Play Ball and Pitch: Idioms; Derivation

IDIOM: play ball; Let’s play ball. any sport which uses a ball, primarily baseball
MEANING 1: to play a ball game with someone
SENTENCE 1: Let’s play ball.
MEANING 2: to do business with someone, to cooperate
SENTENCE 2: Let’s play ball and start negotiating the contract.
DERIVATION: Coaches in the 1920’s used the term to get their teams to work together and play well.

IDIOM:: pitch (verb)
primarily baseball
MEANING 1: to throw or toss
SENTENCE 1: The pitcher pitched a fast one to the batter and he struck out.
MEANING 2: to give something to someone
SENTENCE 2: Pitch the project to the graphic artist to finish.
DERIVATION: Cricket was a popular sport before baseball developed in the nineteenth century. A thrown ball in cricket is a “pitch” and the cricket playing field is known as the “pitch”. It may be that the word “pitch” came into baseball terminology from cricket.

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