A “Texas Leaguer” or “Texas League hit” is a weak base hit that just barely escapes the infield. The derogatory term dates from the early 1890s, just after the Texas League was formed in 1888. The term probably originated from some other baseball league that felt superior to the Texas League.
In the long history of professional baseball, the Texas League stands out as one of the most historic and interesting of all the minor leagues. In over 100 years of operation, the league has produced many notable events, interesting players and colorful personalities. We hope you enjoy exploring the information here and learn about the interesting events that have occurred here since the league was first formed in 1888.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
Texas leaguer Baseball (now rare), a fly ball that falls to the ground between the infield and the outfield and results in a base hit;
1905 Sporting Life (Philad.) 7 Oct. 9/4 A bit of bad coaching euchered him out of one bingle the other afternoon, when a *Texas Leaguer from his bat had to be chalked down a force out instead of a hit.
16 December 1892, Los Angeles Times, pg. 9:
Then Peter Nabb came to the fore with one of his little three-baggers, a regular Texas Leaguer, which landed fair just beyond first and then bounded and rolled away in under the bleachers.
1 May 1893, Boston Globe, pg. 5:
Wretched weather, miserable fielding by the Browns and pitching of a Texas league type summarize today’s game.
27 July 1895, Atlanta Constitution, pg. 9:
Callahan pitched good ball but at times his support was off color and several Texas League hits ran the score up in the sixth inning to five runs.
31 July 1895, Atlanta Constitution, pg. 4:
Dan McFarland won his third game from New Orleans today by an error of Stafford’s in the first inning and several very Texas League hits which followed.
18 August 1896, Fort Wayne (Ind.) News, pg. 2:
A “Texas leaguer” could have won the game. He could not connect for even a scratch hit and the game was lost.
1 July 1898, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Gazette, pg. 5:
Belden hit a Texas leaguer to right field and before Brott got the ball back two more Indians had crossed the plate.
23 June 1907, Chicago Daily Tribune, “Answers to Inquisitive Fans,” pg. A4:
Q: What kind of a hit is a “Texas leaguer”?
A: A fly just over the infield, too short for the outfielders to get.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (2) Comments • Sunday, October 08, 2006 • Permalink
Nice job on the term “Texas Leaguer.” I remember that the older announcers, like Bob Murphy of the Mets, used that term to describe what is too often, now, described by announcers as a “bloop single.” “Texas Leaguer” is a much more colorful term.
I like this one from wikipedia..."There is a common thread throughout Civil War anecdotes that refer to a game played 30 years earlier (before 1890) in the Sabine Pass area. As the story goes, a Union soldier hit a ball over the outfielder’s head, leading him into a long chase for the ball which resulted in a bullet wound from a nearby sniper. After the incident, hits were only rewarded for balls that landed between the infielders and outfielders.”