SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Activist group PETA is hoping to get Major League Baseball’s attention in changing the name of the area where relief pitchers warmup.
PETA says “’bullpen’ refers to the area of a ‘bull’s pen’ where bulls are held before they are slaughtered—it’s a word with speciesist roots & we can do better than that.”
Their suggestion? The “arm barn.”
In baseball, there are a couple different theories where the term came from.
One is at the turn of the century, outfield fences were often had advertisements for the Bull Durham brand of tobacco. Since relievers warmed up in a nearby pen, the term “bullpen” came about.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the earliest recorded use of “bullpen” in baseball is in a Cincinnati Enquirer article published on May 7, 1877.
Writer O.P. Caylor noted in a game recap, “The bull-pen at the Cincinnati grounds with its `three for a quarter crowd’ has lost its usefulness. The bleacher boards just north of the old pavilion now holds the cheap crowd, which comes in at the end of the first inning on a discount.”
While the name was roasted by many online, New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier seems to be onboard.