The logo of the Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña: a big sky-blue circle, bordered in red and white, surrounding a smaller circle of darker blue with white borders, superimposed on which is a red-and-white nautical star that hosts the acronym "LNP" in black block letters.

Gaceta de la Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña

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Following baseball, at the best of times, can be a confusing little endeavor, full of obscure terminology and phrasing no one has ever heard, or will ever hear, anywhere but on a baseball field. A lexicon seems a small grace to ask, under the circumstances.

For general vocabulary, Baseball-Reference’s English-to-Spanish reference is an invaluable resource. What we offer here is an addendum, which covers terms and phrases that are not simple translations from the boricua Spanish unique to the Insular Republic.

almanaqueroLeaguealmanackerWriters, scorers, statisticians and other personnel attached to the Almanaque, the LNP’s archival publication meant primarily for internal consumption. Initially composed purely of game scores and small notes, grew in time into a comprehensive record of every season whose publication became a significant revenue stream for the league in the twentieth century.
analfabetoHistoryilliterateDesignation used for soldiers in the Army of National Liberation who could neither read nor write; unsurprisingly common in an army made up mostly of peasants and former enslaved men. See Informe General.
antetiempoSeasonforetimePreseason; period of time during which teams train for the upcoming campaign, play exhibition games, and sign last-minute free agents to plug holes in the roster.
Batallón DescalzoHistoryShoeless BattalionUnit of the Army of National Liberation improvised from the masses of men who crossed the island, usually without guns, boots, or anything else resembling appropriate equipment, to join the inchoate rebellion, and whom the Insular Government initially treated as an unwelcome stress on their food supplies. An unsurprisingly ineffective formation, considering that it never exceeded around five hundred men in total, a startling lack of resources, and rampant poaching of its most skilled men by other Insular Forces outfits. Disbanded in 1870, with most of its soldiers redirected to the Eastern Campaign under Garibaldi’s command.
Batallón Eleuterio GómezHistoryEleuterio Gómez BattalionOfficially the 1st (and only) Battalion, 9th Regiment of the Army of National Liberation, intended to incorporate any men the revolutionaries emancipated, before high command realized it made far more sense to integrate them into existing units. Named for Eleuterio Gómez (1845-1868), an enslaved man in Ponce who, upon hearing of the Revolution, killed his owner and attempted to flee to the Insular Government. Gómez was caught and hanged by the municipal government, which would soon be ejected by the Red Lions, who first created a battalion in his name. It never exceeded two hundred men in size, and was disbanded shortly after the War of National Liberation.
calesaPitchingbaroucheRotation in which two pitchers alternate starting games, with an occasional emergency starter used if neither starter is rested. See faetón.
campeonatoSeasonchampionshipPostseason or playoffs, especially in smaller leagues with fewer rounds. In LNP baseball, the last two rounds of the postseason: the Campeonato de Las Ligas for the Betances and Hostos pennants, and the Campeonato Nacional Puertorriqueño for the national title. See torneo.
cañón inglésPitching
English cannonPitcher who looks good through two or three innings, then falls apart in the midgame. A reference to the castoff artillery pieces the English surreptitiously provided to the Army of National Liberation, which had a worrying tendency to explode or break down at particularly dramatic moments.