The bunt most commonly used is the sacrifice. Several steps are involved in its execution.

Start in your normal batting stance. As the pitcher begins his delivery, rotate on the balls of the feet until your body and shoulders are squared, and you are facing the pitcher. The knees should be slightly bent.

As you start your rotation, bring the bat from your shoulder to a waist-high position in front of the body. This is important because as the ball makes contact with the bat, you must let the force take the bat in a backward direction. The arms are slightly bent at the elbows and relaxed, not stiff (see photo).

The positioning of the hands also is crucial. As you bring the bat from your shoulders to the ready position in front of your body, slide the top hand up the handle of the bat to just below the label. The bottom hand should slide up the handle to approximately six to eight inches from the top hand.

Do not squeeze the bat; hold it gently between the thumb and index finger. Holding the bat in this manner serves as an axis for the movement of the bat and aids in guiding the ball in the direction you have selected.

When placing the bunt, the head of the bat should be pointed in the direction in which you want the ball to go. To drop the bunt toward first base, the bat head should be angled in that direction. When bunting down the third base line, the head is angled that way. Always be sure the bat is in fair territory, as this will improve your chances of keeping the bunt fair. Watch the ball from the time it leaves the pitcher's hand until contact is made with the bat, and slowly "give in" with the bat upon making contact. This will help deaden the ball and make for a better bunt.

Once you have made contact, run and keep running. Never look back to see where your bunt has gone, but remember, bunt before you start to run.

Next: Brooks Robinson on fielding