The backstory here is that I owed my French tutor an essay. He had told me several times to write about a topic I’m familiar with. I’m familiar with the Tribe; hence this essay.
How does one write an essay in French about baseball? First, go to the French Wikipedia page which has American baseball terminology in French. Its address is: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexique_du_vocabulaire_du_baseball. Second, toggle your Word keyboard over to French. Third, open an online French-English dictionary. And, finally, let her rip.
I am posting this for one primary purpose: to state my renewed sympathy for any twenty-something Latino player being interviewed after a game on American television. I hate to think how I’d sound if a French television interviewer asked me about a soccer match I had just seen in France. I’m sure I’d mangle both the language and the accent—and this after two years of studying the language. Think how well some of these young players do with interviews when they’re only several years out of the Dominican and when much of their waking time has had to be devoted to learning how to play baseball at an ever-increasing level of difficulty.
I'll follow the French version with an English translation. And, no, "un coup de circuit dans le parc" would not have sufficed.
Je me souviens un jeu particulier comme si c’était hier. Notre joueur de deuxième base, Bobby Avila, a frappé un coup de circuit, mais un coup de circuit d’un genre inhabituel. En anglais il s’appelle " an inside-the-park home run ". Cette expression veut dire que le frappeur frappe un coup de circuit qui reste dans le terrain de jeu et qui exige le coureur coure toutes les bases avant que les joueurs de petit champ ou les joueurs de grand champ puissent lancer la balle au receveur pour toucher le frappeur avec la balle avant qu'il ne touche le " home plate ".
I remember one game in particular as if it was yesterday. Our second baseman, Bobby Avila, hit a home run, but a home run of an unusual kind. In English it’s called "an inside-the-park home run". This expression means that the batter hits a home run which remains in the field of play and which requires the batter to run all the bases before the infielders or outfielders are able to throw the ball to the catcher in time to allow him to tag the batter with the ball before he touches home plate.
Let me offer two concluding thoughts. French is called the beautiful language but not because of anything I’ve ever done. And the French call soccer "the beautiful game". But they’re wrong about that. Baseball is the beautiful game. It always has been and always will be.