An offensive maneuver in which the batter tries to score the runner on third base by bunting neatly such that any play at the plate is avoided or delayed.
It is usually attempted with less than two outs. See also suicide squeeze; safety squeeze; double squeeze. Syn. squeeze, 1; squeeze bunt. 1st use. 1905. “[New York Highlanders] manager [Clark] Griffith says he has a new one called the ‘squeeze play,’ which is working wonders” (The Washington Post, Apr. 9; Norman L. Macht). Supposedly, the play was mistakenly “invented” in 1904 when Willie Keeler bunted the ball after Jack Chesbro broke for home. usage note. The term “squeeze play” originally referred to a suicide squeeze. etymology. Hy Turkin (Baseball Almanac, 1955) and Lee Allen (The Hot Stove League, 1955, p.113) stated that the squeeze play was first used by two Yale men (George Case and Dutch Carter) in a game against Princeton on June 16, 1894. They claimed that the squeeze play was introduced to the major leagues by New York Highlanders manager Clark Griffith in 1904 and probably named by him in 1905: “Griffith’s famed ‘squeeze play’” (Chicago Tribune, May 4, 1905; Peter Morris). Other versions aver that the squeeze play was introduced by Joe Yeager in Brooklyn in 1898 and by Cap Anson and King Kelly in Chicago in the 1880s. The San Francisco Bulletin (May 2, 1913, p.20; Gerald L. Cohen) reported that the squeeze play was a California invention: “Pete Lohman, one of the brainiest men baseball ever produced, being its author.” extended use. Any strategy intended to force a helpless opponent to choose between two undesirable options. “State Farm Bureau Avoids ‘Squeeze Play’ by Unions, Industry Group” (Grand Rapids [Mich.] Press headline, Aug. 12, 1942; Peter Morris).