In baseball statistics, a hit called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice. To achieve a hit, the batter must reach first base before any fielder can either tag him with the ball, throw to another player protecting the base before the batter reaches it, or tag first base while carrying the ball; the hit is scored the moment. If a batter reaches first base because of offensive interference by a preceding runner, he is credited with a hit. A hit for one base is called a single, for two bases a double, for three bases a triple. A home run is scored as a hit. Doubles and home runs are called extra base hits. An "infield hit" is a hit. Infield hits are uncommon by nature, most earned by speedy runners. A no-hitter is a game. Throwing a no-hitter is rare and considered an extraordinary accomplishment for a pitcher or pitching staff. In most cases in the professional game, no-hitters are accomplished by a single pitcher who throws a complete game.
A pitcher who throws a no-hitter could still allow runners to reach base safely, by way of walks, hit batsmen, or batter reaching base due to interference or obstruction. If the pitcher allows no runners to reach base in any manner whatsoever, the no-hitter is a perfect game. In 1887, Major League Baseball counted bases on balls as hits; the result was skyrocketing batting averages, including some near.500. The experiment was abandoned the following season. There is controversy regarding; the number of legitimate walks and at-bats are known for all players that year, so computing averages using the same method as in other years is straightforward. In 1968, Major League Baseball formed a Special Baseball Records Committee to resolve this issues; the Committee ruled. In 2000, Major League Baseball reversed its decision, ruling that the statistics which were recognized in each year's official records should stand in cases where they were proven incorrect. Most current sources list O'Neill's 1887 average as.435.
He would retain his American Association batting championship. However, the variance between methods results in differing recognition for the 1887 National League batting champion. Cap Anson would be recognized, with his.421 average, if walks are included, but Sam Thompson would be the champion at.372 if they are not. The official rulebook of Major League Baseball states in Rule 10.05: The official scorer shall credit a batter with a base hit when: the batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball that settles on the ground, that touches a fence before being touched by a fielder or that clears a fence. The batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball that takes an unnatural bounce so that a fielder cannot handle it with ordinary effort, or that touches the pitcher's plate or any base before being touched by a fielder and bounces so that a fielder cannot handle the ball with ordinary effort. Rule 10.05 Comment: In applying Rule 10.05, the official scorer shall always give the batter the benefit of the doubt.
A safe course for the official scorer to follow is to score a hit when exceptionally good fielding of a ball fails to result in a putout. The official scorer shall not credit a base hit when a: runner is forced out by a batted ball, or would have been forced out except for a fielding error; the official scorer shall charge the batter with an at-bat but not a hit. The official scorer shall charge the batter with an at-bat but not a hit.
A baseball field called a ball field, sandlot or a baseball diamond, is the field upon which the game of baseball is played. The term can be used as a metonym for a baseball park. Unless otherwise noted, the specifications discussed in this section refer to those described within the Official Baseball Rules, under which Major League Baseball is played; the starting point for much of the action on the field is home plate, a five-sided slab of whitened rubber, 17 inches square with two of the corners removed so that one edge is 17 inches long, two adjacent sides are 8.5 inches and the remaining two sides are 12 inches and set at an angle to make a point. The plate is set into the ground such. Adjacent to each of the two parallel 8.5-inch sides is a batter's box. The point of home plate where the two 12-inch sides meet at right angles is at one corner of a 90-foot square; the other three corners of the square, in counterclockwise order from home plate, are called first and third base. Three canvas or rubber bases 15 inches square and 3–5 inches in thickness made of soft material mark the three bases.
Near the center of the square is an artificial hill known as the pitcher's mound, atop, a white rubber slab known as the pitcher's plate, colloquially the "rubber." The specifications for the pitcher's mound are described below. All the bases, including home plate, lie within fair territory. Thus, any batted ball that touches those bases must be in fair territory. While the first and third base bags are placed so that they lie inside the 90-foot square formed by the bases, the second base bag is placed so that its center coincides with the "point" of the ninety-foot square. Thus, although the "points" of the bases are 90 feet apart, the physical distance between each successive pair of base markers is closer to 88 feet; the lines from home plate to first and third bases extend to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction and are called the foul lines. The portion of the playing field between the foul lines is fair territory; the area within the square formed by the bases is called the infield, though colloquially this term includes fair territory in the vicinity of the square.
