That's right! It's time to talk baseball!
Today, I want to go over some basic baseball lingo that you can start using right away. I was about to write some posts on some of the rules of the game and I realized I might need to back up and lay a nice foundation to build our baseball house on first.
So! Let's get started with your vocabulary lesson for the day...
Take a look at the field and the positions... (awesome image from momsteam.com)
Notice all of the positions of the defense (the guys who play out in the field while the hitter/batter is hitting):
Pitcher: The guy who throws the ball for the hitter to hit. He stands on the pitcher's mound.
First Baseman: The guy who stands nearest first base
Second Baseman: The guy who stands between first and second base
Shortstop: The guy who stands between second base and third base
Third Baseman: The guy who stands nearest third base
Catcher: The guy who...um...catches. =) He squats behind home and catches the pitches.
Right Fielder: The guy who stands out in the outfield, on the right side, behind the 2nd Baseman
Center Fielder: The guy who stands out in the outfield, right in the middle, behind 2nd base itself
Left Fielder: The guy who stands out in the outfield, on the left side, behind the Shortstop
Now, you're about to learn how to sound cool...
Notice the numbers next to their names in the diagram. They are:
Pitcher - 1
Catcher - 2
First Baseman - 3
Second Baseman - 4
Third Baseman - 5 (it's tricky...it seems the shortstop should be next, but he's after the third baseman in the numbers)
Shortstop - 6
Left Fielder - 7
Center Fielder - 8
Right Fielder - 9
Ever heard someone say, "That was a 4-6-3 double play" or something similar? Well, now, you can know what that means! A 4-6-3 (this is said "Four, six, three") double play means the second baseman (4) got the ball. He threw it to the shortstop (6) for an out, and then the shortstop threw it to first (3) for another out. It went 4-6-3. If you hit a ground ball to the third baseman and he throws you out at first, that's a 5-3.
Let me assure you...you will rise to a whole new level of "amazing" in your sports-loving-friends' eyes if you are watching a game and say, "UGH! Another 5-4-3 double play for the Rangers!" They'll die, which will make conversation difficult...but they'll come back to life and love you more than ever.
Update: I meant to say this yesterday but forgot...
The reason the numbers exist is to help the score keepers. They can't fit "ground ball to the shortstop, he threw to first" or something similar for each batter, so they found a "short-hand" of sorts. They can write 6-3 instead. Or F9 ("F" stands for Fly Out). Or P4 ("P" stands for "Pop Up"). Etc, etc, etc. Get it?