Out of left field*

a blog by Norman Hooper

 


In order to consolidate my websites, I have moved Linux- and Programming-related posts to kaapstorm.com, and the others to extrange.com. I will be adding new posts there, not here. Opening any of the posts listed below will be redirected you to their new homes.

 


* Retrieved from Wikipedia on 2010-10-08:

The phrase "out of left field" is popular vernacular (first attested in 1961) meaning "wildly unrelated to the subject being discussed", and "out in left field" means "a little crazy". One theory involves the "Death Valley" in Yankee Stadium circa 1923-1988. During this time period, the shape of the outfield in Yankee Stadium roughly approximated an oval, with the "long" portion pointing to left-center. A left-fielder would thus typically be stationed further back from the action than the center or right fielders, as he would have a greater amount of ground to cover. Hence, "out in left field" meant one was furthest from the action taking place at home-plate, and the most likely to draw erroneous, fanciful conclusions about that action. Another, likely apocryphal, theory is that this refers to the popularity of seats in right field at Yankee Stadium while Babe Ruth was playing that position; buying a seat in left field would have been "stupid".[3] Another theory is that this arose at Chicago's second West Side Park, home of the Chicago Cubs from 1893 to 1915. After the Cubs moved to what is now Wrigley Field, the West Side Park property eventually became the home of the University of Illinois College of Medicine. The U of I built its Neuropsychiatric Institute building in what had been left field. A third theory is derived directly from the experience of players. A runner attempting to score from third base will have ones's back to left field, thus a throw to the plate "out of left field" can arrive seemingly out of nowhere as a surprise to the runner.