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Where Did the Baseball Saying a ‘Can of Corn’ Come From?

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

When it comes to purchasing food, the United States leads the way in the safe distribution of food to the public. Safety measures are taken in packaging and delivery as well.  It got me to thinking about the pioneer days when people didn’t have the safeguards for storing foods like we have now.  

We have it so good today. If we want food, we go to the local County Market, Walmart, Aldi’s or Hy-Vee Food Store and purchase it. Those are now mega-grocery stores. I remember growing up in New York with a neighborhood grocery store on the corner like Winking’s Grocery Store in Quincy. 

There would be another “small” grocery store on another corner a few blocks away. The lone grocer would be there to assist you with whatever you needed. They also used every bit of space they could to store the items in their store as well. If you wanted a canned good, you would ask the grocer to get it for you and he would reach up with a cane-like instrument and pull it down off of the elevated shelf and catch it and then hand it to you.

And now you know where the saying by baseball broadcasters of  “that’s a can of corn” came from when an outfielder camps under a fly ball to catch it. With the season underway, be listening for St. Louis Cardinal broadcaster Mike Shannon to say “that’s a can of corn” from time to time and I guarantee after reading this today you’ll remember its origin.

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