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What is the origin of a Texas League hit in baseball?

Question #130033. Asked by mandy2.
Last updated Sep 02 2016.
Originally posted Mar 17 2013 9:50 AM.

Verbonica star
Answer has 2 votes
Verbonica star
23 year member
264 replies avatar

Answer has 2 votes.
A Texas Leaguer (or Texas League single) is a weakly hit fly ball that drops in for a single between an infielder and an outfielder. These are now more commonly referred to as flares, bloopers or "bloop single." Most colorfully called a 'gork shot'. See blooper.
The term is said to have originated when Ollie Pickering, a popular Texas League player, made his major league debut and proceeded to run off a string of seven straight bloop hits, leading fans and writers to say, "Well, there goes Pickering with another one of those "Texas Leaguers".


Mar 17 2013, 10:54 AM
gtho4 star
Answer has 6 votes
Currently Best Answer
gtho4 star
23 year member
2399 replies avatar

Answer has 6 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
The origins of the phrase are not clear cut. These two articles cast doubt on Ollie Pickering being the origin.


It has been often written that the term "Texas Leaguer" comes from the major league debut of Ollie Picketing, who got four hits in his firstgame after being called up from the Texas League. Each hit just blooped over the infield. The next day a reporter who missed a play saw Pickering on first base and asked what happened. "Oh, he just made another one of those Texas League hits," said another reporter. However, Robert McConnell looked up the game stories for Ollie Pickering's 1896 debit, and reports that the record does not support this story.

"The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract" by Bill James (at page 69)

The Answer Guy: Origin of the 'Texas Leaguer' hard to pin down
Thursday, September 19, 2002

There are as many theories about that as there are about the JFK assassination. It is agreed that this term for a bloop single into the outfield dates from around the start of the 20th century. But where it came from is the subject of at least a half dozen theories, as recounted in Paul Dickson's authoritative "New Dickson Baseball Dictionary." The Texas League theories range from a team in the Texas League that specialized in the use of the bloop single as an offensive weapon; to the effects of strong Gulf Stream winds on outfield flies in the Texas League; to the debut of Ollie Pickering, either in the majors or the Texas League, who came to bat and proceeded to run off a string of seven straight bloop hits


Response last updated by satguru on Sep 02 2016.
Mar 18 2013, 4:31 AM
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