How To Play Second Base
You Are "The Keystone Kid"
The play making abilities which all coaches look for in placement of the player to handle the demanding action at second base as a baseball second baseman are numerous but here are the most prevalent things to be sure about.
Let me just list some for starters:
Here we go with some explanation providing wisdom to those attributes needed on how to play second base by a good second baseman or second sacker or if you like the little fireball who plays the "keystone" of the infield.
The playing of 2nd base and knowing how to play second base is the vital cog (primary lynch pin) which makes those double plays work like a charm. When he fields the hard hit grounder by movement getting in front of the ball, his body is not facing the second base bag. Great balance and quick footwork is required to turn his body. The quick foot movement, turning his body and making a right on the button throw to his shortstop covering the bag, who relays the ball to first for the twin killing.
New scenario this time. The ball is hit to the shortstop. The second baseman is now the relay man to make that rifle shot to first to finish the double play. There are two separate lines of schooling as to how a second baseman should execute the tag of the base and the relay throw to first base. The first way is to take the throw from the shortstop tagging the bag and stepping on through toward third base and whipping the throw side arm or submarine style over to the first baseman. The second method is to take the throw from shortstop tagging the bag with one foot and stepping back away from the bag and letting fly with the ball to first base, again completing the double play.
During each of the twin killing plays properly executed by the second baseman , one thing becomes very obvious regarding the throw from second base on over to first in ample time to beat that fleet footed runner coming from home to first base. Stout and good upper body strength is a must in order to put some zip or steam on that throw. Visualize if you will and the next time out there on the diamond practice those throws from second base. The execution and timing that dictates the throw is entirely done by upper body strength because the body is in no position to add gusto and heft to the throw.
Super quick reflexes are almost self explanatory, have you ever seen the little second sacker lay out grab that hot grounder heading into right field, come to his feet, quicker than a scalded cat can jump, twist his body while in the air, zing the throw to first and nip that speedy runner by an eyelash?
The above scenario is the very essence of what it takes to know and execute how to play second base.
Do you know what the base runner coming from first to second, when a double play is in progress, has on his mind? Interrupt or delay that relay throw from second base to first base; therefore, stopping the double play. Think for a moment what protection does the second baseman have when taking a throw tagging a bag and getting ready to release his throw to first. He is a very vulnerable easy target for some hard sliding hero athlete to take him down in a heap thus breaking up the chance for that twin killing.
Now you see intimidation of collision and body contact has to be part of how to play second base requires playing with mental and physical toughness. A timid second baseman is useless in executing double play handling of the how to play second base job. This is not to say that the baseball second baseman should have no retort toward these sliding dynamos coming to take him out of the play.
A tough and ready second baseman can build a reputation around the league if he has the mettle and stamina to back his play with one word tough, hard nosed, tit for tat , give and take. Some of the tactics a second baseman should use to send a loud and clear signal throughout the league of play. No 1- When a base runner by design is going to blast through the bag sending the second baseman sprawling like a sack of shucks then the baseball second baseman should leap high into the air and come down, spikes first, onto the legs of the barreling base runner.
Another clear signal all second basemen knowing hot to play second base should broadcast to the league is simply this. If they want their hair parted right down the middle then keep on coming high and hard. This part of how to play as a baseball second baseman is a mind set thing not neccesarily a playing skill.
This mental toughness thing on how to play second base is a very important part of what is needed to hang around that second sack for it is the centerpiece of much traffic and action.
Instead of coming in high and hard they will all soon get the message to start their slide early and low; otherwise, the little baseball being turned loose by the second sacker will greet them right between their running lights. This is how to play second base and this part of the game is game tough but often is a necessary defence for the baseball second baseman to protect himself and his play at the keystone.
Body control is to throw with power from any position and make the throw with authority and nip advancing runners. A second baseman has no throw anytime whereby he has the luxury of taking his time, setting his feet, straightening his body and throw out a runner. If he goes to his left, fielding a hard hit grounder in the hole between the baseball second baseman and the first baseman, is it not an awkward body position throwing to first?
A man is on first and third and the hitter is a right hand hitter: the runner on first takes off to steal. The catcher makes the throw to second base being covered by the second baseman and the runner at third heads home. The baseball second baseman is in no ideal position to make that throw home with any real authority on the peg, unless he has very strong body control and throwing power.
Coaches, scouts and fans should choose your All-Star baseball second baseman should keep a keen eye out and seek out players which have abilities far more than that which meets the eye by a casual observance.
Starting the Double Play Action
Fair is fair just as you want your shortstop teammate to give you timely and well placed throws for you to handle easily in relaying the throw for the twin killing give him the same courtesy.
A soft lazy throw is not timely so do not be guilty of this mistake it does two things it kills the double play odds plus it sets your shortstop up for the hurt locker by having to wait and get pummeled into left field by big boy coming full steam to second base.
The rifle shot throw, unmanageable by reflective reaction time for your teammate playing the shortstop slot is folly, and self defeating for execution of the twin killing to be successful.
Practice and more practice with your shortstop is what makes the double play duo of shortstop and second baseman a choreography of poetry in motion for turning those double plays routinely and beautifully.
Was it Tinker To Evers To Chance which made the double play and how to play second base as a vital part of the middle infield action a thing of legendary talk to be remembered?
Here is one very insightful little tidbit of information brought to my attention only recently. We all know the color barrier breakthrough for black players to play in the National and American Major Leagues was a major item every time each black player was added to a Major League team roster.
The last holdout in Major League baseball for adding a black player to their team was the Boston Red Sox and the player filling the last vestige of major league denial was a Baseball Second Baseman his name Pumpsie Green.
Now join us in learning the five essential elements of Baseball Hitting as you leave How To Play Second Base.
Batter Up----Let's Play Ball....
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