noun: A Texas Leaguer (or Texas League single) is a weakly hit fly ball that drops in for a single between an infielder and an outfielder.
(definition from Wikipedia’s Glossary of Baseball)
Variances: flare, blooper, bloop single
While the definition of the Texas Leaguer is pretty consistent, like many baseball terms from the past, stories of its origins vary. The term seems to have originated in the early 20th century and as the name implies, has something to do with the Texas League Founded in 1888, the Texas League now operates as a Double-A minor league and has a storied history.
Prevailing theories on the origin the term
One theory is that three Texas League players were promoted to the majors and in their first game, helped their team by getting three hits that were pejoratively dubbed “dinky Texas Leaguers”.
Some attribute the ability of Ollie Pickering, a Texas League player to bloop hits in games. Allegedly, he hit seven hits in his debut game in this manner.
A less exciting theory is that Texas League players were just more adept at hitting the bloop single and using it as an offensive weapon.
Uses in today’s media
You’ll find Texas Leaguer being used still today. Just last week, the Reading Eagle did a writeup on the Eastern League All-Star Game using the term:
He had a little good fortune on his side with his last two hits. The first fell in the infield when his pop-up glanced off the glove of West catcher Ramon Cabrera of Altoona. The last was a Texas Leaguer that found an open spot in shallow left-center.
…and a Texas League player was nowhere in the vicinity.