There are a lot of things to consider when you are playing first base in baseball. You are not simply manning the base; first base is one the most important positions in baseball.
This guide will go into detail about the responsibilities of a player on first base, as well as the ways that you can ensure you are going to be the best player possible for first base.
What does a first baseman do? What are their responsibilities?
Firstly, playing at first base require a lot of skill. As we have said, this position is not simply standing at the base, there is a lot of skill involved. A player at first base will need to have a solid understanding of the game rules that occur during a pitch and a hit, since these things will affect them the most.
This situational awareness will be of paramount importance.
When each play begins, the player at first base should assess how many runners are on base. When the pitch is put into play, they should move to the bag. This is the case most of the time unless the payer at first base is holding a runner on.
They should make sure not to obstruct the runner, as this will result in a foul. The first baseman should always be ready for a throw to them from the pitcher in order to hold a runner at first base if they show signs of getting to the next.
Why is first base so important?
Even though a lot of people will think it is more beneficial to get the longer runners out first, the runners who are making it home, this is not the case all the time.
If you were to focus on the dynamic between the pitcher and first baseman, a team may be able to get more runners out before they have even had a chance to begin.
This is a lot more of a sure-fire way to get runners out than risk getting them out at another base and missing a runner getting to first.
What makes someone a good first baseman?
There certain qualities that are more typical to a first baseman. But, just like all human beings, first base players all look different, are different weights and heights, and even have different capabilities.
The strengths of a first baseman should include throwing, catching, fielding and some level of agility. (Most of these skills are shared by other fielders too).
This is an obvious skill that a first baseman should have. But there are different types of throw that a first baseman will need to practice catching in order to be the best as his position. Here is a list of the types of throw that a first baseman would have to catch in a game:
- A throw off the bag: these can be difficult to catch. Since you have to keep your foot on the bag to make sure that the catch would count as an out, catching the ball when it is thrown off the bag can be difficult and needs a lot of practice.
- A throw in the dirt: this is even more difficult than a throw off the bag. This is because the ball could ricochet in any strange way or at any angle that a first baseman is not expecting. In these cases, the easiest way to catch the ball is to keep your eye on it at all times and try not to misjudge it.
- Stretching: a lot of catches will require the first baseman to stretch. That makes stretching for the ball an absolute necessity in a baseball game.
Will I need any items to be a good first baseman?
Yes! You will definitely need a good first base ready glove. This type of baseball glove will look different to a regular baseball mitt because there are no gaps between the fingers and there are no separate holes for the fingers to slip into.
This provides a better connection for the ball being caught. This allows for a lengthened webbing area, again, allowing for a better catch when at first base.