Baseball Shorts: A can of corn

In today’s episode  of Baseball Shorts, we pay attention to the saying “a can of corn.” Where does it come from? Read on and you will find out.

As you all may know, the meaning of a can of corn is an easy-to-catch fly ball in the outfield.

Can Of Corn ImageThere are two plausible theories for the origin of the saying.

One comes from the nineteenth-century and relates to an old-time grocer’s method of getting canned goods down from a high shelf. Using a stick with a hook on the end, a grocer could tip a can so it would fall for an easy catch into his apron. As corn was the best selling vegetable, cans with corns were stocked en masse on the lowest shelves and thus were the easiest catch to make.

A second theory refers to the practice in the very early days of baseball of calling the outfield the “corn field”, especially in early amateur baseball where the outfield may have been a farm field. But where the word can comes from in this explanation remains unclear. 

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