Tuesday, September 20, 2016
How Do You Play Baseball With Five Players?
We always tried to play nine-on-nine as kids but it was more common to have 10-12 kids show up at the park to play. How did we do it? The normal rule was right-field-out. Any ball hit to that side of second base was an automatic out.
Really? Could that work? We always played slow-pitch to keep the action going, so it wasn't a problem pulling the ball. Two rare occurrence in our game were (1) someone hitting to right field and (2) someone striking out. There were no walks either.
We only needed five per side to play this way. If we had five per team, another common rule came into play. It was called pitcher's-hand-out. Some of the biggest arguments involved this rule since it was difficult to watch both the runner heading to first and the pitcher's mound.
The five would play pitcher, shortstop, third base, left field and center field (really left-center). The pitcher was responsible for covering home plate. In emergencies (four players, bathroom break, a mom yelling at one of her kids, etc.) the team batting could supply the pitcher.
Why I am rambling about the good old days? I've only got five players with Kellogg's cards whose last names start with the letter "E".
Dwight Evans will play third base.
Mike Epstein will play third base.
Mike Easler will play left field.
Dennis Eckersley will pitch.
Dock Ellis will play center field. That might not be the best move, but this team is certainly not going to be getting gold gloves at these positions. This team probably only has a chance playing a different version of baseball that we played with 2-3 on a team. It was similar to home run derby, so only a few fielders were necessary.