- Dec 16, 2010
Thanks for not flipping that to third base.
This word is old, but Eck's use, which seems to mean "determined to try to hit the ball" seems to be different from the traditional, which implies an ability to hit the ball:“Hitterish”, another Eckism.
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003261.htmlTurns out the Recency Illusion is just as pervasive in baseball as it is in other fields of human endeavor. As the New Dickson Baseball Dictionary points out, hitterish was often used by Dizzy Dean (1910-1974), the pitcher-turned-broadcaster who was renowned for his eccentric use of language. And it goes back even further than that, to the Babe Ruth era if not earlier.
Though I haven't found a directly attested use of hitterish by Babe Ruth, it has often been attributed to him, as in this reminscence by Ford Frick in Robert Creamer's 1974 book Babe: The Legend Comes to Life:
Sometimes before a game he'd say, "I feel hitterish today. I'm due to hit one."
I thought hitterish meant overeager to hit, or swing the bat. Anyway, Dizzy Dean, mentioned there, was a lot of fun to listen to, with his own version of the language, both English and baseball. “He slud into third base.” Every first baseman was the big first sacker and every second baseman the little second sacker. He would have loved Pedroia. I didn’t realize he died at just 64 years of age.This word is old, but Eck's use, which seems to mean "determined to try to hit the ball" seems to be different from the traditional, which implies an ability to hit the ball: