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Typically, a double is a well-hit ball into the outfield that finds the "gap" between the center fielder and one of the corner outfielders, bounces off the outfield wall and down into the field of play, or is hit up one of the two foul lines. To hit many doubles, a batter must have decent hitting skill and power; it also helps to run well enough to beat an outfield throw.
Teams sometimes position their fielders in a "no doubles" defense, meaning:
Outfielders play relatively deep, to minimize the chance that a fly ball can land behind them.
Corner infielders play close to the foul lines, to minimize the chance that a ground ball can get by them and roll far into an outfield corner.
This defensive alignment is typically seen late in a game, when the team in the field is ahead by one or two runs.
Renowned doubles hitters occasionally acquire a nickname that relates to their doubles hitting, for example "Mitchy Two Bags" (Mitch Moreland) and "Tony Two Bags" (Anthony Rendon).
Ground rule double
A two-base hit awarded by an umpire when a batted ball is hit fairly and bounces out of play is referred to as a ground rule double. The batter is awarded second base and any runners advance two bases from the base they occupied at the time of the pitch. Prior to 1931, such hits were considered home runs. A two-base hit awarded because the batter hit into a special situation defined in the ground rules is also defined as a ground rule double. An example of this occurs where the rules of Chicago's Wrigley Field award a ground rule double if a batted ball is lost in the vines on the outfield bleacher wall. At the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, umpires awarded Dave Kingman a ground rule double in a 1984 game, when a ball he hit became stuck in the roof, although no specific ground rule existed for that situation at the Metrodome at the time.
Major League Baseball records
The all-time leader in doubles is Tris Speaker, with 792. The following players are the top 10 Major League doubles hitters of all-time: