Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
American English is full of colorful expressions. One such expression is to touch all bases. It comes from the sport of baseball.
There are four bases in baseball -- first, second and third. The fourth is home plate. Together, the bases form a diamond shape. When a baseball player hits the ball, he must run to each base -- in order -- and touch it with his foot. It is the only way to score a point. If the player hits the ball and fails to touch all the bases, the point will not be counted.
The importance of touching all the bases was shown at the start of the nineteen seventy-four baseball season.
Hank Aaron was a player with the Atlanta Braves team. He was seeking the record for hitting the most home runs. A home run is a ball that is hit over the wall. Aaron needed just one home run to equal the record held by Babe Ruth, the greatest hitter in baseball history. Aaron got that home run the very first time he had a chance to hit the ball. He sent the ball over the wall that surrounded the playing field. That gave him seven hundred and fourteen home runs -- the same as Babe Ruth.
After that day, baseball fans held their breath every time it was Hank Aaron's turn to hit. When would he hit home run number seven hundred and fifteen?
The wait was not long. In the second week of the season, Aaron again hit the ball over the wall. He had beaten Babe Ruth's record. But first, he had to run around the four bases. The other players on his team watched carefully to make sure he touched each one. If he did not, the home run would not have counted. There would have been no new record.
So, to touch all bases means to do what is necessary to complete an activity.
The expression is used in business and politics. No business deal or political campaign is really complete until you discuss all the issues involved. Or, as it is said, until you touch all bases.
Even professional diplomats use this expression, as well as others that come from baseball.
A diplomat in reporting on negotiations with diplomats from different countries may say they "touched all bases" during many hours of talks. This means they explored all issues involved in the situation. Perhaps they did this after expressing hope that they could play ball with each other, meaning that they could learn to cooperate.
Sports reporters write about fast-moving, lively events. They must develop a way of writing that goes straight to the point. Their duty is to give the reader a complete picture of the event in as few words as possible. They must touch all bases as quickly as they can.
This VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by Mike Pitts. This is Bob Doughty.
1.touch all bases [美国口语](尤指协商、交换意见等)涉及一切有关细节，无所不包，面面俱到；多才多艺，无所不能
We need to touch all the bases before making a decision.
2.home run 全垒打
Ruth hit sixty home runs that year.
1.It is the only way to score a point.
score a point 证明论点正确， 使自己的论点获得公认；(在辩论中)做出强有力的答辩；(比赛中)赢得一分；获得利益(有利地位)
In foil and saber, only the attacking fencer can score a point.
在花剑和佩剑比赛中, 只有进攻方才能得分 。
We scored a point.
美国英语中有很多精彩的表达方式，其中一个就是touch all bases。这个表达方式来源于棒球运动 。
在棒球运动中有四个垒位——一垒，二垒和三垒。第四个是本垒 。这四个垒位共同构成一个菱形区域 。棒球队员击球之后，必须按顺序依次跑到每个垒位——用脚踏触到每个垒位，只有这样才能得分 。如果队员击球成功，但是没有跑垒成功，这一分不会计算在内 。
Hank Aaron是亚特兰大勇士棒球队的队员。他希望能打出最漂亮的全垒打 。全垒打是指将球击到全垒打线以上 。Aaron只需再打出一个全垒打就可以超越棒球历史上最伟大的击球手Babe Ruth创下的历史记录 。Aaron在第一次击球的时候就打出了全垒，他将球打出了全垒线以上 。他的全垒打数目是714——和Babe Ruth相同 。
等待的时间并不是太长。在本赛季的第二周，Hank Aaron有一次将球击过线 。他打败了Babe Ruth的记录，但是首先他需要跑遍四个垒位 。他所在的球队的另外一名队员仔细观察，确保他确实踏触了每一个垒位 。如果没有跑垒成功，这一个全垒打是不计算在内的 。也就没有新的历史记录 。
所以，touch all bases意思是必须去做完成一个活动所必须的一切事情。
这个短语在商业和政治中得到广泛应用。除非探讨清楚所有相关问题，否则任何一项商业交易或政治活动都没有真正完成 。也就是说，直到你跑遍所有垒位 。
据报道，一名外交官和来自另外一个国家的外交官谈判的时候可能会说，在多个小时的谈判中他们“touched all bases”。意思是说他们探讨了当前形势下所有的相关问题 。或许他们之前还表达了一起打球的愿望，意思是他们要学会相互合作 。
体育记者经常报道迅速，现场的赛事。他们有一种一语中的的写作方式 。他们的任务是用尽可能少的话语为读者描述出赛事最完整的情况 。他们必须尽快跑遍所有垒位 。