Monday, August 9, 2010

Yankees Add to Rap Around 'Porch'

UPDATE: Our best "short porch" intell comes from Ben over at the exquisitely detailed Yankee site

According to the third edition of the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the short porch originated with the old Tigers Stadium. It's a right- or left-field wall that is unusually short and provides a friendly target to batters. Says Dickson's, "The term derives from the design of older ballparks which often featured overhanging roofs that made outfield spectators look like they were sitting on a porch."

Late last week, we wondered where the term "short porch," as the close rightfield seats in Yankee Stadium are known, comes from. Sure, it's a short distance from home plate; I ventured that I could pop one out in rightfield with a wind at my back, and no lesser light than Pedro Martinez did too.

“It’s a level playing field now,” Martinez told the NY Times last week, “except for right field at Yankee Stadium, where even I could hit a home run batting left-handed.”

I reached out to the Yankees PR office about the origins of "short porch." Initially, I got a "Hmmm...that's an interesting one," from one of the guys up on River Avenue.

Last night, we got a little more from the Yanks, though nothing resembling an answer.

The pinstriped PR guys wrote:

Thank you for reaching out to the Yankees. Unfortunately, we do not have any information regarding your question.

Best of luck in the future on your Batter Chatter blog!

Hey, thanks, guys!

Yet the mystery remains unsolved. One reader posits that "short porch" has its origins in street stickball, when you could actually park one on the porch. Another says the porch was built for Babe Ruth, and the term may have come from a sportswriter back in the '60s.

Shoot us any insights or theories you might have.


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