Baseball Shorts: Baseball and Cheese

Most baseball fans know the meaning of the word cheese in baseball. There are some varieties on the saying. Here is a small anthology.

Throwing The Hard Cheese — Ronald R. Russell ArtBaseball players are often known for their great metaphors. Cheese is one of them.
As written in the prologue, most baseball fans will know what cheese stands for in baseball. It is baseball slang for a fastball.

Cheese” is a fastball with “something (extra) on it”, so a pitch that is very hard to hit. A pitch that slices through the strike zone just like you slice through cheese with a knife.

There are some varieties on this. Throwing cheddar for example. It also means throwing hard. Then there is high cheese, a fastball high in the strike zone that is usually hit for a home run. And let’s not forget easy cheese, a fastball thrown with an apparent effortless delivery. And last but not least, cheese factory, which refers to a pitcher with a wide array of pitches. They can throw cheddar but also pitches with a little ‘stink’ to it (usually off-speed).

But where does the term cheese come from?
At some point in the creation of baseball’s sayings and word replacements, an announcer must have said that a particularly hard-throwing pitcher was “throwing the good cheese.” Where that came from is unknown, but it stuck for sure.

If you know more baseball slang with the word cheese in it, please let us know by posting a remark at the bottom of this blog post.

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