Left fielder

In baseball, a left fielder (LF) is an outfielder who plays defense in left field. Left field is the area of the outfield to the left of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the left fielder is assigned the number 7.

Baseball LF
The position of the left fielder

Position description

Rickey Henderson and Eddie Murray, 1983
Hall of fame left fielder Rickey Henderson attempting a steal. Henderson holds both the single season and career stolen base records.

Outfielders must cover large distances - speed, instincts, and quickness in reacting to the ball are key. They must be able to catch fly balls above their heads and on the run. They must be able to throw the ball accurately over a long distance to be effective; they must also learn to judge whether to attempt a difficult catch and risk letting the ball get past them, or to instead allow the ball to fall in order to guarantee a swift play and prevent the advance of runners. Left fielders must also familiarize themselves with the varying configurations of different ballparks' foul territory, and prevent balls hit down the foul lines from getting past them into the left field corner. Amateur players may find it difficult to concentrate on the game, since they are so far from the action. Emphasizing the correct position will give outfield players something to concentrate on at each pitch. Hits to left field tend to curve toward the left field foul line, and left fielders must learn to adjust to that.

Of all outfielders, the left fielder often will have the weakest arm, as he generally does not need to throw the ball as far to prevent the advance of any baserunners. The left fielder still requires good fielding and catching skills, and tends to receive more balls than the right fielder because right-handed hitters tend to "pull" the ball into left field. The left fielder also backs up third base on pick-off attempts from the catcher or pitcher and bunts, when possible. Moreover, when a runner is stealing third base, the left fielder must back up the throw from the catcher. Left fielders must also back up third base when a ball is thrown from right field, and back up center field when a pop fly is hit into the pocket.

Despite giving his team the advantage of accommodating a player with a weak arm, a left fielder with an above-average throwing arm can easily compile many assists. After being converted to left field, Alfonso Soriano led the league with 22 and 19 outfield assists in 2006 and 2007, respectively, his first two years playing the outfield. Despite regularly leading the league in errors and often coming out of the game for a defensive replacement in late innings, his strong arm was best utilized in left.

Hall of Fame left fielders

The following are baseball players inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as left fielders:[1]

Position transitions

When most left fielders are older or struggling defensively, they will move to first base or designated hitter, usually. Third basemen will sometimes move to left, with Ryan Braun and Alex Gordon being examples.


  1. ^ "The Hall of Fame members". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 26 March 2018.

See also

Baseball positions

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. Within the game there are positions in which each player can play in.

There are nine fielding positions in baseball. Each position conventionally has an associated number, which is used to score putouts:

1 (pitcher), 2 (catcher), 3 (first baseman), 4 (second baseman), 5 (third baseman), 6 (shortstop), 7 (left fielder), 8 (center fielder), and 9 (right fielder).For example:

If the third baseman fields a ball and throws it to first, it is recorded as a 5-3 out.

A double play where the second baseman fields, throws to the shortstop covering second base, who throws to the first baseman, is recorded as a 4-6-3 double play. This is not the only way to make a double play.

Billy Williams

Billy Leo Williams (born June 15, 1938) is a retired American baseball left fielder who played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs and 2 seasons for the Oakland Athletics. Williams was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1999, he was named a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Williams was the 1961 National League (NL) Rookie of the Year and was an NL All-Star for six seasons with the Cubs. In 1970, he had a .322 batting average with 42 home runs and 129 runs batted in (RBI), led the NL with 205 hits, and was the NL Most Valuable Player runner-up. In 1972, he won the NL batting title while hitting .333. Williams hit more than 400 home runs in his career, including 30 or more in 5 seasons. He also hit above .300 in five seasons and had over 100 RBI in three seasons.

Williams was a highly competitive player on Cubs teams that never reached the postseason. When he finally played in the postseason during the second-to-last year of his career with the Athletics, the A's did not get to the World Series. In 1999, he was selected as a member of the Cubs All-Century Team.

Bobby Veach

Robert Hayes "Bobby" Veach (June 29, 1888 – August 7, 1945) was an American baseball player from 1910 to 1930 including 14 seasons in the major leagues. He was the starting left fielder for the Detroit Tigers from 1912 to 1923 and also played for the Boston Red Sox (1924–1925), New York Yankees (1925) and Washington Senators (1925).

Veach hit for both power and average. He compiled a .310 career batting average and finished second to Ty Cobb for the 1919 American League batting title with a .355 average. He also led the American League in runs batted in (RBIs) three times (1915, 1917, and 1918) and was among the league leaders 10 times. Nobody in baseball had as many RBIs or extra base hits as Veach from 1915 to 1922.

Veach was also among the best defensive outfielders of his era, regularly ranking among the league leaders in putouts, range factor, and fielding percentage. Despite being one of the most productive hitters in baseball during his years in Detroit, Veach played in the shadows of three Detroit outfielders who won 16 batting titles and were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: Cobb in center field and Sam Crawford followed by Harry Heilmann in right field. Detroit's 1915 outfield consisting of Veach, Cobb, and Crawford has been ranked by baseball historian and statistician Bill James as the greatest outfield in history.

Carson Bigbee

Carson Lee "Skeeter" Bigbee (March 31, 1895 – October 17, 1964) was an American outfielder in Major League Baseball who played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was born in Lebanon, Oregon, and attended the University of Oregon.Bigbee died at the age of 69 in Portland, Oregon. He was interred at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.Bigbee's brother Lyle also played Major League Baseball.In 1147 games over 11 seasons, Bigbee batted .287 (1205-for-4192) with 629 runs scored, 17 home runs and 324 RBI.

Cleveland Blues (NL) all-time roster

The Cleveland Blues were a professional baseball franchise that operated in the National League (NL), a "major" league, from 1879 until 1884. They were organized by businessmen William Hollinger, and J. Ford Evans in 1878 as the Forest Citys, and played a season as an independent team. The NL expanded from six teams to eight before the 1879 season, and the Forest Citys accepted an invitation to join the league. Evans became their president and stayed in that capacity until C. H. Bulkeley assumed the role in 1882. In their six seasons in the NL, the team never finished higher than third place in the standings. They played their home games in League Park.For their first season in the NL, the franchise (now named the Blues due to their dark blue uniforms) employed Jim McCormick as the manager as well as the ace of their pitching staff. Cleveland did not fare well, winning just 27 games against 55 losses, with a league-low .223 batting average. The 1880 season was better, however, as the team increased its win total to 47 against 37 losses and a tie, McCormick winning a league-leading 45 of those victories. Over the next two seasons, the team changed the on-field leadership often; employing Mike McGeary and John Clapp as player-managers in 1881, and Fred Dunlap in 1882. The changes did not prove effective as the team was unable to finish higher than fifth place during that span. The team had their best record and highest win total in 1883 under manager Frank Bancroft. On September 13, 1883, Hugh Daily threw the franchise's lone no-hitter.An upstart baseball league was created in 1884 by Henry Lucas called the Union Association (UA). Several member of the Blues' signed contracts with teams in the UA despite being subject to the reserve clause: including star players McCormick, Dunlap, and Jack Glasscock. These moves caused the Blues to become financially unstable. However, the franchise was able to secure a deal with the league for a better share of gate receipts. This deal was not enough for the franchise to profit, and Bulkeley sold the team to Lucas for $2,500 ($58,820 current dollar adjustment) following the conclusion of the 1884 season.

Greg Luzinski

Gregory Michael "The Bull" Luzinski (born November 22, 1950) is an American former professional baseball player, who played Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox.

Luzinski was a left fielder who spent the majority of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies (1970–80), and retired as a member of the Chicago White Sox (1981–84).

Greg Vaughn

Gregory Lamont Vaughn (born July 3, 1965) is a former Major League Baseball left fielder who played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1989–96), San Diego Padres (1996–98), Cincinnati Reds (1999), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2000–02) and Colorado Rockies (2003). He was born in Sacramento, California, where he attended Kennedy High School. He then played baseball at the University of Miami. He is the cousin of fellow former Major Leaguer Mo Vaughn.

Heinie Manush

Henry Emmett Manush (July 20, 1901 – May 12, 1971), nicknamed "Heinie", was an American baseball outfielder. He played professional baseball for 20 years from 1920 to 1939, including 17 years in Major League Baseball for the Detroit Tigers (1923–1927), St. Louis Browns (1928–1930), Washington Senators (1930–1935), Boston Red Sox (1936), Brooklyn Dodgers (1937–1938), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1938–1939). After retiring as a player, Manush was a minor league manager from 1940 to 1945, a scout for the Boston Braves in the late 1940s and a coach for the Senators from 1953 to 1954. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964.

A native of Tuscumbia, Alabama, Manush was one of the best batters in baseball in the 1920s and 1930s. He compiled a .330 career batting average, won the American League batting championship in 1926 with a .378 batting average, finished one point short of a second batting championship in 1928, finished among the top four batters in the American League six times (1926, 1928–1929, and 1932–1934) and totaled more than 200 hits four times (1928–1929, 1932–1933). In 1928, he finished second in the voting for the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award after leading the American League with 241 hits and 47 doubles, while also hitting 20 triples and compiling 367 total bases. He also finished third in the MVP voting in 1932 and 1933 and was the leading batter on the 1933 Washington Senators team that won the American League pennant and lost the 1933 World Series to the New York Giants.

Manush was also a solid defensive outfielder, appearing in 2,008 major league games, 1,381 as a left fielder, 312 as a center fielder, and 153 as a right fielder. He led the American League with 356 putouts as a left fielder in 1928, a .992 fielding percentage in left field in 1928, and five double plays turned by a left fielder in 1935. His 2,855 putouts in left field ranks 21st in major league history.

Jimmy Moore (baseball)

James William Moore (April 24, 1903 – March 7, 1986) was an American professional baseball left fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for two seasons with the Chicago White Sox (1930) and Philadelphia Athletics (1930-1931). He attended Union University.

In a two-season career, Moore was a .254 hitter (59-for-232) with four home runs and 35 RBI in 80 games, including 32 runs, 10 doubles, one triple, one stolen base, and a .316 on-base percentage.

Moore died at the age of 82 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Jimmy Sheckard

Samuel James Tilden "Jimmy" Sheckard (November 23, 1878 – January 15, 1947) was an American left fielder and left-handed leadoff hitter in Major League Baseball who played for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms/Superbas (1897–98, 1900–01, 1902–05), Baltimore Orioles (NL) (1899), Baltimore Orioles (AL) (1902), Chicago Cubs (1906–12), St. Louis Cardinals (1913) and Cincinnati Reds (1913).

Sheckard was the Chicago Cubs' leadoff batter for the final game of the 1908 World Series. His team played in four World Series in a five-year span from 1906-1910.

Josh Willingham

Joshua David Willingham (born February 17, 1979) is a former American professional baseball left fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals.

List of Major League Baseball career fielding errors as a left fielder leaders

In baseball statistics, an error is an act, in the judgment of the official scorer, of a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or baserunner to advance one or more bases or allows an at bat to continue after the batter should have been put out.

In baseball, a left fielder (LF) is an outfielder who plays defense in left field. Left field is the area of the outfield to the left of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the left fielder is assigned the number 7.

Goose Goslin and Zack Wheat are the all-time leaders in errors committed by a left fielder with 183 career. Lou Brock (168), Bobby Veach (146), Duffy Lewis (123), Bob Johnson (121), Jack Graney (114), Rickey Henderson (113), Ken Williams (109), and Charlie Jamieson (104) are the only other left fielders to commit over 100 career errors.

List of Major League Baseball career putouts as a left fielder leaders

In baseball statistics, a putout (denoted by PO or fly out when appropriate) is given to a defensive player who records an out by a tagging a runner with the ball when he is not touching a base (a tagout), catching a batted or thrown ball and tagging a base to put out a batter or runner (a force out), catching a thrown ball and tagging a base to record an out on an appeal play, catching a third strike (a strikeout), catching a batted ball on the fly (a flyout), or being positioned closest to a runner called out for interference.

In baseball, a left fielder (LF) is an outfielder who plays defense in left field. Left field is the area of the outfield to the left of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the left fielder is assigned the number 7.

Barry Bonds is the all-time leader in putouts a left fielder with 5,225 career. Rickey Henderson (5,215) is second all-time and then only other left fielder with over 5,000 career putouts.

List of Major League Baseball players with unidentified given names

Thirty-nine individuals who played professional baseball at the major league level lack identified given names. Identification of players remains difficult due to a lack of biographical information; a Brooklyn, New York, directory, for instance, lists more than 30 men who could be the professional player "Stoddard". Possible mistakes in reading 19th-century box scores could have also led to players without given names, as "Eland", for example, could be another player from the Baltimore Marylands roster whose name was simply misread. Philadelphia Athletics manager Bill Sharsig signed four of the 39, "local players" McBride, Stafford, Sterling, and Sweigert, for Philadelphia's last game of the season against the Syracuse Stars on October 12, 1890. Sterling pitched five innings for the Athletics and conceded 12 runs. McBride, Philadelphia's center fielder, and Stafford, the team's right fielder, both failed to reach base, but left fielder Sweigert reached base on a walk and stole a base. Society for American Baseball Research writer Bill Carle "doubt[s] we will ever be able to identify them".Despite their relative anonymity, several players have received media coverage describing their games. Sporting Life noted that "the visitors took kindly to the curves of Sterling", as "the Athletics were easily beaten by the Stars" in Philadelphia's contest against Syracuse. In 1872, The New York Times described O'Rouke as a new player on Eckford of Brooklyn who "appear[ed] to be an improvement over the recent incumbents": in his only game, the pitcher allowed 15 runs to score in a complete game against the Troy Trojans. Lewis received a mention in Sporting Life (pictured) that recapped his performance, and another in the Pittsburgh Press, with a synopsis that summarized the game as "one of the greatest slugging matches ever seen since curve pitching came into vogue".Of the 39 athletes with an unidentified given name, Baltimore Monumentals right fielder Scott played in the most games at the major league level, with 13, followed by Wills with 9. Scott also has the most hits among players without an identified given name, with 12, followed by both Wills and Jones with 5 each. Among pitchers, Lewis has the highest earned run average, at a 60.00 mark, whereas McDoolan has the lowest at 3.00, though he allowed 24 total runs.


An outfielder is a person playing in one of the three defensive positions in baseball or softball, farthest from the batter. These defenders are the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder. As an outfielder, their duty is to catch fly balls and/ ground balls then to return them to the infield for the out or before the runner advances, if there is any runners on the bases. As an outfielder, they normally play behind the six players located in the field.

By convention, each of the nine defensive positions in baseball is numbered. The outfield positions are 7 (left field), 8 (center field) and 9 (right field). These numbers are shorthand designations useful in baseball scorekeeping and are not necessarily the same as the squad numbers worn on player uniforms.

Outfielders named to the MLB All-Century Team are Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Pete Rose, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Ken Griffey Jr.

Patsy Dougherty

Patrick Henry "Patsy" Dougherty (October 27, 1876 – April 30, 1940) was a Major League Baseball outfielder from 1902 to 1911. He played for the Boston Americans (now the Boston Red Sox), the New York Highlanders (now the New York Yankees), and the Chicago White Sox.

On July 29, 1903, Dougherty became the second Red Sox player (then known as the Americans) to hit for the cycle. In Game 2 of the 1903 World Series, the first modern World Series, Dougherty became the first player to accomplish several feats; he became the first Boston player to hit a World Series home run, the first player to hit two home runs in a single World Series game, and the first player to hit a leadoff inside-the-park home run in a World Series game (a feat not matched until the 2015 World Series, by Alcides Escobar of the Kansas City Royals in Game 1).

Dougherty died in Bolivar, New York, at the age of 63 and was buried at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Bolivar.

Sherry Magee

Sherwood Robert "Sherry" Magee (August 6, 1884 – March 13, 1929) was an American left fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1904 through 1919, Magee played with the Philadelphia Phillies (1904–14), Boston Braves (1915–1917) and Cincinnati Reds (1917–1919). He batted and threw right-handed and in a 16-season career posted a .291 batting average with 83 home runs and 1,176 runs batted in through 2,087 games played.

Steve Braun (baseball)

Stephen Russell Braun (born May 8, 1948) is an American former professional baseball left fielder, third baseman, and designated hitter. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Thomas Howard (baseball)

Thomas Sylvester Howard (born December 11, 1964) is an American former professional baseball outfielder. He played eleven seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1990 to 2000 for the San Diego Padres, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, and St. Louis Cardinals. On April 11, 2000 he hit the first grand slam at Minute Maid Park.He graduated in 1983 from Valley View High School in Germantown, Ohio. There he also excelled as quarterback of the South Western Buckeye League champion football team and as a power forward on the league champion basketball team.


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