Is it faster to dive or run past first base?

Coach Henze’s Answer

Is it faster to dive or run past first base? I have heard this question over and over throughout my years of baseball. I feel strongly that it is faster to run through the base instead of diving. The video below describes the science behind why it is always faster to run through and not dive into first base.

However, I have seen many people disagree with this. I have witnessed numerous baseball players, youth all the way through the big leagues, dive into first base when it is a close play. In fact, it drives me nuts because Nick Punto, Minnesota Twins utility player, always dives into first base on a close play.

Let me be clear… Except for the scenario described in the NOTE below, it is ALWAYS faster to run through first base rather than dive into first base! Below you will see a video that will describe the science behind why baseball players should always run through 1st base. This scientific study should end the debate on whether to dive or run through first base.

NOTE: There is one good reason to dive into first base… If the defensive infielder has made an errant throw to first base AND the throw takes the 1st baseman up the line towards home plate, then it would be best for the base runner to avoid the tag by diving or sliding under the glove into first base. The base runner will need to read the first baseman or listen to the first base coach to know when he should do this.