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Baseball Positions

By Ripken Baseball, 12/31/99, 12:00PM CST

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At any given time, there will be a minimum of ten, and up to thirteen players on the field – eight defensive players, one batter, and up to three baserunners.

OFFENSE

The offensive team is the batting team. Batters take turns receiving pitches from the defensive team and attempting to hit them. Once a ball is hit, the batter then runs as far as they can around the bases without getting caught by the defensive team, with the goal of reaching home plate to score a run.

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BATTER

The player who receives the pitch and hits it with the goal of rounding the bases to home plate.

Baseball Field Layout

DEFENSE

The defensive team pitches to the batters and has players on the field. Once a batter from the offensive team hits a ball into the field, the defensive team’s goal is to stop the batter from reaching home plate by tagging them with the ball, or reaching the next base with the ball before the batter gets there.

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Pitcher

Throws the ball from the pitcher’s mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal to throw as many strikes as possible.

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Infielders

Field balls and throw them to one another. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd basemen defend the areas surrounding the bases, and must be able to catch both ground and fly balls, and throw accurately. The shortstop is the player between second and third base, and on average, receives the most hit-balls. Infielders typically have quick feet and are able to easily transition from fielding to throwing to get the runner out.

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Outfielders

Left, center, and right outfielders all track fly balls and throw them to the infielders with the goal of tagging the player from the opposing team.

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Catcher

The player who crouches behind home plate in front of the umpire and receives the ball from the pitcher. Depending on their age, the catcher handles the majority of the plays on the field. Once they become older and more skilled, they are able to understand the situation of the game and call games.

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