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were does the term "wheelhouse" come from

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  • were does the term "wheelhouse" come from

    does anyone know this? commentators often use this word when a pitcher makes a mistake and throws the ball into the hitters power zone ("this was right in his wheelhouse")

    and of course here
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfoAIXjDt9E#t=1m01s

    were does this term come from (I'm no native speaker)
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

  • #2
    From www.word-detective.com:

    There are actually three possible origins for this baseball "wheelhouse": a ship's pilothouse, the locomotive turntable housing, or the paddlewheel housing on the stern of a riverboat. The argument for a ship's pilothouse being the source is that it is the center of control of the ship, so for a pitch to be "in the wheelhouse" would logically mean that it is under the batter's control in a way that other pitches are not.

    On the other hand, it does seem more likely that the locomotive turntable "wheelhouse" (often called a "roundhouse") is the source, likening the awesome swing of the rail yard turntable to the batter's powerful swing. An additional argument for this theory is that sweeping side-arm pitches have been known as "roundhouse" pitches since about 1910, and, of course, the "roundhouse punch" is delivered with the same sort of motion. Thus, by 1959, this sort of "wheelhouse" had already been used as a metaphor for powerful motion for more than fifty years.
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    • #3
      In the olden days, there was a central wheelhouse with rod lines emanating from it in all directions which drove the pumpjacks to drill for the oil. This is a small-scale model of one:

      http://www.drillingahead.com/video/m...ine-wheelhouse

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      • #4
        Here's a demo with one rodline and one pumpjack, but the old wheelhouses could have like a dozen or more rodlines emanating from them, and the pumpjacks could be 100 yards or more away from the wheelhouse:

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