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Answered 2007-08-16 03:37:08

The following is from an article on " around the horn a 5-4-3 double play, in which the ball goes from the third baseman, to the second baseman, who tags second, to the first baseman, who tags first. Like many baseball terms, this originates from sailing. Until the Panama Canal was built, the quickest way from the North Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean was to sail around Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America. By extension, "going around the horn" refers to covering all or several angles of something in baseball. More commonly, this phrase refers to the tradition of tossing the ball around the infield after an out is recorded such that no runners are left on base. For example, after an out recorded at first base, if there are no runners on, the first baseman will toss to the second baseman, and the ball will subsequently be thrown to the shortstop and then the third baseman, and finally back to the pitcher. The order in which the ball is thrown "around the horn," can vary from team to team and from situation to situation, but many teams see this as the "way" to do it and it may even be considered bad luck to deviate from this standard pattern. Also, some teams use this only when a strikeout is recorded. This version starts with the pitch being thrown and the last strike recorded then is quickly thrown from the catcher to the first baseman who proceeds with the regular order. Now it is used more as a method to show off, than to ensure that no runner is left on. "

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