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The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary Paperback


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100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (February 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156005808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156005807
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,245,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Baseball is an etymologist's delight. The game coins words and phrases faster than Mark McGwire hits home runs (a.k.a. dingers, taters, round-trippers, four-baggers), and much of what begins as baseball-specific verbiage seeps into common usage. But why exactly is a high, lazy fly ball called "a can of corn," a pop-up that falls between the infield and the outfield a "Texas leaguer," a vicious curveball "Uncle Charlie," a poke that bounces off the plate a "Baltimore chop," and the minor leagues "the bushes"? Paul Dickson explains them--and about 7,000 more terms and expressions, names and events--in a wide-ranging work that's as much fun to browse through as it is specifically useful. Like its 1989 predecessor (which only sent 5,000 entries to the plate), the Dickson Baseball Dictionary arranges everything alphabetically, supplies definitions, offers examples, provides cross-references, and, most fascinating of all, traces word and phrase origins. As references go, it brings out the "lumber," looks "yard," and pretty much "touches 'em all." --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

One would not think that a mere game, a sport, and not even a world sport at that, could be the basis for a lexicon of some 7,000 terms. Could the same be true for other games or team sports, such as soccer, which is played around the world and has a pedigree at least as old? It does not seem possible, unless languages other than English are taken into account. The game of baseball has, for various reasons, always stimulated more and better writing than rival sports. Baseball has been known as the more thoughtful of the mass sports, with writers waxing eloquent about its balletic grace, its convoluted rules, its strategies, and its lack of a time clock. The many colorful figures who have played and coached the game, and announcers such as Dizzy Dean, who made famous the word slud, only add to the mix.

Readers will enjoy the scope of this dictionary, a revised edition of The Dickson Baseball Dictionary (Facts On File, 1989). It is intended to represent the "words, phrases, and slang expressions that define the game." There are definitions not only for designated hitter, ground ball, and unassisted triple play but also for Black Sox, Cactus League, and Lou Gehrig's disease. No term has been included unless the author could collect at least two examples of its use. He identifies which terms are archaic, uses cross-references, and points out parts of speech. First use, etymology, a note on usage, and extended use in the language of everyday life may be given, along with pungent quotations. Besides the language of baseball, the book covers the lingo of its poor relation, softball. Dickson obviously knows his subject, but he could have used the services of an editor who is also a fan. Occasionally players are misnamed (Gary Maddux for Greg Maddux of the Atlanta Braves).

The book includes a brief thesaurus, a list of baseball abbreviations, and a partially annotated bibliography of works on baseball terminology, all of which add to its reference value. Illustrations consist of photographs and drawings from the game's storied past.

The Baseball Encyclopedia (10th ed., Macmillan, 1996) provides a record of player, team, and league statistics; and The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball [RBB D 15 97] covers the customs, folklore, and social significance of the sport. Dickson's focus on language is unique. As the author of several other books on baseball, and some others on words, he has shown himself to be one of the better sports lexicographers in terms of clarity of definitions and currency. The result of his efforts is an engrossing, highly readable reference book that could well become a standard in the public library. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


More About the Author

Paul Dickson is the author of more than 45 nonfiction books and hundreds of magazine articles. Although he has written on a variety of subjects from ice cream to kite flying to electronic warfare, he now concentrates on writing about the American language, baseball and 20th century history. His most recent titles include Drunk: The Definitive Drinker's Dictionary, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Sputnik: The Shock of the Century and Slang: A Topical Dictionary of Americanisms.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael J Woznicki HALL OF FAME on December 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In baseball, what is a crackerjack? A cradle? A drawing Card? Feel the apple means what? What happens when you go to the pump? Who made up Murderers' Row? Open the New Dickson Baseball Dictionary and you'll find out.
This A to Z complete listing of baseball term is about the best book on the subject there is. Paul Dickson has put together over 570 pages of facts, terms, definitions and trivia that are sure to please every baseball fan.
Filled with over 100 photos and illustrations you are sure to find just about every baseball word you can think of. Also included are a thesaurus, a section of abbreviations and a fully annotated bibliography.
The baseball purest is sure to love this book as a gift, and it is priced to meet most budgets. Overall this book is great reading and makes the perfect handy reference book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen B. Wells on April 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Dickson has once again given every true baseball fan a "must have" book for his or her library. This marvelous compendium of baseball lore is a compelling read, filled with marvelous information of every kind. Whether you are the casual fan or the knowledgeable afficiando, Dickson has compiled a book which will satisfy you for hours as you follow one cross reference to another.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "taboreb" on April 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an encyclopedic book. It covers everything. Fans will appreciate its breadth and depth and it can turn the curious spectator into a true fan. Great to have on hand during a game to follow the announcers' comments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JORGE ZURITA S on January 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a book that you'll love. There's a lot of things to learn in it and some terms you probably can't listen anymore. A perfect book for a really baseball fan !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a must-have for anyone from the casual to the hardcore fan
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Ward on January 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Rec'd book on time; cheaper than area bookstores. This is not the first time I purchased items from Amazon and I plan to continue. Great job! Thanks!
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