grandstand play, make a

Show off, act ostentatiously, as in His colleagues were annoyed with Tom for constantly making a grandstand play at sales conferences. This expression was first used for a baseball play made to impress the crowd in the grandstand (the section of high-priced seats at ballparks). [Second half of 1800s] For a synonym, see play to the gallery.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.