Baseball Positions
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Baseball Positions

In the game of Baseball there are nine fielding positions. Each position is associated with a scorekeepers’ numerical number (from 1-9) to be used in scoring putouts. Each player has a special job associated with that position to help the team win.

The game’s most important positions are the pitcher and the catcher. They are what the team revolves around and are called the “battery.” The pitcher’s position is known numerically as number (1) and the catcher’s is number (2). They control the tempo and intensity of the game. The pitcher’s job is to deliver the ball to home plate, keep the ball in the strike zone, and retire the batter by strike out, force out or fly ball. He must also field his position by catching pop flies, charging bunts, and back up the first baseman or catcher when necessary. He must have stamina and strong nerves.

The catcher controls the speed of the game. His job is to give signals to the pitcher on what pitches to throw, block the plate from balls getting by him and tag runners out at the plate. He also has to calm the pitcher down whenever he feels it’s necessary. His job is by far the most difficult. No other defensive position requires more concentration and wears a player down mentally and physically, as does that of the catcher. He must be tough, have a strong arm and quick reflexes. These two players make the game happen.

The infield has many positions; it has the first baseman (number 3), second baseman (number 4), third basemen (number 5), and the short stop (number 6). The first baseman and second baseman control the right side of the infield and the third baseman and shortstop control the left side of the infield. If a ball is hit to the third baseman and he fields it and throws it to the first baseman, it is recorded as a (5-3) out. If the second baseman fields a ball and throws it to the shortstop covering second base, who throws it to the first baseman, it is recorded as a (4-6-3) double play.

The first baseman must be agile, quick and have the ability to set a good target. He will catch the balls that are hit to him, thrown to him, must scoop up ground balls, and tag first base for the out. He may have to charge a bunted ball, catch a pop fly ball, and throw to other bases to get lead runner out.

The second baseman must field batted balls and make double plays. He controls his base and backs up the first baseman when necessary. During a bunt situation when the batter taps the ball to one side of the field, the second baseman must be aware so he can cover first base and act like the first baseman. He must also be quick, have good fielding skills and the ability to avoid base runners.

The third baseman mostly stays in his corner of the field, which is called the “hot corner” because the balls come to him so fast. His responsibility is to field balls hit to the left side of the infield. He must be quick, efficient, show no fear and have a strong accurate arm to throw across the diamond to first base. Also during a bunt situation the third baseman must charge forward as fast as he can to pick up the ball and throw the runner out.

Shortstop is a difficult and important defensive position. The shortstop sees the most action, has the largest ground to cover on the field, and must routinely rotate to cover second and third base and back those players up. He must act as a cut-off man for balls being hit to center or right field. He has the same basic responsibilities as the second baseman in fielding balls and turning double plays, however, he needs to have better arms, hands, and feet, be quick, have a good range, and the ability to lead the infield. Every player must have this mentality but the shortstop must be a leader.

The outfield consists of the right fielder (number 7), center fielder (number 8), and left fielder number (9). They must make sure no ball goes past them. If a ball is hit and gets through the infield, the outfielders have to do everything they can to stop that ball. If it gets by them and rolls to the wall, the runner will most likely advance to third base or even home plate. They have to catch a fly ball and get it into the infield as quickly as possible. The left fielder must also back up any throw to the third basemen, and the right fielder must back up and throw to the first baseman. They must be in position for an overthrow so that the runners do not advance to extra bases. If the left fielder fields a ball and throws it to third base to get the advancing runner out, it would be recorded as a (7-5) out. The outfield positions are important and very difficult. The players must have strong arms, good perception, and the ability to stay focused always.

Baseball is a very difficult sport to play and requires much talent, however, each position is vitally important and must be played exceptionally well to ensure a win for the team. If every player knows the role of their position whereby it becomes second nature, the defense will shine and players will perform without a second thought. There are nine player positions in baseball and all must work together and play their part to win ballgames.


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