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Touch 'em all

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on June 11, 2009 at 18:38

In Reply to: Touch 'em all posted by RRC on June 10, 2009 at 18:04:

: : One can hear baseball commentators shout "touch 'em all, [player's name]!" when a player hits a big home run. I would imagine this was a famous call from somewhere, but it may have come from some other tradition. I'm wondering where it came from and what it might mean in relation to that. Thanks!

: After hitting a home run, you still have to touch all the bases in order to not be declared out. It's not totally uncommon for someone to be so excited or distracted by the cheering crowd that they fail to pay attention to the placement of their feet as the round the bases and miss one. It's just good advice.

I think "touch 'em all" in this sense, especially by a commentator rather than by a coach, is a celebratory exclamation rather than an exhortation. Of course, it's true that if you don't "touch 'em all" your home run isn't official, as Robin Ventura of the New York Mets found out after hitting what became known as the "Grand Single" in the playoffs in 1999.