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First baseman
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First baseman

First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a base runner in order to score a run for that player's team. A first baseman is the player on the team playing defense who fields the area nearest first base, and covers most plays made at that base.

There are six ways a batter can reach first base without getting a hit:

Also entitled 1B, first base, first sacker or cornerman, the first baseman is ideally a tall player with good flexibility. Players who throw lefthanded are preferred at this position for two reasons:

For the above reasons, first base is the only infield position at which naturally lefthanded players typically excel.

When holding a runner on, the first baseman straddles the base with his feet while waiting for the throw. In a fielding play, the first baseman generally stands with his off-glove foot touching the bag, and then stretches toward the throw. This stretch is to decrease the amount of time it takes the throw to get to first, and encourage the umpire to call close plays in favor of the fielding team. The first baseman's glove has an elongated webbing which helps a first baseman to catch throws.

Because the nature of play at first base often requires first baseman to stay close to the bag to hold runners in place or to reach the bag before the batter, first baseman are not typically expected to have the agility and quickness required of middle infielders. As a result of this, and because first basemen are often among the taller players on a team, first basemen are widely expected to be among their teams' stronger hitters, usually with some power.

List of popular players at first base

(*) Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame