The Abbreviations for Baseball Positions

Little leaguer holding ball
A baseball pitcher. (Image: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

For those who are not familiar with baseball, it can be difficult when watching it or looking through statistics to know what the abbreviations mean for each position. Before watching a game or attempting to browse through statistics, you will need a general knowledge of each position and its common abbreviation to make the game more enjoyable.


In baseball, all positions are defensive except for one offensive position. The only offensive position in baseball is batter, when it is a player's turn to step up to home plate. The defensive positions that involve the bases are first base, second base, shortstop and third base. The infield, abbreviated IF, consists of these four positions. The abbreviation for first base is 1B, second base is 2B and third base is 3B. Also, the abbreviation for shortstop, which lines up between second base and third base, is SS. The responsibilities of these positions include catching balls that are hit by the batter and catching balls that are thrown by other fielders.


The pitcher is the most important defensive player in baseball. The abbreviation for the pitcher is simply P. The pitcher has two main responsibilities, the biggest of which differs from other positions. The pitcher pitches the ball to the batter, and then fields any balls near the center of the baseball diamond.


The catcher is another defensive position and is also the only one of its kind in the game. The abbreviation for the catcher is simply C. The catcher has to catch, or at the very least block, all pitches from the pitcher or hits and pop-ups from the batter in the vicinity of the catcher's position, which is just behind home plate in foul territory; the catcher also occasionally can throw out an opposing team's base runner who is trying to steal a base. Catchers also give signals to the pitcher for what kind of pitch to make.


In baseball the outfield, abbreviated OF, consists of three regions. These regions are center field, left field and right field, abbreviated CF, LF and RF respectively. The responsibility of the outfielders is to catch or chase down any balls that are hit by the batter into the outfield and make a return throw, if necessary, to a base or another infielder.


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