Where does the phrase “to play ball with one” come from and What does it mean?

The phrase “to play ball with one” means: To cooperate with one; to accept as a fellow; also, sometimes to accept as a friend or a confidant.

In its literal sense the expression first alluded to the necessity for each member of a ball team, baseball or football, to cooperate with all other members in all possible ways during any game in order to play most effectively.

From an admonition by the coaches of successful teams, the expression extended into social and commercial usage in the 1920’s.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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