Baseball 101: Ground balls

Another very basic facet of baseball: the ground ball.

A ground ball is a ball that is hit by the batter that rolls or bounces along the ground.  Simple enough, right?  It may also be referred to as a “grounder.”

Ground balls are typically fielded by infielders, although some may make it to the outfield if they are hit hard and out of reach, or if an infielder mishandles the ball.  A ground ball can sometimes referred to according to the number of hops it takes before a fielder gets to it.  For example, if a ball bounces once in between being hit and a fielder grabbing it, it is a one-hopper.  Two bounces for a two-hopper.  A ground ball that takes an unexpected bounce (i.e. bounces in a manner that defies the expectations of the fielder) is said to have taken a bad hop.

Bunts typically are not considered ground balls, even though they usually roll along the ground.  Instead, they fall into a classification of their own due to the way that they are put into play (tapped with the bat rather than swung at).

Cal Ripken, Jr. chasing down a ground ball (Photo source:

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