How to Play Third Base in Baseball

If you want to learn how to play third base in baseball, you will need to have quick reflexes and be able to make strong throws across the diamond. Third base is called the “hot corner” because many of the hardest hit balls in the game are to third base and the third baseman must be able to make quick decisions. A player who will play third base is one of the toughest players on the field.

  1. Position yourself a few steps to the left of and a few steps behind the third base bag. Keep your stance wide and your glove low to the ground to be prepared for a ball hit your way.
  2. Be prepared for a ball to be hit hard to you. When you play third base, you will need to have extremely quick reflexes , as you won't usually have much time to position yourself in front of a hit baseball.
  3. Learn to make a backhanded play on a ball down the third base line. When a ground ball is hit down the foul line, you will have your momentum going the opposite direction of your glove hand. Keep your eye on the ball and follow it into your glove, catching it in the webbing to keep it from popping out.
  4. Plant your feet before making a throw to first base. Many people playing third base make throwing errors when they try to throw too soon. When your feet are planted, you can make a more accurate throw to first.

Tip: Be prepared to hang on to a ball and not make an out attempt at first if you had to make a tough play and would need to rush a throw. A lot of times the third baseman’s job is to keep the ball in the infield and keep runs from scoring and runners from advancing.


Scala, Don. "One on One Baseball:  The Fundamentals of the Game and How to Keep it Simple for Easy Instruction." 2009.

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