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Why do infielders toss the ball around the horn after each out is recorded?

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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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