What is third base? Third base is the final base on the field before home plate. If you’re hitting, you hate it, if you are fielding, you love it. It gives you a last resort on the field, a last place to throw, a place where you stop an opposing runner. All you need to get the out at third is a good arm and a solid third baseman.
Some necessary skills for a third baseman are good footwork, a good arm and a determination to get the out at first. All of this is necessary to get the out to or from third. A third baseman needs to know how to prepare for the pitch, and most of the prep you must do is the prep step. It requires you to step with your left then right foot, then follow that up with a short jump.
Doing this allows you to have a better starting position at fielding the ground ball. It’s called the hot corner for a reason. Not only does a pre-pitch move allow you to be more agile, it lets you have a certain spring on the ball and an extra jump and advantage.
What equipment do you need to play third? For starters, you need a good infield glove and cleats. You will also need a hat to show off the team’s colors as well as keeping out the sun. Playing third base is very fun, but it poses some risk to the third baseman. You can get hurt getting in the way of the runner as well as missing a throw. Both of these events can be stopped with enough practice.
When making a tag from a steal or a runner progressing from second base, always make sure that you are able to catch the ball with your glove hand and you can straddle the bag in a way so that you will not interfere with the runner. Standing in front of the bag at third base will never help you, it will always be ruled as an interference and the runner will be able to walk to home, so make sure you are standing on the side of the base ready to make the tag.
The most common play at third is a hard ground ball so always be ready to field and receive the ball. Always start with a prep step then take a few steps, field the ball in front of your body, take one athletic step towards first base and make an accurate throw. The ideal ball path has little to no arc, we call it a frozen rope. If you can do this effectively you will be a fine third baseman.
You also have to make sure you have the ability to catch a pop-up. If the short stop doesn’t call it you must give it your all to catch that ball. If you catch the ball you will receive praise! But if you miss it you could end up with a ball shaped mark on your head. You also need the range to catch foul balls and line drives across your body. You don’t have to be fast, but you do need to be quick.
This is a basic instruction on how to play third base, make sure to receive personal instruction before going on the diamond. We would strongly recommend an instructor from Oahu Baseball Academy for your training.