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In baseball, the term lead off or lead-off has two distinct meanings:

On the bases

Florida outfielder Avery Barnes takes a big lead against Arkansas.

In baseball, to lead off, or to take a lead, refers to the position a baserunner takes just prior to a pitch, a short distance away from the base he occupies. A "lead" can also refer to that distance. A typical lead is six to ten feet (two to three meters) from the base. If the lead is too large, the runner risks being picked off. If the lead is too small, the runner has a disadvantage in reaching the next base, whether in a stolen base attempt or in connection with the next batted ball.

The first batter

Also in baseball, the "lead-off hitter" is the first batter in the batting line-up for his team. The leadoff hitter is usually a player who has a high on-base percentage and the ability to get himself into scoring position by stealing bases. Based on these criteria, the best lead-off hitter of all-time was Rickey Henderson; he is the all-time leader in stolen bases, runs, and lead-off home runs. He is also second all-time in walks.



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