Syn. of third base
1. “I liked the whiplash grace of a third baseman’s throw from the ‘hot corner’” (Ted Berkman, Christian Science Monitor, May 10, 1983). See also difficult corner. 1st use. 1889. “The Brooklyns had Old Hick [Carpenter] on the hot corner all afternoon and it’s a miracle he wasn’t murdered” (Ren Mulford, no source; Hy Turkin, editor of The 1955 Baseball Almanac, wrote [p.207] that the phrase was “coined by writer Ren Mulford in the 1880’s after a game in which Cincinnati third baseman Hick Carpenter fielded seven sharp drives that almost tore him apart”). etymology. It is commonly assumed that the term came about because of the hot shots aimed at the third baseman, but the explanation is not universally accepted. “Third base was so named about 40 years ago when most of the star sluggers were right-handed. Nowadays, however, with so many hardhitting left-handers, first base is equally ‘hot’” (Fan and Family, Oct. 1935). extended use. 1. Any particularly tough or tight spot. 2. A defensive position in basketball. “[Satch] Sanders labored in the hot corner for the Celtics. . . . It was Sanders’ slavish duty to keep rival beasts . . . from scoring more than 25 points” (Coles Phinizy, Sports Illustrated, March 4, 1974, p.28).