right in the middle of the infield and outfield. Nobody has a chance of catching this ball if they are playing at a normal depth. The fact is that this will be a hit 99 times out of 100. The second baseman has to run straight back at a sprint and the right fielder has to come charging in at full speed. With nobody on base, an outfielder could dive for the ball, but in this situation he couldn’t risk having the ball get by him.
Texas leaguers are base hits too
Many people see a base hit as a base hit – a line drive in the gap is as good as a flare that drops in. Baseball players think otherwise. Another term for a Texas leaguer is a duck fart, which gives you an idea of what players think of these kinds of hits. They are seen as lucky and not good. It takes a good hitter to hit a solid line drive, but anybody can throw the bat into the strike zone and give a ball enough height and distance to land behind the infield.
When it comes down to it, a base hit is a base hit. It may not look pretty. It may not be impressive on a highlight reel. As long as the hitter is on first base safely at the end of the play, it doesn’t matter if the hit was a Texas leaguer or not. Texas leaguers can even raise averages a significant amount if there are enough of them. Just don’t brag to scouts or other players about what a great hitter you are if all of your hits are Texas leaguers.