Right off the bat is an idiom with its roots in the sports world. An idiom is a figure of speech that is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the expression right off the bat, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.
Right off the bat means immediately, right away or from the very beginning. The phrase right off the bat is assumed to have come from the American game of baseball. In baseball, when a batter makes contact with the ball with his bat, he must quickly run to first base before the opposing team can get that ball to first base. The term right off the bat was first used in the 1880s, with literal and figurative usage. Some believe there may also be a link to the game of cricket, though right off the bat is primarily used in North America. Right off the bat is one of many expressions that have been derived from sports terminology. Other idioms derived from baseball include in the ballpark, hit one out of the ballpark, cover one’s bases and out of left field.
“It was the first time all year that we’ve been behind and we were behind by two right off the bat,” head coach Dave Curley said. (The Gloucester Times)
The wealthiest people in the U.S. would fall into the highest-percentage tax bracket proposed, so right off the bat there would be less of a tax burden on them. (The Indianapolis Star)
“We wanted to play something that would capture their attention and that they would be familiar with right off the bat,” he said. (The Orlean Times Herald)