Why Do They Call It a Can of Corn in Baseball?

Baseball has been a popular sport for centuries, and the language of the game has become an integral part of its culture. One of the more peculiar terms used in baseball is “can of corn,” which is used to describe an easy fly ball that is typically caught by an outfielder. This phrase has an interesting origin, and it provides insight into the unique manner in which baseball became part of the American lexicon.

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The Origin of the Phrase

The phrase “can of corn” is believed to have originated in the late 1800s. At the time, small grocery stores or general stores were located in many towns and cities, and they were often run by the storekeeper. Grocery items were often placed on shelves that were high up on the walls, and the storekeeper had to use a stick to knock the items down for customers. The storekeeper would often knock down items like a can of corn, which is believed to be the origin of the phrase.

The phrase was then adopted by baseball players, who began using it to describe an easy fly ball that was “knocked down” by an outfielder. The phrase is believed to have been popularized by the legendary broadcaster Red Barber, who was known for his colorful descriptions of baseball games. Barber used the phrase “can of corn” to describe an easy fly ball that was easily caught by an outfielder.

The Meaning of the Phrase

The phrase “can of corn” is used to describe an easy fly ball that is typically caught by an outfielder. The ball is often referred to as a “can of corn” because it is an easy catch for the outfielder, much like a storekeeper knocking down a can of corn from a high shelf. The phrase is often used to describe a fly ball that is hit high in the air but does not move very far, allowing the outfielder to easily catch it.

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The phrase is often used in a derogatory manner, as it implies that the batter has hit a weak fly ball or the pitcher has thrown an easy pitch. However, it can also be used in a complimentary manner, as it implies that the fielder has made an easy but impressive catch.

The Use of the Phrase in Baseball

The phrase “can of corn” is used regularly in baseball and is often heard during broadcasts of games. It is typically used to describe an easy fly ball that is caught by an outfielder, though it can also be used to describe other types of plays.

The phrase is also commonly used by baseball fans, as it provides a colorful way to describe an easy but impressive play. It is often used to describe a clutch catch or a crucial play, as it implies that the fielder was able to make the play despite it being an easy one.

Conclusion

The phrase “can of corn” is an integral part of the language of baseball, and it has an interesting origin. The phrase is believed to have originated in the late 1800s when storekeepers would knock down cans of corn from high shelves. The phrase was then adopted by baseball players and was popularized by the legendary broadcaster Red Barber.

The phrase is used to describe an easy fly ball that is typically caught by an outfielder, and it is often used in a derogatory manner to imply that the batter has hit a weak fly ball or the pitcher has thrown an easy pitch. However, it can also be used in a complimentary manner, as it implies that the fielder has made an easy but impressive catch. The phrase is used regularly in baseball and is often heard during broadcasts of games, and it is also used by baseball fans to provide a colorful way to describe an easy but impressive play.