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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.
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"Baseball Positions." 123HelpMe.com. 12 Dec 2019
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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.
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