“Tipping pitches” meaning: Here’s what “tipping pitches” means in baseball

In America, one of the most popular sports is baseball. Whether you’re playing it with your friends, watching it done by the professionals, or just enjoying your kids having fun, you cannot separate baseball from America.

As with many things, baseball has its own set of lingo, words and phrases that people unfamiliar with baseball probably aren’t aware of. One of these words is “Tipping Pitches”.

What does “Tipping Pitches” mean?

“Tipping Pitches” is done by the pitcher. It’s when he indicates that he’s about to throw the ball, and how he’s going to do it. Tipping pitches can prove to be advantageous to the opposing team.

What does it mean to “get a book on”?

Often, when a hitter is up, they might “get a book on” the pitcher. This sounds like something complex. All it means is looking at the pitcher to try and get a clue of what they’re about to do.

For example, the hitter might look at the pitcher and decide they’re likely to throw a fastball. Maybe the ball will be thrown slightly lower than usual, or perhaps they tend to swing their arm before throwing.

Knowing where the ball will come from and how fast it will come at, you can help you decide how hard you need to hit it.

Why do pitchers keep on “tipping pitches”?

Most of the time, when the pitcher tips pitches, it’s not done on purpose. Why would you give away crucial information to the team you’re trying to beat?

However, pitchers are humans, and their body language could signal their actions.

Some people close their eyes and take a deep breath before throwing a ball. Most of the time, this is an unconscious decision, done out of habit.

They might also put one foot backwards, this will enable them to throw the ball further to the aerodynamics of their body.

Other examples of baseball terms

“Tipping pitches” isn’t the only example of baseball lingo- far from it! Let’s take a look at some other examples.

  • Basket Catch-When a fielder catches the ball whilst his glove is near his belt.
  • Bean Ball-When a batter is hit in the head.
  • Bronx Cheer-when the crowd boos
  • Gas-a high-velocity fastball
  • Punch and Judy Hitter-a weak hitter.

For most non-Americans, these kinds of phrases will make no sense. However, because of how popular baseball is in this country, many Americans will know these phrases.

If an English person were to use soccer terminology such as “off side”, the average American would be confused about what they’re talking about.

Why does baseball have it’s a unique terminology

Whether it’s baseball, soccer, or any other sport, it’s interesting how people who play/watch a particular sport have their own language exclusive to that community.

The language we use is picked up from our society. Our mother tongue is picked up by, well, our mother. As we grow up, we pick up slang words from our friends or the internet.

People who like a sport will spend a lot of time around other people who enjoy the sport, be that fans, or other players. Spending time around these people allows slang to spread quickly among the communities.

Examples of sports slang used outside of sports

Some sports slang has become so common, we’ve started using it outside of sports.

When something good happens to you, you might say you’ve “Scored”. People say they’ve “Scored” when they find a good deal, meet a nice woman, or achieve something positive.

When you do a fantastic job, you could say you’ve “knocked it out the park”. This comes from when a batter hits the ball so hard, it leaves the stadium.

If you step down from a role, you might say you’re “handing the baton” to someone else. This term comes from relay races.

And when you get started with a project, you might say you’re “getting the ball rolling”- this comes from soccer.

Will Tipping Pitches ever be used outside of sports?

One phrase that hasn’t yet left sports slang and gone into everyday slang is “Tipping Pitches”. However, I think it could work in the non-sports world.

In life, we often show signs we’re about to do something. Dad’s will slap their knee and say “right-e-ho” before getting up.

These signals could be referred to as “tipping pitches” as just like how a pitcher indicates how they’re about to throw the ball, your dad is indicating he’s about to get up.

Examples of “tipping pitches” in sentences

“My team only lost because Jacob kept on tipping pitches”.

“He’s about to have a tantrum. I can tell. He’s tipping pitches”.

“I don’t mean to keep on tipping pitches. I’m not very good at baseball, I only play it because my dad makes me”.

“You need to stop tipping pitches. Women like a man who’s unpredictable.”

In these examples, we’ve used some extracts from conversations about baseball, and some people who are using baseball lingo in non-baseball situations.

Why do Americans love baseball?

Baseball is a uniquely American sport. It’s loved in that country, but not so much outside the country.

Baseball has its origins in the rural past when many Americans had a lot of time on their hands. Unlike other sports, there is no time limit on baseball, it can go on for several hours.

But as with most sports, going to a baseball isn’t just about the game. It’s a chance to meet up with friends, laugh about how much the food is, go for a drink in the bar afterwards.

It’s a game that doesn’t care about your social class, race, income. In a time when America is divided, sports help to bring us together.


This article was mainly written for people not familiar with baseball. And I’m going to guess that’s mostly the non-Americans.

Being a popular sport, a nationwide community around baseball has formed. And as with all other communities, it has created its own jargon that people outside of the community might struggle to understand.

“Tipping Pitches” is when a pitcher accidentally gives away information about when and how they’re going to throw the ball, and it can be an advantage to the hitter.

Will “tipping pitches” join the likes of “Get the ball rolling” on the list of sports jargon used in the office? Only time will tell, but I reckon there’s potential!