Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An easily caught fly ball

Etymologies

The phrase, first used in 1896, makes reference to a long-ago practice where a grocer would use a stick to tip a can of vegetables off a high shelf, then catch it in his hands or outstretched apron. Note: the reason a can of "corn" is referenced and not a can of green beans, pumpkin or spinach is that corn was the best-selling vegetable and so was heavily stocked and on the lowest shelves, making it the easiest of the can "catches" for the grocer. (See Seattle Post Intelligencer - Sports Answer Guy article) (Wiktionary)

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  • "A couple of possible sources of the phrase are cited in the definitive 'New Dickson Baseball Dictionary.' The most accepted: The phrase, first used in 1896, makes reference to a long-ago practice where a grocer would use a stick to tip a can of vegetables off a high shelf, then catch it in his hands or outstretched apron. Another possible source: Such a pop fly is as easy to capture as 'corn from a can.'"

    - from seattlepi.com

    August 29, 2007