Every time a batter gets a base hit, the second baseman has a specific assignment-a spot to run to. This may become one of the baseball highlights of the game. The situation tells him in advance where that spot will be.
any time there is a runner on 1st, 1st and 2nd, or 1st, 2nd, or 3rd and the batter gets a single, there’s only one place for the second baseman to go-2nd base. If there’s no one on and the ball is singled to right, the shortstop takes the base, with the second baseman in a position some 15 feet away in a direct line with the fielder. The second baseman does this to shorten up the outfielder’s throw and make sure that it is handled “clean ไฮไลท์บอล.”
After catching the ball, he runs it into the diamond. If there’s no one on and the ball is singled to left, the reverse applies; second baseman takes the bag and short-stop goes out to get the ball. Now then, if the ball goes for more than a single in the right half of the diamond, the second baseman must hustle to the outfield to help bring the ball in and try to catch the runner.
This is called the “relay” play. It works this way:
as soon as the second baseman realizes that the ball is riding for extra bases, he should turn and run-and really run!-toward the outfielder. If the ball appears to be settling 100 feet beyond the second baseman’s position, he should come to a stop about 50 feet out. Judging depth will be no problem for the second baseman if he starts running immediately, runs hard and says to himself: “I will stop just before the outfielder picks up the ball.”
On receiving the ball from the outfielder, the second baseman should also say to himself, “I am now an outfielder and I must throw like an outfielder; directly overhand and with full power.” This could well be one of the highlights of the game.
When the ball is cracked for extra bases to the left half of the diamond, the second baseman covers 2nd base and the shortstop becomes the relay man. There are two things about the preceding explanation that may arouse some argument. One involves the batted ball that goes for a double. In professional ranks, the second baseman, because of his vast experience and the throwing power of the outfielders, will go directly to the bag on hits to the right side with the shortstop backing up.
With players of up to high school age, it is a much better practice to have the second baseman go to the relay post on all extra base hits to right. This makes up for lack of throwing power on the part of the outfielder and also eliminates the possibility of indecision or confusion on the part of an inexperienced second baseman. (The outfielder, by the way, can still throw directly to 2nd if he so chooses.)
The other point involves the relay itself. Many managers emphasize that the first throw should be the longer of the two relay tosses. This writer has found that the young outfielder has trouble judging distance in this situation and, if anything, the first throw should be somewhat shorter than the second. If the infielder is to have any chance at all, the first throw has to be a hard strike to the infielder’s chest If the first throw is weak, low, or off line, the opportunity for a put-out is lost at the very start of the play.