Where Did the Saying ‘Can of Corn’ Come From in Baseball?
The Annual Wild Game Cook Off is coming up on May 3 at the Ridge View Winery in Mt. Sterling, Illinois. They will be cooking things like Squirrel in a crock pot, Beaver Burgers, Elk Roast, Turtle Stew, Deer Sausage, and God knows what else. It got me to thinking about the pioneer days when people actually ate those foods on a daily basis. They did it for survival.
We have it so good today. If we want food, we go to the local County Market 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 Mike Shannon to say “that’s a can of corn” from time to time and I guarantee you’ll remember its origin.