First baseman

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The position of the first baseman

First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a base runner in order to score a run for that player's team. A first baseman is the player on the team playing defense who fields the area nearest first base, and covers most plays made at that base. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the first baseman is assigned the number 3.

There are seven main ways a batter can reach first base without getting a hit:

  • Reaching base on a fielding error;
  • Receiving a base on balls as a hitter;
  • Being hit by a pitch while batting;
  • Reaching base on a fielder's choice;
  • Reaching base due to the catcher obstructing his swing while batting (catcher's interference); and
  • A dropped third strike with two outs and/or an unoccupied first base, with the batter reaching first base before being tagged or thrown out.
  • runner interference, a ground ball hits a runner, who is called out and the batter is awarded first base
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The first baseman tries unsuccessfully to keep his foot on the base while receiving a throw from an infielder

Also entitled 1B, first base, first sacker or cornerman, the first baseman is ideally a tall player with good flexibility. The flexibility is needed for two main reasons. The first baseman receives throws from other infielders, the catcher and the pitcher after they have fielded ground balls. He must be able to stretch to the ball before the runner gets to the base on close plays. Also, first base is often referred to as "the other hot corner"—the "hot corner" being third base—and he must have reflexes to field the hardest hit balls down the foul line, mainly by left-handed batters.

Players who throw left-handed are preferred at this position because after catching a batted ball, or a ball thrown by the catcher or pitcher, they do not have to turn before throwing the ball to another base.

When there is no runner on first base, the first baseman usually stands behind first base, about 10 feet off the foul line. When there is a runner on first base, the first baseman may stand in front of the base to prepare for a "pick-off" attempt. In a fielding play, the first baseman generally stands with his off-glove foot touching the base, and then stretches toward the throw. This stretch is to decrease the amount of time it takes the throw to get to first, and encourage the umpire to call close plays in favor of the fielding team. The first baseman may have the responsibility of cutting off errant throws from the outfield to home plate. The first baseman's glove is elongated, has a wide webbing, and no individual fingers. This design makes it efficient at trapping errant throws, particularly those which bounce.

Because the nature of play at first base often requires first baseman to stay close to the bag to hold runners in place or to reach the bag before the batter, first baseman are not typically expected to have the speed, agility and quickness required of infielders and outfielders. As a result of this, and because first basemen are often among the taller players on a team, first basemen are widely expected to be among their teams' stronger hitters. Template:BaseballPositions

List of popular players at first base


* Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
   Bold indicates a currently active player

Note: Shawn Green played 1st base while with the Dodgers for most of 2004 season.

ja:ファーストベースマン zh:一壘手


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