The Ole Ball Game

When a coach yells four to his outfielder where should he throw the ball?

by Joe

Flyball Leftfield Runner On Third

Flyball Leftfield Runner On Third

Joe asked: When a coach yells 4 to his outfielder, where should he throw the ball?

Rick answered: Joe, thank you for your question.

When a coach, or another player, is yelling 4 with runners on base and a ball put in play, they are telling the player the ball has been hit to, to throw it to home plate.

If they want the ball to be thrown to first base, they will yell out 1.

Ball to second base, 2 and ball to third base, 3.

As you look at the diagrams above, there is a runner on third in each of them. The situation covered in each of these is, a fly ball to the left fielder, one to the center fielder and one to the right fielder. There would be less than 2 outs.

The coach, infielders and outfielders would be yelling 4, to help the outfielder know where to go with the ball, as well as set the infielders in motion for cutoffs and base coverage.

The number indicates the base to be thrown to; but as you see in the diagram, outfielders are taught to throw the ball through the cutoff man's head, so that he is able to cut the ball off if it is too late, and possibly get another runner out, if there had been other runners on base as well.

The picture above is a ball hit to left field, the runner is coming to third base and starting to make his turn.

The third baseman is moving into position to be the cutoff if needed, and the shortstop is coming to third base, in case there is a play that needs to be made there.

On a baseball field, anytime a ball is hit somewhere, everyone on the defense should have a location that they are quickly moving to.

The saying is,"if you aren't moving somewhere, you are wrong".

Yours in baseball,


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Louisville Sluggers. 1920's

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