kids encyclopedia robot

Glossary of baseball (E) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts



See earned run average.

early innings

The first three innings of a regulation nine-inning game.

earned run

Any run for which the pitcher is held accountable (i.e., the run did not score as a result of a fielding error or a passed ball). Primarily used to calculate the earned run average. In determining earned runs, an error charged to a pitcher is treated exactly like an error charged to any other fielder. Some pitchers, notably Ed Lynch, referred to earned runs as "earnies".

earned run average

In baseball statistics, earned run average is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. It is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine. Runs resulting from defensive errors are recorded as unearned runs and omitted from ERA calculations.

earned runs allowed by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. Abbreviated as ERA.


An earned run. "The unlucky loser was Carson Wheeler, who gave up six earnies in one plus innings of work."

easy out

A reminder to the defensive team that when there are two outs only one more is needed to end the inning, and therefore they should get the easiest out possible. "Let's go D, two away, get the easy out."

An easy out is also a weak-hitting batter, usually at the bottom of the order.

eat the ball

The action of fielding a batted ball (usually cleanly or almost so) but holding on to it rather than attempting to make a throw to a base to retire a runner. This is usually done because the fielder believes there is little chance of retiring the runner and that it would be preferable to allow the runner to reach one base unchallenged rather than risk committing an error that might allow the runner to advance additional bases. The phrase is usually used only to describe the action of an infielder, catcher, or pitcher. "That slow roller didn't get past a diving Scutaro, but he decided to eat the ball rather than risk a throw to nip the quick-running Gardner." Also commonly used in the past-tense. "The charging third baseman Cabrera ate the ball after that great bunt from Juan Pierre."


A very slow pitch with a high arcing trajectory. Invented by 1930s Pittsburgh Pirates hurler Rip Sewell, it is a part of Phillies pitcher Jose Contreras' repertoire; thrown very rarely to fool a hitter's timing. It is best used sparingly, because it can be very easy to hit without the element of surprise. Ted Williams said the game-winning home run that he hit off of Sewell in the 1946 All-Star Game was his greatest thrill in baseball.


A player or coach who is disqualified from the game by an umpire for unsportsmanlike conduct. Synonyms include: tossed, thrown out, banished, chased, given the thumb, given the (ol') heave-ho, kicked out, booted, run, sent to the clubhouse.

elephant ear(s)

When the lining of a player's pockets are sticking out of the pockets.

emergency hack

A late and often awkward defensive swing at a pitch that usually appears to be a ball but breaks late into the strike zone.

emergency starter

When a pitcher who is normally a reliever or in the minor leagues is called on to start the game on short notice because the originally scheduled starter is injured or ill. Illustration: "With Chan Ho Park sidelined indefinitely by what was diagnosed as anemia, Mike Thompson is expected to get the call yet again as the emergency starter, arriving via Portland, where he has spent the past 10 days with the Triple-A Beavers."

emery ball

A baseball that has been scuffed by an emery board. A method for a pitcher to doctor the ball; illegal since 1920. Also known as a scuff ball.


A runner who is already safely on a base is "erased" by being thrown out.


  • An error is a fielder's misplay which allows a batter or baserunner to reach one or more additional bases when, in the judgment of the official scorer, that advance could have been prevented by ordinary effort. An error is also charged when a fielder fails to catch a foul fly ball that could have been caught with ordinary effort. The term error can also refer to the play in which an error was committed. Because the pitcher and catcher handle the ball so much, some misplays by them are called a "wild pitch" or a "passed ball", and are not counted as errors.
  • SYNONYMS: bobble, blooper, muff, miscue, flub, kick or boot ("Lopez kicked the grounder"; "Johnson booted it".)

even count

1-1 or 2-2. See count.

everyday player

  • A position player, as opposed to a pitcher who may play only every few days. Sometimes a talented prospect who is a good pitcher but an outstanding hitter will be encouraged to focus on playing another position and thereby become an everyday player to take advantage of his hitting.
  • A position player who's a regular in the starting line-up in virtually every game, as opposed to either:
    • a platoon player who plays only against pitchers of the opposite hand.
    • a substitute who begins most games on the bench or only occasionally starts games to spell the regular starting player at his position. Sometimes these players are referred to as bench players or role players. They may also take on pinch hitting or pinch running assignments.

Evil Empire

A common nickname for the New York Yankees due to its wealth and winning by far the most championships. This nickname is used especially by fans of the Boston Red Sox and by fans of other teams to a lesser extent. Even some Yankees fans have been known to call themselves and their team the "Evil Empire" as a badge of honor.

excuse me swing

When a batter inadvertently hits the ball during a check swing. Contrast with swinging bunt.

expand the strike zone

When a pitcher gets ahead in the count, he "expands the strike zone" because the hitter is more likely to swing at a pitch that is at the edge or out of the strike zone or in some other location where he can't hit it. "Ideally, a pitcher is going to try and get ahead in the count and when this happens the pitcher has effectively 'expanded the strike zone' since the batter is now on the defensive and will be more prone to chase pitches outside the strike zone."

expanded roster

A Major League term for the larger roster of players that can be used under specific circumstances, such as when gaining an extra player on days of a double header or the previous (before 2019) controversial practice when major league rosters could expand from 25 to up to 40 players on September 1.

extend the arms

When a batter is able to hit a pitch that is at a comfortable distance from his body, he is said to have "extended his arms", which allows a full swing and hitting the ball harder. "J. D. Martinez has hit two homers in three career at-bats off Allen, who was trying to protect a 2-1 lead against the middle of Detroit's vaunted lineup. 'I was just overthrowing it', Allen said. 'I just didn't make pitches when I had to. One pitch – J. D. Martinez got extended on a fastball and hit it very hard.'"

extra bases

Any bases gained by a batter beyond first base on a hit. So doubles count for one "extra base", triples for two, and home runs for three. These kinds of hits are referred to as "extra base hits" and improve a batter's slugging percentage.

extra innings

Additional innings needed to determine a winner if a game is tied after the regulation number of innings (nine at the college/professional level, seven at high school level, six in Little League). Also known as bonus baseball or free baseball because paying spectators are witnessing more action than normal. It is sometimes, but not commonly, referred to as "overtime" as a play on other team sports.

extra frames

See extra innings. Also see frame.

extra out

When a team makes a mistake on a defensive play that should have been an easy out, the team is said to have given its opponent an "extra out". "'There were a couple of innings where we gave them extra outs,' Wedge said. 'They may not be errors, but we're not making plays.'"
kids search engine
Glossary of baseball (E) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.