What does Pickle mean in Baseball?

A baserunner stuck between two bases in a game

In the world of baseball, ‘Pickle’ is a term you might hear quite often. It’s a unique situation that a player might find themselves in during a game. Essentially, a player is said to be in a ‘pickle’ when they get caught in a rundown between two bases.

So, what exactly is a rundown? A rundown happens when a runner finds himself trapped between two bases. On each side of him are fielders, both eager to tag him out and end his run.

These fielders can’t charge straight at the runner though. They need to tag him with the ball to get him out. So, they end up playing a game of pass, throwing the ball back and forth to each other. This is their way of slowly closing in on the runner, reducing his space, and finally tagging him out. It’s this tricky situation that’s referred to as a ‘pickle’ in baseball slang.

So, next time you’re watching a baseball game and you hear the commentator mention a ‘pickle’, you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about. It’s all about that nail-biting moment when a runner is caught between two bases, with fielders closing in on him from both sides.

Example for using ‘Pickle’ in a conversation

Hey, did you watch the baseball game last night?

Yeah, it was intense! Did you see that pickle?

Totally! The runner was stuck between second and third base.

And the fielders were chasing him back and forth. Hilarious!