On September 6, 2000, while playing for the Rangers, Sheldon became the third player in MLB history to play all nine positions in a single game, joining Bert Campaneris (Kansas City Athletics, September 8, 1965), and César Tovar (Minnesota Twins, September 22, 1968).
In order for baseball stats to be as accurate as possible, official baseball scorers all need to evaluate each play by a certain set of rules. In order to keep consistency, official scorers need to mark down the numbered position as the position the player was assigned – not by where he is standing on the field.
Shane Halter was a scrappy utility infielder who broke in with the Royals in 1997. He actually holds the distinction of playing all nine positions at different times and also in the same game. He played eight positions during his Kansas City tenure, then added the final piece, catcher, while playing for Detroit.
Oates said he wanted to reward Sheldon for years of work just getting to the Majors. Sheldon became just the third player to play all nine positions in a Major League game, behind Bert Campaneris of the Kansas City A’s (September 8, 1965) and Cesar Tovar of the Minnesota Twins (September 22, 1968).
A catcher and shortstop’s mobility is limited by being left-handed. While a right-handed thrower will naturally be in the position to get the ball where it needs to be, a left-handed thrower’s awkward range of motion and form adds precious milliseconds to a play in a game where every tiny thing counts.
Each position conventionally has an associated number, for use in scorekeeping by the official scorer: 1 (pitcher), 2 (catcher), 3 (first baseman), 4 (second baseman), 5 (third baseman), 6 (shortstop), 7 (left fielder), 8 (center fielder), and 9 (right fielder).
The shortstop position is between the second base and the third baseman. Its name comes from where it’s located, as it requires the player to stop the short side of the field and act as a cutoff for the left and center fielders. Also seen on box scores and graphics, the shortstop position is labeled SS.
The most demanding position in the infield due to the skills required. The shortstop must have high end ragne, a strong arm and the ability to stand focused on the game and position other fielders. They have responsibilities in cutoffs and covering bases when runners are dancing or trying to steal a base.
Based on statistics and the position’s active involvement in the game, it’s believed that right field is the easiest baseball position to play. This is the case because of the number of balls hit to right field compared to other positions on the field.
This is one method of a double play where the first baseman (3) fields a ground ball, does not step on first base and throws to the shortstop (6) at second base for the force out. After the shortstop steps on the second base, he then returns the throw to the first baseman (3) to complete the double play at first base.
In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the third baseman is assigned the number 5. The third baseman requires good reflexes in reacting to batted balls, as they are often the closest infielder (roughly 90-120 feet) to the batter.
“Batters may ‘steal’ first base on any pitch not caught in flight (the batter can be thrown out if he attempts to run).” Put simply, if there is a wild pitch or passed ball with no runners on base, the batter is allowed to just go for it. He can steal first!
In baseball, a utility player is a player who typically does not have the offensive abilities to justify a regular starting role on the team but is capable of playing more than one defensive position.
In baseball, an unassisted triple play occurs when a defensive player makes all three outs by himself in one continuous play, without his teammates making any assists. Neal Ball was the first to achieve this in Major League Baseball (MLB) under modern rules, doing so on July 19, 1909.
On Sept. 4, 1964, Ken Harrelson of the Kansas City Athletics was credited with starting the custom by wearing a golf glove to protect a blistered hand in a game against the Yankees.
Lefties are ideal for first base because with their glove on their right hand, it makes it easy for them to turn to the base with their glove facing the field. Right-handed first basemen have to take a few extra steps to turn their bodies, which is a disadvantage for them compared to lefties.
The shortstop positions himself between the third baseman and the second-base bag. The shortstop is considered the captain of the infield and takes charge on balls hit in the air as well as communication among infielders.
“Lefties can’t play catcher because your head hangs over home plate when you make a tag.” “You’ve got the ball in your right hand, you’re blocking the plate with your left foot. When you go to make the tag, you’re exposed.
The last left-handed catcher to play in the big leagues was Benny Distefano, who caught three games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1989. Before Distefano, there had only been a handful: Jack Clements, Dale Long and Mike Squires to name a few. Why so few lefties behind the dish?