Cover of The Fan

cutoff

A play where one outfielder throws home to catch a runner who is trying to score, and an infielder, recognizing this play cannot be made, cuts off the outfielder’s throw to make a play on another runner.

squeeze

A play made with usually less than two outs, in which the runner on third base tries to score on a bunt.

stealing bases/base stealing

When a player on base successfully reaches the next base while the pitcher is throwing the ball to home plate and the ball has not yet been hit, or caught by the catcher.

suicide squeeze

In a suicide squeeze, the runner takes off during the pitch, even before the pitcher has released the ball. This will likely make a play at the plate impossible if the batter makes any kind of contact at all, but it means that the runner will almost certainly be out if the batter fails to make contact. Hence the batter must try to hit the ball, even if the pitch is wildly out of the strike zone, so this play requires a more skilled bunter.

Brain Ball

The squeeze

Asahi players led the league in bunting for hits, reaching first base the most, and stealing bases. They could make plays like the suicide squeeze and the safety squeeze look effortless. And they mastered the cutoff to prevent other teams from repeating their signature squeezes that brought runners home from second and third.

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Cover of The Fan, Athletic Park Program, 1926. Courtesy of Pat Adachi

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