First Base - The Gateway To Plus or Minus 90 Feet


#1

Ever watch a game where the throw by an infielder is either too short, or too high, or way over to the left or right of the first baseman? Ever notice how that seems to open the flood gates for more errors?, And if that wasn’t enough, errors will add to a pitch count instantly, with no end in sight.

A good first baseman knows this, and in turn will produce a good target for his infielders to throw at.

Watch a first baseman, at any game, where the first baseman’s mitt is held down at, or below, his belt line. Notice how, more often than not, the incoming flight of the ball seems to be very low, or even worse, scooped out of the dirt. A first baseman that constantly maintains this glove posture, offers no real target for infielders to throw at, especially throws from third or short.

Why?

Because these throws are usually done under a lot of pressure. In less than 2 or 3 seconds, these infielders must gain solid possession of the ball, grip the ball so as not to put an undo influence on it, release the ball so it has a true and direct flight to first. If the arc is too low, scooping the ball out of the dirt eats up valuable tenths of a second that the runner can beat. Don’t forget, varsity and above, base runners can make contact with the ball, uncoil, and make it to first base in 4.00-4.50 seconds, or less in some cases. Not much time for a fielding unit to waste valuable time. And time relationships - distance and time, and time and distance, is what the fielding unit is constantly fighting.

So, make sure your first baseman knows enough to hold his mitt up, at least cap high, so as to give a clear, visible target.

Coach B.