List of baseball jargon (O)

List of baseball jargon (O)


:See on base percentage.


:A batter who goes hitless in a game, as in "0 for 4" (spoken as "oh for four"). Also "wears the collar".

official game

:A game that can be considered complete. If more than half the game has been played before being called by an umpire, it is considered "official" and all records from the game are computed in the players' and teams' statistics. For a 9-inning game, five innings need to be played. A game that cannot be considered complete can either be suspended or replayed from the first inning.

official scorer

:The official scorer is a person appointed by the league to record the events on the field and to send this official record to the league offices. [Before 1980 this person was typically a local sportswriter; beginning in 1980 the League hired "independent contractors" for the job. For an informative article, see David Vincent, "The Official Scorer," [ "The Baseball Analysts"] , Aug. 18, 2005. On more recent changes see also David Laurila, "Scoring the Hits and Errors – Official Scorers in the Post-Season," [] , October 10, 2007.] The official scorer never goes on the field during a game (but typically watches from the press box). The official scorer's judgments do not affect the progress or outcome of the game but they do affect game and player statistics. For example, only umpires call balls and strikes, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a hit is a home run, and whether runners are safe or out. But it's the official scorer who determines whether a pitch that gets by the catcher is a wild pitch or a passed ball or whether a batted ball is a hit or an error (or a combination of the two), and who gets credited with an error, put-out, or assist.


:*A day when a player performs below his normal level, whether due to illness, bad luck, or other factors. "Bonderman had an off-day and didn't have good command of his breaking pitches."

:*A day when a team does not have a game scheduled. During the regular season, Major League Baseball teams almost always have games scheduled on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and they may need to travel between series. Off-days tend to occur on Mondays and Thursdays.

off-speed pitch

:A pitch that is significantly slower than a given pitcher's fastball. Typically, a curveball or a change-up.


:Overall Future Potential (OFP) is a scouting assessment of a young player's potential as a future major leaguer, scored from 20 to 80. The criteria are different for pitchers and position players. See also tools.

Ol’ Number One

:The fastball. From the sign the catcher gives for that pitch.

Olympic Rings

:When a batter strikes out five times in a game. This same dubious achievement may also merit a Platinum Sombrero.

=On base percentage (OBP)=

:Percentage of at-bats where a batter reaches base for any reason other than an error or a fielder's choice or being hit by a pitch.


:The next batter due to bat after the current batter. The area designated for the on-deck batter is a circle 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter, officially called the "next batter's box" and commonly called the "on-deck circle." Ironically, the on-deck batter rarely stands in the on-deck circle.

on the black

:*The edge of home plate, derived from the black border of the plate that is buried when the plate is correctly installed.

:*A pitch that just nicks the edge of the zone for a called strike.

on the board

:A team is "on the board" (i.e., the scoreboard) when it has scored one or more runs. "After being shut out for 6 innings, the Sox are finally on the board." White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson also uses the phrase as part of his home run call: "You can put in the booooard... YES!"

on the interstate

:A player batting between .100 and .199 is said to be "on the interstate." The term refers to the fact that a batting average in the .100s can resemble a "spur" interstate name (e.g. .195 resembles I-95), especially on older scoreboards where the numeral "1" appears identical to the uppercase letter "I" (with no serifs). A hit to put an average above .200 gets a batter "off the interstate." A batter whose average is below .100 is sometimes said to be "off the map". See also Mendoza line. Players in the majors who spend too much time "on the interstate" will most likely be demoted to AAA for seasoning.

on the throw

:*A defensive attempt to put out a baserunner attempting to reach more bases than the type of hit would typically allow, such as a runner on first attempting to advance to third on a single. :*Also refers to the successful advance of a baserunner while such a play is being attempted on his teammate. "See also:" fielder's choice.:*A batter who safely reaches first base but is tagged out attempting to reach a subsequent base on the same play is credited with a hit for the number of bases he safely reached, but is said to be out "on the throw".:*"Example: With Abel on first base, Baker hits a base hit to center field. Abel easily reaches second and tries to advance to third, but the throw from the outfield is in time and he is tagged out by the third baseman. Meanwhile, Baker has safely reached second base. Abel is out at third base "on the throw". Baker has a single and advanced to second "on the throw". The next batter, Charlie, hits a double to the center field wall, allowing Baker to score from second. Charlie safely rounds first and second base and attempts for third, but the throw from center field is in time and Charlie is tagged out at third base. Charlie is credited with an RBI double, but is out at third base "on the throw".

one-game wonder

:A player who appears in just one major league game, plays respectably, and then is either demoted to the bench or the minor leagues.


:A game in which one team was limited to one hit, a great feat for a pitcher. Batters may have reached base via walks, errors, or being hit by a pitch. See also no-hitter and perfect game.

one-two-three inning

:Side retired in order. Three up, three down.


:Derisive nickname of the short-lived Union Association.

=opposite field hit=

:A hit to the "opposite" side of the field from the direction of a player's natural swing, i.e., a left-handed batter who hits to left field or a right-handed batter who hits to right field. Also known as going the other way. See pull hitter.

OPS (On-base Plus Slugging)

:A term recently invented by statheads to measure of a batter's ability to produce runs. Obtained by adding slugging average and on-base percentage.

out pitch

:The type of pitch that a pitcher relies on in a pinch to get a batter out. Headline: "Angels Notebook: Rodriguez embraces change as out pitch". []


:An outfielder is a player whose position is either left field, center field, or right field. See position.

outside corner

:The location of a strike that travels over the far edge of home plate from the batter.

overpower the hitter

:To throw a pitch that is so fast the batter cannot catch up to it with his swing. "And eight runs were more than enough offense to back Wolfe, as he continually overpowered hitters with his blazing fastball. Santa Clara hitters just couldn't catch up to it. [ [ Palo Alto Daily News ] ]


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