Let’s take a look at the responsibilities
of the first baseman. His first obligation is, of course, to guard first base in the
event he winds up on the right side of the field, splits the right side of the field
with the second baseman. Again, everything determined by the batter’s prospective. You
line up before the pitch, ready to field the ball if it’s hit within your general area.
If it’s hit too far to your right, generally you will allow the second baseman to field
the ball because your primary responsibility is to come here and cover first base to get
the out. If you get the ball in your glove before the runner touches first base, you
get the out. If not, he’s safe and you’ve got a runner on. Now if that runner does get
on, as a first baseman, you have to hold him. That means while the pitcher is making his
wind up rather than lining up there in your normal area, you’re actually kind of putting
your foot on the bag and stretching out, waiting to take the throw in case the pitcher wants
to pick him off. Now, as you can see, I’m a right-handed fielder which puts me at a
little bit of an awkward position here trying to hold a runner on because if I field, it’s
very difficult for me to get back and tag him like this. So it’s more advantageous for
a first baseman to be left-handed. Doesn’t necessarily have to be; Mark Mcguire was a
very effective right-handed first baseman. But most of your major league first basemen
will be left-handed because it’s more advantageous for them on pick offs. Now, another responsibility
the first baseman has is cutting the throw off from right field on a play at the plate.
So that’s going to mean that the first baseman will run out to about right here. As the right
fielder will field the ball, he’ll provide a target, “hit me, hit me, hit me.” You’ll
field the ball, turn, and make a throw to home plate to record an out at the plate if
there’s a runner trying to score from third and the ball’s hit to right field. And that’s
just about all the responsibilites for a first baseman.