In all cases, the above fielders should be able to throw the ball from long field to the home base, and after they have either caught or stopped the ball, they should promptly return it, either to the base requiring it, or to the pitcher, but they should never hold the ball a moment longer than is necessary, to throw it. Another point of their fielding should be to start the moment the ball is hit, and try their utmost to take it on the fly, and not wait until it is about touching the ground, and then, boy-like, try to take it on the bound. Nothing disappoints the spectator, or dissatisfies the batsman so much, as to see a fine hit to the long field caught on the bound in this simple, childish manner. If the ball, in such a case, be taken on the fly, or even on the bound, after a good run for it, the catch being a difficult one, none will regret it, but on the contrary, applaud the skill that has been so successfully displayed, -it is only the simple catch on the bound that we object to. Bear in mind that it is easier to run forward to take a ball, than, by being too eager, to try and take it by running backward; remember, however, that a ball hit high to long field invariably appears to be coming further than it really does, as after it has reached its height, it falls at a far more acute angle than it arose with; it, therefore, requires considerable judgment to measure the precise distance it will fall. We need not impress on all fielders the propriety of endeavoring to take every ball they can on the fly. In many instances it is really easier and a surer method than waiting for the bound, and unquestionably is the prettiest mode of catching, for though we occasionally see some exceeding difficult and skillful catches on the bound, they are few and far between besides a fielder has two chances in attempting a catch on the fly, for should he fail in the first instance, he has the resource of the catch on the bound afterward. We would not envy the position of the fielder who mars the beauty of a fine hit by waiting until the force of the ball is spent on the ground, and then catching it on the rebound,-a feat a boy ten years of age would scarcely be proud of.
This player must take his position on a line drawn through the center of the home base, not exceeding in length three feet from either side thereof, and parallel with the line of the pitcher's position. He can await the coming of a suitable ball for him to strike, but he should not be too fastidious in this respect, or otherwise he will be liable to incur the penalty attached to a violation of Section 37 of the rules. Some Batsmen are in the habit of waiting until the player, who has previously reached the first base, can make his second, but a good Batsman strikes at the first good ball pitched to him, and this is decidedly the fairest and best method to be adopted, as it is the most likely to lead to a successful result, and keeps the game lively and interesting. It is exceedingly annoying to the spectators, and creates a bad impression of the merits of the game on those not familiar with it, to see good balls repeatedly sent to the Batsman without being hit, or the ball passed to and from the pitcher and catcher, while the Batsman stands still, awaiting the movements of the player on the first base. No good players resort to this style of play, except in very rare instances, and it would therefore be desirable to avoid it as much as possible. The Batsman, when he has hit the ball, should drop his bat, not throw it behind him, and run for the first base, not waiting to hear whether the ball has been declared foul or not, as if it be a foul ball, he can easily return to the base, but should it be fair, he will be well on his way to the base. The umpire will call all foul balls immediately they are struck, but will keep silent when the ball is a fair one. Although the rules expressly state what the Batsman is to do, it will be as well to refer here to the rules applicable to the striker, as they can not be too familiar to him. The Batsman is out if he strikes at the ball three times without hitting it, and the third time the ball is caught by the catcher either on the fly or first bound; or, if the ball be fielded to the first base before the striker reaches it; or, if he runs from any base, except the home base, on a foul ball, and the ball reaches the base before he can return to it; or, if a fair ball be caught on the fly or first bound; or, if at any time while running the bases, he be touched by the ball while in play in the hands of an adversary, without some part of his person being on the base. He is also out if he try to make either the second, third, or home bases after the ball has been struck, and caught on the fly, and he fails to return to the base he has left before the ball reaches it. If, however, he should succeed in this case in reaching the base before the ball, he can immediately re-endeavor to make the base he was running to without being obliged to return to the base he has left. In the case where he is running for a base on a foul ball, he should see that the ball has been settled in the hands of the pitcher-who need not be in his position to receive it-before it reaches the base, or otherwise he can not be put out without being touched by the ball. In running the bases, he should use his own judgment as to the proper time to make a base, unless the captain calls to him to run, in which case he should obey the call; but it will be as well not to mind the suggestion of any other person on the field, as the captain is the only proper person to direct a player in his movements.
