Baseball For Beginners

If you’re like me, the classic American sport of baseball may be a game that has often escaped the grasp of common comprehension. But fret not! For we’re here to enlighten you on the wonders of America’s favorite pastime with a set of concise notes to give you an idea of the basic rules and positions in baseball. 

What Are The Positions In Baseball?

The above image shows the various different positions (and their abbreviations) of the positions on a typical baseball team. You should commit these positions to memory as knowing the positions and the way they relate to each other can help you understand the role of each one as you watch a play unfold.

You may also be able to understand why some positions are more vital than others, or why some players are more suited for a certain position. 

How To Make Outs In Baseball

To start, you should be aware that outs are one of the most important and fundamental elements of baseball. Think of outs as baseball’s currency. It’s equivalent of time, if you will. You will only ever get 27 outs in a single game, so the offensive team should always strive to avoid them while the defending team getting outs.

Here are some of the most common plays/misplay that may make an out in baseball:

  • A fielder successfully catching your fair or foul ball before it touches the ground. An exception to this rule is only when the ball is a foul tip to the catcher with less than two strikes.
  • Likewise, if you hit a foul tip (a ball caught by the catcher off your bat) for strike three, that’s an out.
  • After hitting the ball, you or the first base is tagged before you manage to touch the base.
  • The umpire calls three strikes during your at-bat. This is regardless of whether you swing or not.
  • A ball that you hit fair touches your bat a second time while you’re in fair territory.
  • You obstruct a fielder’s throw while running outside the foul lines.
  • You intentionally/accidentally obstruct the catcher from fielding or throwing.
  • You hit the ball with one or both feet placed outside the batter’s box.
  • You step from one batter’s box to another as the pitcher winds up.
  • You touch your own fairly batted ball as you run from home to first base.

The above list is just some of the more common ways that can help you follow the action on the field, as well as understanding why a hitter who just made one is showing frustration and why the pitcher is jumping for joy.

How To Make It To A Base In Baseball

On the flip side, getting to the base is a batter’s primary task when they step up onto the field. The first step in doing this is to score runs. This is one of the ways to win in baseball, as well as lose.

  • Before it touches the ground, you hit a fair ball that isn’t caught by a fielder.
  • After it touches the ground, you hit a fair ball that is caught by a fielder whose throw fails to beat you to a base.
  • Four pitches were called out of the strike zone by the umpire during your at-bat.
  • A pitch in the strike zone hits you without touching your bat first.
  • The catcher obstructs your swing.
  • You send a fair ball beyond the playing field for a home run.
  • You hit a fair, catchable ball, but the fielder drops the ball and throws it away.
  • A third strike skips past the catcher and you beat the throw to first.

How To Get An Out On The Base Paths For Baseball Players

After a baseball player has hit a fair ball and reaches base, one of a few things can happen — but the worst of them is getting put out.

Here are some of the most common ways for base runners to suffer that unfortunate fate:

  • You’re on the same base together with a teammate while the ball is still alive i.e. the second runner is out.
  • You pass a preceding runner on the base paths.
  • You miss a base and the defence notices it and gets the ball to the fielder closest to that base for a tag.
  • A fielder tags you with a ball that is alive while you’re off base. 
  • Your teammate hits a ball that touches you in fair territory without being first touched or passing by any fielder except the pitcher.
  • You hinder a fielder from making a play.
  • A batted ball forces you to advance to another base, and the fielder possessing the ball tags that base before you reach it.

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