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Discover Double Play Numbers Meaning: Useful Definition

Double Play Numbers Meaning

Where there was a time when you listen to a baseball game you heard about a batter grounding into a “6-4-3 double play,” or how about 5-4-3 Double Play. Huh? 6-4-3? 5-4-3 ? Is that the first three digits of the lottery? What are those combinations?

To a new or casual fan, these may sound confusing. Baseball is a fun game, but it has many rules and terminology that might be a bit confusing to the casual fan. When you head to the ballpark or turn the game on television, you want to know what is going on right? No need to worry! This article will clarify that double-number combination that I’m sure will help you to enjoy watching baseball and will let you know about double play numbers meaning.

The Definition Of A Double Play In Baseball (Double Play Numbers Meaning)

This is a “double switch” defensive play in which two players are replaced out. The typical double play consists of the batter hitting a ground ball to the shortstop and a runner on first base. The shortstop collects the ball, makes a throw to second base, who tags out the runner at second base to end the force play. After that, the shortstop tosses the ball to first base, where the runner is tagged out.

Baseball Positions By Number

What do the baseball position numbers mean? They are used to score the game, so each position is designated with a 1-9 number. They go in order, starting with the pitcher as #1; however, the shortstop is out of order–he should be #5 if following the pattern, but instead is #6. The numbers are most typically used, rather than writing the player’s name or the name of the position,

To help you better understand the role of each number, I have attached a chart with their position numbers and valuable role.

PositionPosition Number and Roles
Pitcher#1 – Pitchers have the #1 designation in the baseball scorebook, and they’re in control of the ball and the speed of the game
Catcher#2- Catchers have an extremely demanding role on the team. The catcher must control and corral the pitcher, he has to be physically and mentally quick
1st Base#3- First baseman are the biggest power hitters on a team, and they are typically very big.
2nd Base#4- Second baseman are typically great defensive players. They have to be very quick and agile defenders and have value on the bases.
3rd Base#5- Third baseman have a similar skillset to shortstops, but they’re typically bigger, stronger and more capable of hitting for power.
Short Stop#6- Shortstops are usually the best athletes on the field at all levels of baseball.
Left Field#7- Left fielders need to play excellent outfield defense and thus must be fast and have a great glove.
Centerfield#8- Must be an excellent fielder and the best defensive outfielder on the team. Must be a solid hitter at the plate and a great base runner to utilize speed.
Right Field#9- Right fielders are most commonly known for having rocket launcher arms.

The first thing to understand about the numbers you see in a double play is that these numbers correspond to the player’s defensive position. To find out which defensive players were engaged in a double play, look at the numbers that precede it. When you look at the numbers and the sequence of numbers, they represent the player’s defensive position throughout the play, and the order of the numbers shows how the play was concluded.

baseball positions by number; what are the numbered baseball positions

Most Common Double Plays

The most common double plays in baseball typically occur when a ball is on the ground to an infielder. The three most common double play are the 6-4-3 double play, the 5-4-3 double  play are the 4-6-3 double play. 

What Is A 6-4-3 Double Play?

The 6-4-3 double play is one of the most common double plays in Major League Baseball. This double play is 6-4-3 since it comprises six fielding plays (one by each of the middle infielders) and three throwing plays (one by each of the second baseman and first baseman). The “6-4-3” series of events form a story of the progression from a double play. We know that the shortstop initially fielded the ball since the numbers are arranged.

What is a 4-6-3 Double Play?

You’ll also see a 4-6-3 double play in the big leagues.

The kind of double play in which the second baseman catches the ball throws to the shortstop to get the force out at the second base, and the shortstop fires to the first baseman to get the batter out at first is called a 4-6-3 double play.

What is a 5-4-3 Double Play?

A “round the horn” double play is known as a 5-4-3 double play because the third baseman fields the ball, then tosses the ball to the second baseman, who makes a force out at the second base.

While the 4-6-3 and 6-4-3 double plays are rarer, the 5-4-3 double play is more spectacular to see since it is less frequent.

What is a 3-2-8 Double Play?

One of the most uncommon double plays in an MLB game, the 3-2-8 double play because it was the center fielder who made the second out of the play. When it comes to a double play, the first baseman is responsible for the throw, the catcher for the reception, and the center fielder for the throw.

When seen first, the 3-2-8 double play seems reasonable; however, the centerfielder may be perplexing; he was the runner in the second play of the double play. 

Why Double Plays Are Important – Defensive Perspective

From a defensive viewpoint, whenever you can get two outs on one hit, you have earned a significant edge in baseball. To put an end to a rally, no double play will accomplish it.

Sometimes, when the pitcher is under a great deal of pressure, he’s simply praying that the ball is hit and is handled well by the infielder.

The play that comes to mind that destroys a rally is a double play when the bases are loaded, and there is one out. The ability to get a double space in this situation is enormous and a game-changer.

This keeps a team in the game and reduces the big inning. The double play is both helpful in minimizing the big inning and getting outs. It serves to keep a pitcher in the game, as well as if a double play ends an inning, the momentum immediately shifts in the other direction.

The double play is an essential play for a player, and when it can be turned, it gives you an energy and a sense that you still have a chance to win.

Hitting into a double play was the worst-case scenario. Helping your team throughout the at-bat may be challenging but also an essential aspect of the game. Speed is vital in the game, even if you’ve covered a greater distance than someone else, that additional step may save outs and result in more runs. A strong defense requires the third baseman to be a player of great importance.

How To Turn Double Plays

Baseball has been around for a long time, and people have played it and coached it for a long time. Developing critical abilities to turn double plays in the infield is essential. It includes the following:

  • Soft, Quick Hands
  • Quick Release and Strong Arm
  • Proper Footwork

Soft, Quick Hands

To be able to field ground balls, catch them in the gut region, and then swiftly deliver or throw it for the first out, a player must be able to do these things. To say you’re an excellent infielder, you must have soft hands.

Catching a baseball is similar to seeing an egg in terms of difficulty. Your goal is to maintain soft and relaxed hands while funneling the ball. Bring the ball closer to your body, then swiftly grasp it before placing it where you wish. “Stone” hands mean that the player will pass the ball straight off, and the play will be spoiled.

Quick Release and Strong Arm

Infielders must be able to hit and throw the ball fast. The player needs to sprint from 60-90 feet away; we don’t have to look at the ball all day and be sluggish in getting rid of it. We must bustle since we’re trying to achieve two objectives: obtaining an out and advancing the runner. Infielders must practice catching the ball, positioning their bodies, and then quickly and accurately transferring the ball to the proper base.

Proper Footwork

Correct footwork is required for the shortstop (6) and 2nd baseman (4) near the second base. To be a good catcher, one must be able to lightly catch the ball, have a fast release, and be comfortable placing their feet while doing so.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are watching or participating, everyone can enjoy baseball. Baseball is a good metaphor for summertime because of the slower speed of the game and the fact that we can appreciate the surroundings and the weather while watching the game.

To be a good player, go out to practice and do the exercises that are shown above. The secret to maintaining soft hands and shifting quickly is to find ways to keep working on them.

Being in the infield means more participation than being in the outfield. Be aware that you will need to improve your abilities if you aim to be an exceptional infielder. Finally, show respect for the game and treat opponents and teammates with courtesy. All who play should enjoy themselves.