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Shortstop

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The shortstop (abbreviated SS and position 6 when scoring) is the infielder who plays close to and on the left side of second base. Shortstop is often considered the most important and demanding defensive position aside from pitcher and catcher.

Like other infielders, the shortstop must be agile and able to start and stop running quickly. The shortstop covers a larger area of the infield than the third baseman and makes longer throws than the second baseman. The shortstop is also often the pivot man on ground ball double plays and covers second base on stolen base attempts when the batter tends to hit the ball toward the right side of the infield. The shortstop needs to have as much range as a second baseman and as strong a throwing arm as a third baseman, which is why the position is generally regarded as the most difficult infield position. The shortstop is often the captain of the infield and gives signals to the other infielders about how to position themselves. Many second and third basemen are initially drafted as shortstops and moved to the other position, but it is rare for second or third basemen to be moved to shortstop.

It is believed that Dickey Pearce invented the position of shortstop.

Often in Little League, the best player plays shortstop as the position demands athleticism and range.

[edit] Further Reading

  • Donald Honig: The Greatest Shortstops of All Time, McGraw-Hill College Publishers, New York, NY, 1992. ISBN 0697135055
  • Joseph Werner: "SABR Shortstops: An Analysis of Shortstops Before and During the SABR Era", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 40, Number 2 (Fall 2011), pp. 36-40.

[edit] Related Sites

  • [1] Article on power-hitting shortstops and second basemen in The Hardball Times.
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