Spanish Baseball Vocabulary

Instructor: Ashley Zehel

Ashley has a M.A. in Spanish as well as a B.S. in Foreign Language Education. She has taught K-12 and now teaches college level.

Baseball is said to be America's pastime… and it still is when you include Central America, South America, and the Caribbean Islands. This lesson will go over a bit of culture as you learn baseball vocabulary in Spanish.

Baseball in Spanish-speaking Countries

If being taken out to the ball game brings memories of the U.S. National Anthem and the American flag, you're in for a surprise. Baseball, béisbol, is also the sport of choice in many Spanish-speaking countries such as La República Dominicana, Cuba, y Venezuela. Additionally, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) lists almost all Spanish-speaking countries as members, with the exception of Paraguay and Uruguay. While the culture of the game varies from country to country, the vocabulary is usually the same. Let's take a stadium tour with our guide Pablo to get a better feel for this vocabulary.

Touring the Stadium

El estadio

Pablo: Hola, me llamo Pablo. Bienvenidos al estadio. Hi, my name is Pablo. Welcome to the stadium.

Gracias, Pablo. Where are we allowed to go in the estadio (es-TAH-dyo)?

Pablo: El refugio (reh-FOO-hyo), the dugout, el campo, the field, los vestidores (ves-tee-DOR-es), the locker rooms, and la cabina de prensa (ca-BEE-na de PREN-sa), the press box, are off limits to the public. Las gradas, the stands, are where you are allowed to enjoy the game.

I thought this was a tour.

Pablo: It's more like a vocabulary lesson. ¡Vamos a ver el campo! Let's go see the field! There are two main parts to it, the cuadro or diamante (dee-ah-MAHN-teh), literally 'diamond', is the infield. The outfield is called el jardín (har-DEEN) where the jardineros, outfielders, wait to catch any hits.

Watching the Game

Yeah, yeah. And during the partido - game - the players use el bate (BAH-teh) to hit la pelota - ball - and run around the bases (BAH-says). We get it.

Pablo: Well, there's a little more to it than that. El bateador (bah-tay-ah-DOR), the batter, stands right at home or el plato while the lanzador, or pitcher, throws the pelota to the receptor, catcher, behind home. Now only if the bateador makes a hit, bateo, is he allowed to run.

Right, and then he has to go in order from primera base - first base, to segunda base - second, to tercera base - third, and finally, home. All that just to get back to where he started.

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