Most baseball fields are enclosed with a fence. The fence is set at a distance ranging from 300 to 420 feet from home plate. Most professional and college baseball fields have a right and left foul pole; these poles are at the intersection of the foul lines and the respective ends of the outfield fence and, unless otherwise specified within the ground rules, lie in fair territory. Thus, a batted ball that passes over the outfield wall in flight and touches the foul pole is a fair ball and the batter is awarded a home run. First base is the first of four bases that must be touched by a player on the batting team in order to score a run. Unlike when an offensive player reaches second or third base, it is permissible for a batter-runner to overrun first base without being in jeopardy of being put out. After contact is made with the base, the batter-runner may slow down and return to first base at his leisure, so long as he makes no move or attempt to advance to second base; the first baseman is the defensive player responsible for the area near first base.
A professional first baseman is a slow runner and tall. A tall first baseman presents a large target to which other fielders can throw, his height gives him a larger range in reaching and catching errant throws. Players who are left-handed are marginally preferable for first base because: first, it is easier for a left-handed fielder to catch a pick-off throw from the pitcher and tag the baserunner. A right-handed first baseman must, when setting himself up to receive a throw from an infielder, execute a half-pivot near the base. There are three infield positions that can only be occupied by right-handed players: 2nd base, 3rd base, shortstop; this is. It takes a left-handed thrower more time to make that pivot and in the fast-paced major league game, that time is critical; as a result, there are fewer positions a left-handed player can occupy, if that player is not fast, the outfield may not be a good fit. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the first baseman is assigned the number 3.
Second base is the second of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a base runner in order to score a run for that player's team. Second base is defended by the second baseman and the shortstop. Second base is known as the keystone sack. A runner on second base is said to be in "scoring position," owing to the high likelihood of reaching home plate and scoring a run from second base on most base hits. Since second is the farthest base from home plate, it is the most common target of base stealing. Ideally, the second baseman and shortstop possess quick hands and feet and the ability to release the ball and with accuracy. One will cover second base when the other attempts to field the ball. Both players must communicate well to be able to make a double play. Particular agility is required of the second baseman in double play situations, which forces the player to t
Mark David McGwire, nicknamed Big Mac, is an American former professional baseball first baseman. His Major League Baseball playing career spanned from 1986 to 2001 while playing for the Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals, winning one World Series championship each with Oakland as a player in 1989 and with St. Louis as a coach in 2011. One of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history, McGwire holds the major league career record for at bats per home run ratio, is the former record holder for both home runs in a single season and home runs hit by rookie, he ranks 11th all time in home runs with 583, led the major leagues in home runs in five different seasons, while establishing the major league record for home runs hit in a four-season period from 1996−1999 with 245. Further, he demonstrated exemplary patience as a batter, producing a career.394 on-base percentage and twice leading the major leagues in bases on balls. Injuries cut short the manifestation of greater potential as he reached 140 games played in just eight of 16 total seasons.
A right-handed batter and thrower, McGwire stood 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 245 pounds during his playing career. From Pomona, the Athletics chose McGwire with the 10th overall selection in the 1984 MLB draft, he was a member of the silver medal-winning entry of the United States national team that same year at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles; as a rookie in 1987, he grabbed media attention with 33 home runs before the All-Star break, would lead the major leagues in home runs that year with 49, while setting the single-season rookie record. He appeared in six straight All-Star Games from 1987 to 1992 despite a brief career decline related to injuries. Another string of six consecutive All-Star appearances followed from 1995 to 2001; each season from 1996 to 1999, he again led the major leagues in home runs. A part of the 1998 Major League Baseball home run record chase of Roger Maris' 61 with the Cardinals, McGwire set the major league single-season home run record with 70, which Barry Bonds broke three years with 73.
McGwire led the league in runs batted in, twice in bases on balls and on-base percentage, four times in slugging percentage. Injuries cut into his playing time in 2000 and 2001 before factoring into his retirement, he finished with 583 home runs, fifth all-time when he retired. For his career, McGwire averaged a home run once every 10.61 at bats, the best at bats per home run ratio in baseball history. He was the fastest player, in 5,487 at-bats. McGwire was a central figure in baseball's steroids scandal. In 2010, McGwire publicly admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during a large portion of his career. In his first ten years of eligibility, McGwire has not been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. McGwire was born in California, his father was a dentist. He attended Damien High School in La Verne, where he played baseball and basketball, he did not sign. He played college baseball at the University of Southern California under coach Rod Dedeaux. After three years at Southern California and a stint on the 1984 U.
