In today's Ottawa Sun was this story, with an extended sport-to-sport crossover metaphor. It begins: For all those fans who fancied receiver Pat Woodcock being a home run hitter, Renegades coach/GM Joe Paopao has some news for you [emphasis added]. If you haven't heard of the Renegades, the word receiver should tip you off that they're a football team. But here is a clear baseball usage in a football text. It goes on:
Woodcock, a much-heralded free-agent signing before last season, is a singles and doubles guy. "You have six receivers and it's like a batting order," Paopao said yesterday. "Your top three guys are your core guys and you expect them to have 1-to-4 catches a game." So where does Woodcock fit into the picture? "He's in the middle of the batting order," said Paopao. After being pretty much ignored in the previous two games, Woodcock came close to hitting for what amounted to the cycle Thursday against the Edmonton Eskimos.
Paopao really rings up the baseball metaphor in this one. Now, a while a back I tried to draw a line between core lexical items of a sport and peripheral ones, and have written more about it. Core items are intrinsic to the discourse surrounding a sport, referring to instruments, positions, infractions, and so on. Peripheral ones are not, but still mark the discourse as sport-oriented. "Get untracked" was one. Peripheral vocabulary blurs into the interview cliche of giving it your all and playing with desperation.
I think some of the baseball terms above are probably core for the sport - singles and doubles - and others might be more peripheral. What matters is the wholesale importation of a baseball lexicon into a discussion about football.
I'm assuming a "home run" in football is a long pass that the receiver can take into the end zone. You can have home runs in hockey, too. I saw Brendan Shanahan quoted this week that removing the center red line from the rink would enable a "home run pass". I haven't been able to dig it up, but I've found the usage elsewhere:
We'd see more players "cherry pick" and hang out down the ice in anticipation of the home run pass instead of consistently backchecking.
So to sum up, observationally, some baseball terminology can be used metaphorically in discussions of other sports. The same goes for some football terminology. Is it possible to have a theory of what sporting lexical items are allowed to do this? My hunch is yes - my hypothesis is that a sport can take a lexical item from another sport only if that lexical item can apply, metaphorically, in a non-sport context. I'll keep my eyes open for more data.