come from left field

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come from left field

To originate from a surprising or strange place. ("Left field" is the metaphorical origin of something uncommon, unpopular, or otherwise strange.) That suggestion certainly came from left field! How did you come up with that one?
See also: come, field, left
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come from left field

or

come out of left field

mainly AMERICAN
A question, statement, or event which comes from left field or comes out of left field is completely unexpected. The question came out of left field, but Mary Ann wasn't really surprised. This letter sort of came out of left field. Compare with left-field. Note: In baseball, left field is part of the outfield. A ball is said to come out of left field when the pitcher throws it in such a way that it seems to come out of nowhere.
See also: come, field, left
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
"And it's almost, not dumbing it down, but giving a great big signpost that I was coming from left field, and it just seemed to help get the crowd quicker on to my wavelength to go 'oh he's mad, that's all right'.
Reading them, one might think that the mayor's position is coming from left field and that she is in total control of everything that happens.
Louis Wildman and I agree on many of the factors that make teacher supervision and evaluation so challenging: observing teachers in action is inherently subjective; many teachers can only guess what their principals are looking for; no matter how nonthreatening principals are, when they walk into classrooms, teachers get nervous; principals' comments can trivialize the hard work teachers do day in and day out; a principal's judgmental comments are often seen by teachers as coming from left field; "wandering around" is too unfocused a management model for principals; and standardized test scores are not a fair way to assess a teacher's performance.