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FIELDING: Infielder's Shovel Toss

Infielder's Shovel Toss

There are many instances where the underhand shovel toss is the proper throw for an infielder.

The first baseman shovels the ball to the pitcher covering first base. The middle infielders use the underhand toss for plays around second base. As the fielder fields the ball he doesn't stand straight up but keeps his knees bent. His palm is up and his wrist is firm with his elbow in. His glove hand is by his side so as not to "hide" the ball from the player who will catch it. He "shows" the ball to his partner to give him time to track the ball.

He steps with his left foot and releases the ball with a firm throw at the teammate's chest. He keeps his knees bent as he releases the ball and "walks behind" the ball to insure accuracy. He should not stand up because the ball will have a tendency to sail.

Drill this play by lining up the infielders at shortstop and hitting sharp ground balls to them and they shovel toss the ball to a player at second base. For first basemen this is also a part of Pitchers Fielding Practice. If this play is ignored, the tendency is for the players to stand up as they underhand the ball. Drill it several times in the off season.

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