S. Olympic team, the Oakland Athletics drafted McGwire tenth overall in the 1984 Major League Baseball draft. In a short cameo, McGwire debuted in the major leagues in August 1986, hitting three home runs and nine runs batted in in 18 games. Retaining his rookie status in 1987, McGwire took center stage in baseball with his home runs, he hit just four in the month of April, but followed in May with 15, another nine in June. Before the All-Star break arrived, he totaled 33 HR and earned a spot on the American League All-Star team. On August 11, he broke Al Rosen's AL rookie record of 37 home runs. Three days McGwire broke the major league record of 38, which Frank Robinson and Wally Berger jointly held. In September, McGwire hit nine more home runs while posting monthly personal bests of a.351 batting average.419 on-base percentage and 11 doubles. With 49 HR and two games remaining in the regular season, he chose to sit them out with an opportunity for 50 home runs to be present for the birth of his first child.
McGwire totaled 118 runs batted in.289 batting average, 97 runs scored, 28 doubles, a.618 slugging percentage and a.370 on-base percentage. McGwire's 49 home runs as a rookie stood as a major league record until Aaron Judge hit 52 for the New York Yankees in 2017. Not only did he lead the AL in home runs in 1987, but he tied for the major league lead with Chicago Cubs right fielder Andre Dawson. McGwire led the major leagues in SLG, finished second in the AL in adjusted on-base plus slugging percentage total bases, third in RBI and on-base plus slugging, he was thus a unanimous choice for the AL Rookie of the Year Award and finished sixth overall in the AL Most Valuable Player Award voting. From 1988 to 1990, McGwire followed with 32, 33, 39 home runs becoming the first Major Leaguer to hit 30+ home runs in each of his first four full seasons. On July 3 and 4, 1988, he hit game-winning home runs in the 16th inning of both games. Through May 2009, McGwire was tied for third all-time with Joe DiMaggio in home runs over his first two calendar years in the major leagues, behind Chuck Klein and Ryan Braun.
McGwire's most famous home run with the A's was his game-winning solo shot in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 3 of the 1988 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodg
José Miguel Cabrera Torres known as Miguel Cabrera and nicknamed "Miggy", is a Venezuelan professional baseball player. He is the first baseman for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. Since his debut in 2003 he has been a two-time American League Most Valuable Player award winner, a four-time AL batting champion, an 11-time MLB All-Star, he has played at first and third base for most of his major league career, but played left and right field before 2006. He claimed the 17th MLB Triple Crown in 2012. In Venezuelan Winter League, Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Venezuela, Cabrera was signed by Tigres de Aragua at 16 years old, he batted his first hit in LVBP on December 1999. Cabrera was signed in 1999 as an amateur free agent by the Florida Marlins, progressed through their minor league system, he made his MLB debut in mid-2003 at the age of 20, contributed to the Marlins' World Series success that year. Over the next four seasons, Cabrera was a regular player for the Marlins before being traded to the Detroit Tigers in late 2007.
In 2012, Cabrera became the first player since 1967 to win the batting Triple Crown, leading the AL with a.330 batting average, 44 home runs, 139 runs batted in, earning him the AL MVP award that year. In 2013, Cabrera improved on his previous year's batting performance, including a career-high.348 batting average, received another AL MVP award. Cabrera has hit 30 or more home runs in ten separate seasons, driven in over 100 runs in 12 separate seasons, had a career.316 batting average through 2018. Through 2018, he had the 25th-highest career slugging percentage of all baseball players. Cabrera was born on April 18, 1983, in Maracay, Aragua State, Venezuela, to parents Miguel and Gregoria Cabrera. Miguel was signed by the Marlins in 1999 as an amateur free agent and came up through their farm system, teaming with future major leaguers Adrian Gonzalez and Dontrelle Willis, he began his professional career in 2000 as a shortstop in the Gulf Coast League. After batting.260 with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs through 57 games for the GCL Marlins, Cabrera was promoted to Class-A ball where he finished the final eight games batting.250 with 6 RBIs for the New York–Penn League Blue Sox in Utica, New York.
While playing that winter for the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League, manager Bill Plummer moved Cabrera from shortstop to third base. Heading into 2001, the Marlins bumped Cabrera up to the Low Class-A Kane County Cougars, he earned his way into the Futures Game during All-Star Weekend in Seattle, along with Gonzalez. He ended the year batting.268 with 30 extra-base hits, 66 RBIs, distinguished himself as having the strongest arm in the Midwest League. Entering the following season, Cabrera was once again promoted, this time to the Jupiter Hammerheads of the High Class-A Florida State League. At the request of Marlins coach, Ozzie Guillén, Cabrera made the transition from shortstop to third base. By July, his average was locked in at.277, he led his team with 45 RBI earning himself a second trip to the Future's game, where he collected two singles. He finished the season batting.278 with 75 RBIs. Up to this point, he hit just nine homers in his 489 at-bats. To begin the 2003 season, Cabrera earned another promotion to the Double-A Carolina Mudcats.
There he teamed up with Dontrelle Willis, the left-handed fireballer with whom he would join in the majors. In his fourth professional season, Miguel was shredding the competition. In April, he hit.402, by June his average stood at.365 with 10 homers and 59 RBIs before being called up to the majors. Cabrera made his major league debut on June 2003, at 20 years old. Cabrera hit a walk-off home run in his first major league game, following Billy Parker in 1972 and Josh Bard in 2002 as the third player since 1900 to hit a game-winning home run in his big-league debut. Cabrera became the Marlins cleanup batter. Cabrera's postseason play helped propel Florida to a World Series championship over the New York Yankees and landed him on the cover of ESPN The Magazine during the offseason. In the NLDS against the Giants, Cabrera hit.286 with three RBIs. After changing positions in the heat of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs, he hit.333 with three homers and six RBIs. In Game 4 of the 2003 World Series against the Yankees, Cabrera faced Roger Clemens for the first time in his career.
In the first inning, Clemens threw a 92-mph fastball in the vicinity of Cabrera's chin causing Cabrera to turn and stare at Clemens. In the at bat, Cabrera hit a pitch to deep right field for a two-run home run; the home run would give the Marlins an early 2–0 lead en route to a 4–3 Marlins victory that evened the series at two games apiece. Cabrera and the Marlins would go on to win the 2003 World Series in 6 games. In his first season Cabrera batted.268, with 12 home runs, 62 RBIs, 39 runs, 21 doubles, three triples in 87 games played and received NL Rookie of the Month honors for both July and September. In 2004, he batted.294 with 33 home runs, 112 RBIs, 101 runs, 177 hits, a.366 on-base percentage, a.512 slugging percentage from the third and fourth spots in the order, while playing in 160 games and earning his first All-Star appearance. Cabrera had 13 outfield assists. In 284 total fielding chances, he made 262 putouts. In 2005, he was second in the National League in hits with 198, batted.323 with 33 home r
Henry Louis Aaron, nicknamed "Hammer" or "Hammerin' Hank", is a retired American Major League Baseball right fielder who serves as the senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves. He played 21 seasons for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in the National League and two seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League, from 1954 through 1976. Aaron held the MLB record for career home runs for 33 years, he still holds several MLB offensive records, he hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, is one of only two players to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least fifteen times. In 1999, The Sporting News ranked Aaron fifth on its "100 Greatest Baseball Players" list. Aaron was raised in and around Mobile, Alabama. Aaron had seven siblings, including Tommie Aaron, who played in MLB with him, he appeared in the Negro American League and in minor league baseball before starting his major league career. By his final MLB season, Aaron was the last Negro league baseball player on a major league roster.
Aaron played the vast majority of his MLB games in right field, though he appeared at several other infield and outfield positions. In his last two seasons, he was a designated hitter. Aaron was an NL All-Star for 20 seasons and an AL All-Star for 1 season, from 1955 through 1975. Aaron holds the record for the most seasons as an All-Star and the most All-Star Game selections, is tied with Willie Mays and Stan Musial for the most All-Star Games played, he was a Gold Glove winner for three seasons. In 1957, he was the NL Most Valuable Player, he won the NL Player of the Month award in May 1958 and June 1967. Aaron holds the MLB records for the most career runs batted in, extra base hits, total bases. Aaron is in the top five for career hits and runs, he is one of only four players to have at least seventeen seasons with 150 or more hits. Aaron is in second place in home runs and at-bats, in third place in games played. At the time of his retirement, Aaron held most of the game's key career power hitting records.
