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Baseball Trivia Question: in 1982, how many bases did Rickey Henderson steal?
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First Base-1B

Second base-2B

Third Base-3B

Short Stop-SS

Left Field-LF

Center Field-CF

Right Field-RF

Catcher-C

Pitcher-P

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CF – A Center Fielder who reacts quickly and runs extremely well can be a game saver by taking away that “sure double” into a scorebook fly out. Add a strong throwing arm and you have a potential gold glover. The CF has to be able to cover from the RF gap to the LF gap. Your Center fielder is your "go get 'em" guy on your team. Speed and ability to read the ball are important, usually more so than throwing ability.

Beginner: If you have a player who pays attention to the game and can catch a routine fly ball, you have a CF. don’t worry about speed or range as a beginner, if they can catch, that is good enough to start. Teach your CF to play deep and to react to every ground ball that is hit as if they expect the infielder to miss the ball. It is much easier to play any outfield position when the ball is in front of you and not over your head. Never have your cener fielder attempt to make an out on a batted ball at 1st base. This is a natural tendency, to try and get the out at first as if they were playing an infield position. It is nearly an impossible task, even on a one-hopper with a slow runner. Instead, get the ball to the middle infielders as quickly as possible. This simple rule will minimize the runners advancing more than and other possible play. Never, never, never thow the ball to the pitcher from the outfield. This is almost a guaranteed overthrow. It will also cause most coaches grey hair. In the outfield, any ball the CF can reach belongs to the center fielder. Coach them to play deep so that they can come in on the ball, which is a much easier play than trying to catch a ball running away from the infield. Playing deep also limits the number of extra base hits, but will give up more bloop singles. Shade the center fielder to the field the batter is most likely to hit to. Right handed batters tend to pull the ball more often to left field and left handed batters will hit more often to right field.
Intermediate: hitting the cutoff man on balls to the wall and learning to make a proper one-hop throw to 2B and 3B. on a ball hit to the wall, the throwing distance is too great for most players to reach on the strength of their own arm. A strong low throw to the cutoff man is the fastest and most reliable means of limiting a runners extra bases. Have the outfielder start in their normal position, then have coach throw or hit a ball to the outfield fence. The outfielder retrieves the ball and throws to the cutoff man (2B or SS). On a ball hit to the outfield and played in front of the fielder, the throw should be to an infielder positioned on a base. If the lead runner is rounding 1st base, the throw goes to 2B. if the lead runner is rounding 2B, the throw goes to 3B. to minimize overthrows, teach the outfielders to throw the ball on one or two hops to the infielder. This way, the throw is low where the tag play will be. Also, throw the ball to the outside of the bag so the ball does not bounce off the runner away from the fielder. A good drill for throwing one-hoppers is the hat drill. Players pair off, a distance equal to the base paths or greater, then place their hat on the ground. Have the players back up 5 or 6 steps from their hat. Making strong low throws, aim for the teammates hat. The teammate receive the throw can work on receiving and making a tag on an imaginary runner. Once live pitching is introduced, pay careful attention to the batter's ability to keep up with the pitch. You may need to shift the center away from the "pull" field to the "off field" if they can't get around on the pitch.
Advanced: Knowing the batters, and their hitting tendencies, can greatly improve the center fielders positioning. For power hitters, play deeper, and usually shaded to the pull side gap. For slap hitters, play shallow, and possibly to the off field. Communication with your infielders can also assist in the positioning to a more likely spot. The shortstop and second baseman can relay the catcher's pitch call to the outfielders, who can then subtley shift according to the pitch and pitch location. If a pitcher is throwing a fastball away, shift to the off-field a few steps. On a fast ball inside, the batter is more likely to pull the ball and more likely to jammed. If you have confidence in your pitcher to throw the ball where the pitch is called, move in slightly. Being familiar with the hitters can put you in the right area. Adjusting to the pitch can give you an extra step on the ball..
  The Dream Play: The dream play for the Center Fielder is a long deep fly ball over their shoulder. After a long run, the center fielder makes the catch with their back facing the plate. For dramatic flair, add a dive landing on the warning track! This play shows of the blazing speed of the field and the great “jump” on the ball that great fielders seem to have.

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To comment on any of these baseball tips please send us an email.  Baseball is a tremendously enjoyable game for kids to play.  These baseball coaching tips are provided to make the game easier to coach and increase the skill level of your baseball players.  This website is dedicated to the advancement of minor baseball players. It is about developing the fundamental skills of young baseball players by providing them instruction and coaching appropriate to their age and skill level.

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Baseball Trivia Answer: 130

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