Grandstand Play Meaning
(idiomatic, by extension) An action or stratagem that is excessively dramatic or sensational and that is intended to appeal to members of the public or to a particular audience.
Example: 1916, Hildegard G. Frey, The Camp Fire Girls at School, ch. 8:
Instead of throwing it to center, however, she tried to make a grandstand play and threw it the entire length of the gymnasium to the waiting forward.
1921 Oct. 2, "One-handed drivers menace to public," Vancouver Sun (Canada), p. 17 (retrieved 30 Aug. 2011):
Every baseball fan is acquainted with the sarcastic reminder, "two hands are the fashion nowadays," often hurled at the infielder who foozles an attempt at a grandstand play in the form of a one-handed catch.
1913, Jack London, The Valley of the Moon, ch. 12:
"He goes strike-breakin'. Grandstand play, that's what I call it. Gets his name in the papers an makes all the skirts he runs with fluster up an' say: â€˜My! Some bear, that Roy Blanchard, some bear.â€™"
1960 Sept. 19, "The Unwelcome Guest," Time:
Dag Hammarskjold and Russia's fellow Security Council members, bent on quieting the Congo turmoil, had watched the Soviets stir the fires of chaos, make a grandstand play to Africans by labeling the U.N. a partner to a colonial conspiracy.
2011 June 8, Danny Hakim and Thomas Kaplan, "Cuomo Urges Broad Limits to N.Y. Public Pensions," New York Times (retrieved 30 Aug. 2011):
â€œCongratulations to Governor Cuomo for another grandstand play for the attention of his millionaire friends at the expense of the real working people of New York,â€ Danny Donohue, president of the largest union of state workers, the Civil Service Employees Association, said in a statement.