The On Deck Circle

I played baseball my whole childhood. My dad coached me until I was 12 years old, and they were some of the greatest memories. I remember being a catcher, and throwing out kids at second base. I remember pitching and playing 1st base and hitting. I remember the rivalry with some of the other coaches. I have really beautiful memories on the baseball diamond.

It struck me though, that I wasn’t sure where some of the terms came from. I mean, I know that every sport has personal verbage that has just always been a part of the nature of the game, but as I’ve watched the Angels play this season, I got curious.

On Deck.

Seems intriguing, right? I mean, I don’t see a deck anywhere. There isn’t a house in baseball, although there is home plate…

In the hole.

What hole? Why is he in it? Is it protection of some sort, like maybe a force field hole to prevent a concussion from a rogue foul ball?

Where and what did these terms come from?

Whether this is the complete truth, I don’t know. Honestly, I can’t even tell you how far back we can trace the terms in baseball, but I can tell you that they are nautical terms.

The story is that “In-the-hole” was the designated spot where the pilot would wait before going “on the flight deck”. For safety and to avoid confusion this “hole” was below the level of the flight deck. On older carriers, it may have been an actual pit or just a designated off-the-flight-deck spot the pilot would await. So the sequence of a pilot was to be “in-the-hole” until he boarded his plane on the flight deck (“on-deck”). He was then taxied to the catapult where he was launched.

Then, the idea of being on deck is that we are ready. We are ready to be launched. Ready to be catapulted into the skies.

I watch a lot of TV, and while that means nothing to a historical argument, in the movies and on TV, Captains call all hands on deck. Captains call it in situations where the weather or the crisis demand immediate attention.

Are you On Deck in your life? Are you ready and responding to the crisis around you? Are you ready to be catapulted into the skies?

Get “On Deck,” and Check Into Life.