Double Play Baseball Numbers: What do the Numbers Mean in a Double Play?

In baseball, a double play is one of those plays which have a great impact. It mainly occurs when the defense produces 2 outs of 3 during half of an inning in one play. It is also known as ”twin killing”. Double play is helpful for pitchers to get them out of tenacious situations.

What is the process of a Double Play?

The numbers in the double play, play the role of a certain number that is given to the fielder that decides which defensive position they play in the field. This is the list of the numbers in a double play.

  1. Pitcher (P) 
  2. Catcher (C) 
  3. First Baseman (1B) 
  4. Second Baseman (2B) 
  5. Third Baseman(3B) 
  6. Shortstop (SS) 
  7. Left Fielder (LF) 
  8. Center Fielder (CF) 
  9. Right Fielder (RF)
  10. Short fielder or Rover

These numbers portray the order of the fielders. There are several patterns of numbers used during the game. Some will be discussed below:

Here’s what happened during the play:

The numbers also tell us in which order the players caught/ touched and received the ball. There are multiple ways to use the written numbers above.

The main thing is that beauty of the game is that however, the game is, the numbers can be used in several different ways which indicates that even if the numbers are only 10, they have hundreds of ways of usage.

What is a 6-4-3 double play?

In a double play, 6-4-3 is the most common pattern of numbers that you will see. According to the numbers, 6 is the shortstop (SS) and 4 is the second baseman and 3 is the first baseman. In 6-4-3, the runner is on the first base, and the batter hits the ball to the shortstop (SS).

The shortstop will pass the ball to the second baseman (2B). Then 2B will stand on the base and pass the ball to the first base where 1B will catch it before the batter reaches the base. The pattern is like this:

SS -> 2B -> 1B.

What is a 4-6-3 double play?

4-6-3 is another common pattern seen during a double play. It is quite similar to 6-4-3. The main difference is that in 6-4-3, 2B passes the ball to 1B but in 4-6-3, 2B passes the ball to Shortstop (SS) who is on the second base instead of 1B. Then, SS would pass the ball to 1B. The pattern is:

2B -> SS -> 1B.

What is a 5-4-3 double play?

5-4-3 is referred to as going ”around the horn” and occurs when the runner is on first base and the ball is going to be passed to 3B.

Then, the 3B will pass the ball towards the second base where 2B will be standing and it will pass the ball to the first base for the second out so that it reaches before the runner. The pattern is:

3B -> 2B -> 1B.

What is a 5-6-3 double play?

This double play describes the role of the position numbers in scoring during the game. This can sometimes look identical to other double plays.

But in 5-6-3, instead of 2B covering the second base, SS will cover it and 3B will pass the ball to SS who will then tag the second base and pass the baseball to the first base for the second out. The pattern is:

3B -> SS -> 1B.

What is a 3-2-8 double play?

This double play is somewhat considered unique. 8 is the center fielder is not the final player who comes to the field to cover the base during a rundown scenario.

In this play, 1B fields the ball to throw it to the catcher who then throws it to the CF for either a tag out or a second force. This play is not played out a lot of time so you can consider yourself lucky if you see this game.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does there always have to be three numbers when scoring a double play?

The simple answer is no, there are no limitations to the number of numbers used in double plays. A scorekeeper has a way to tell the story about the game by using either a large portion of numbers or a few numbers.

What is an unassisted double play?

An unassisted double play is one in which the indication to the fielder is done, like where the fielder caught the line drive or tagged a runner and then stepped on the bag from which the runner passed.

Are there other types of double play?

In rundown situations where a lot of fielders get involved, you can see different variations of double play such as 3-2-5-4-2-8-6. The pattern is 1B -> C -> 3B -> 2B -> C -> CF -> SS. Another type is the ” strike out, throw out ”.

What is the rarest double play in baseball?

In baseball, no double is considered to be rare though some are unique but not rare. But unassisted double plays can be considered rare in some way.

What is the most common double play in baseball?

6-4-3 and 4-6-3 are the most common double plays that can be seen on the diamond. These can occur anytime when the runner is on first base and the baseball is to be passed to the middle.

Who made the first double-play ever?

In 1902, the first double play was considered by Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Colts. There was a trio who was known to play double play which included, Second Baseman Jhonny Evers, Colt Shortstop Joe Tinker, and First Baseman Frank Chance.

How many outs are made in double play?

As the name is a double play, so two outs are made in a double play.


In baseball, there are different types of double plays with different patterns. The most common patterns are 6-4-3 and 4-6-3. Also, 5-4-3 and 5-6-3 are somewhat common as well. But the unique double play pattern is 3-2-8.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *