Neyer: Naming baseball stuff with baseball names

From SABR member Rob Neyer at Baseball Nation on November 12, 2012, with mention of SABR member Paul Dickson:

A long time ago, I ran across the term “John Anderson” when researching the career of an early-20th-century outfielder named (yes) John Anderson. Anderson, so the story went, once tried to steal second base when the bases were loaded. Which didn’t work out so well. And for some years, on those rare occasions when a runner tried to steal an occupied base, it was called a John Anderson, or a “John Anderson play”.

I tried to track down the specific details of this glorious event, but never could. Some years later, another, better researcher did find the play, and so I just now went to look it up in The Dickson Baseball Dictionary.

John Anderson play. The particular boner committed when a runner attempts to steal an occupied base. The term is named for the outfielder/first baseman who, while playing for the St. Louis Browns against the New York Highlanders on Sept. 24, 1903, supposedly tried to steal second base with the bases loaded, and was thrown out. However, press accounts (e.g. New York Sun, Sept. 25; Peter Morris) indicate that Anderson, having taken an aggressive lead, was picked off by the catcher throwing the ball to first base. In the end, Anderson’s nonattempted steal became his most famous play.

Ah, legends. Anyway, it made for a good story.

Anyway, I was thinking, “Hey, you know what we’re missing? More things like “John Anderson”. Which got me to thinking about other baseball terms that aren’t, but should be. Honestly, I couldn’t think of a single other baseball happening that’s named for a player, and so I decided to come up with some of my own.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: November 13, 2012. Last Updated: November 13, 2012.