The Umpire should be a player familiar with every point of the game. The position of an Umpire is an honorable one, but its duties are any thing but agreeable, as it is next to an impossibility to give entire satisfaction to all parties concerned in a match. It is almost unnecessary to remark that the first duty of an Umpire is to enforce the rules of the game with the strictest impartiality; and in order to do so, it would be as well for him, the moment he assumes his position on the ground, to close his eyes to the fact of there being any one player, among the contestants, that is not an entire stranger to him; by this means he will free his mind from any friendly bias. He should also be as prompt as possible in rendering his decisions, as promptitude, in this respect, implies good judgment, whereas hesitancy gives rise to dissatisfaction, even where the decision is a correct one. Whenever a point is to be decided upon, rest the decision upon the first impression, for however incorrect it, at times, may be, it is invariably the most impartial one. When the point, on which judgment is required, is a doubtful one, the rule is to give the decision in favor of the ball. The Umpire should avoid conversation with any party during a match game, and also turn a deaf ear to all outside comments on his decisions, remembering that no gentleman, especially if a player, will be guilty of such rudeness and none others are worthy of notice. He should give all his decisions in a loud tone of voice, especially in cases of foul balls, keeping silent when a fair ball is struck. When a striker persists in refusing to hit at good balls, in order to allow the player who has reached his first base, to make his second, the Umpire should not hesitate to enforce Section 37 of the rules, by calling out "one strike," and then two and three strikes, if such conduct is continued. A few instances of prompt enforcement of this rule, in such cases, would soon put a stop to this objectionable habit. The Umpire should keep a strict watch on the movements of the pitcher in delivering the ball, being careful to notice, firstly, that he has neither foot in advance of the line of his position; secondly, that his arm, in the act of delivering, does not touch his side, and thereby cause the ball to be jerked instead of being pitched; and, thirdly that he does not move his arm with any apparent purpose of delivering the ball, unless he does actually deliver it; in either case his failure to abide by the rules, renders him liable to the penalty of a baulk. The Umpire should also require the batsman to stand on a line, running through the center of the home base, parallel to a line from the first to the third base, and extending three feet on each side thereof. Should the striker fail to do so, and in consequence, the ball, when struck, fall behind the base, the Umpire should consider it a fair ball, as, had Section 17 of the rules been strictly adhered to, the same ball would have been legitimately a fair one. Whenever the ball is caught after rebounding from the side of a building, a fence, or a tree, provided it has touched the ground but once, it should be considered a fair catch, unless a special agreement to the contrary be made previous to the commencement of the match. This rule will also hold good in the case of a catch without touching the ground at all. The Umpire should see that the spectators are not allowed to stand near, and especially within, the line of the foul-ball posts, or in any way interfere with or crowd upon the scorers. His position is to the right of, and between, the striker and catcher, in a line with the home and third base; in the case of a left-handed striker, he should stand on the left of the striker. Whenever a disposition is evinced on the part of either side of the contestants in a match to prolong the game until darkness puts a stop to it, in order to secure an advantage obtained, but which, by fair play, would in all probability be lost, the Umpire should decide the game either by the last innings that had been fairly played, or a draw the game. There has been one or two instances where this contemptible conduct has been resorted to, and as it is a course that is discreditable to all concerned in it, as it is a course that is discreditable to all concerned in it, it can not be too much condemned. The Umpire should constantly bear in mind that upon his manly, fearless, and impartial conduct in a match mainly depends the pleasure that all, more or less, will derive from it.
The same person should invariably be appointed to keep the score of all match games, and he should be one whose familiarity with the game will admit of his recording every point of it that occurs in a match. He should be one also whose gentlemanly conduct will render him acceptable to all who are liable to make inquiries of him relative to the score of the game. The position occupied by the scorers should be kept entirely clear of all persons, except those who are regularly engaged to report matches for the press; for the latter are entitled to every attention under such circumstances, in return for their efforts to promote the interests of the game by giving publicity to the many contests that take place. To avoid annoyance to the scorers, the reporters should furnish the scorers with blank sheets.