In the ballpark

If it is in the ballpark, it is about right. Pic: mychinaconnection.com

If somebody asks you whether their proposal or estimate was “in the ballpark” or you are requested to make a “ballpark” estimate you are not required to do anything with a ball at all – at least not in the literal sense.

The expression “in the ballpark” requires some explanation: means within a certain area or range, close to what is expected plus minus a little bit.  Here are some examples that could give you a better idea how that phrase is used.

Homeowner to contractor: “how much are you going to charge for the kitchen remodel?”

Contractor: “Hard to say, it really depends on a number of things …”

Homeowner: “I understand that, I don’t need an exact number, just give me a ballpark number.”

And

Garage sale customer: “how much do you want for the used lawn mower?”

Seller: “$50”

Customer: “No way, that isn’t even in the ballpark, I was thinking $10.”

Of course, you guessed it, this is another expression borrowed from baseball.

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