Since his retirement, Aaron has held front office roles with the Atlanta Braves. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1999, MLB introduced the Hank Aaron Award to recognize the top offensive players in each league, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002. He was named a 2010 Georgia Trustee by the Georgia Historical Society in recognition of accomplishments that reflect the ideals of Georgia's founders. Aaron resides near Atlanta. Aaron was born in Alabama to Herbert Aaron, Sr. and Estella Aaron. He had seven siblings. Tommie Aaron, one of his brothers went on to play Major League Baseball. By the time Aaron retired, he and his brother held the record for most career home runs by a pair of siblings, they were the first siblings to appear in a League Championship Series as teammates. While he was born in a section of Mobile referred to as "Down the Bay", he spent most of his youth in Toulminville. Aaron grew up in a poor family, his family could not afford baseball equipment, so he practiced by hitting bottle caps with sticks.
He would create his own balls out of materials he found on the streets. His boyhood idol was baseball star Jackie Robinson. Aaron attended Central High School as a sophomore. Like most high schools they did not have organized baseball, so he played outfield and third base for the Mobile Black Bears, a semipro team. Aaron was a member of the Boy Scouts of America. Although he batted cross-handed, Aaron established himself as a power hitter; as a result, in 1949, at the age of fifteen, Aaron had his first tryout with an MLB franchise, the Brooklyn Dodgers. After this, Aaron returned to school to finish his secondary education, attending the Josephine Allen Institute, a private high school in Alabama. During his junior year, Aaron first joined the Pritchett Athletics, followed by the Mobile Black Bears, an independent Negro league team. While on the Bears, Aaron earned $3 per game, a dollar more than he got while on the Athletics. On November 20, 1951, baseball scout Ed Scott signed Aaron to a contract on behalf of the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League where he played three months.
He started play as a 6 feet, 180 pounds and earned $200 per month. As a result of his standout play with the Indianapolis Clowns, Aaron received two offers from MLB teams via telegram, one from the New York Giants and the other from the Boston Braves. Years Aaron remembered: I had the Giants' contract in my hand, but the Braves offered fifty dollars a month more. That's the only thing that kept me from being teammates -- fifty dollars. While with the Clowns he experienced some overt racism, his team was in Washington, D. C. We had breakfast while we were waiting for the rain to stop, I can still envision sitting with the Clowns in a restaurant behind Griffith Stadium and hearing them break all the plates in the kitchen after we finished eating. What a horrible sound; as a kid, the irony of it hit me: here we were in the capital in the land of freedom and equality, they had to destroy the plates that had touched the forks, in the mouths of black men. If dogs had eaten off those plates, they'd have washed them.
The Howe Sports Bureau credits Aaron with a.366 batting average in 26 official Negro league games, with 5 home runs, 33 runs batted in, 41 hits, 9 stolen bases. The Braves purchased Aaron from the Clowns for $10,000
Barry Lamar Bonds is an American former professional baseball left fielder who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. He received seven NL MVP awards, eight Gold Glove awards, 12 Silver Slugger awards, 14 All-Star selections, he is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Bonds was regarded as an exceptional hitter: he led MLB in on-base plus slugging six times, placed within the top five hitters in 12 of his 17 qualifying seasons, he holds many MLB hitting records, including most career home runs, most home runs in a single season and most career walks. Bonds was known as a talented all-around baseball player, he won eight Gold Glove awards for his defensive play in the outfield. He stole 514 bases with his baserunning speed, becoming the first and only MLB player to date with at least 500 home runs and 500 stolen bases, he is ranked second in career Wins Above Replacement among all major league position players by both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference.com, behind only Babe Ruth.
However, Bonds led a controversial career, notably as a central figure in baseball's steroids scandal. In 2007, he was indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying to the grand jury during the federal government's investigation of BALCO; the perjury charges against Bonds were dropped and an initial obstruction of justice conviction was overturned in 2015. Bonds became eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. Bonds served as the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins in 2016, was fired at the end of the season. Bonds was born in Riverside, California to Patricia and former major leaguer Bobby Bonds, grew up in San Carlos and attended Junípero Serra High School in San Mateo, where he excelled in baseball and football, he played on the junior varsity team during his freshman year and the remainder of his high school career on the varsity team. He garnered a.467 batting average his senior year, was named prep All-American. The Giants drafted Bonds in the second round of the 1982 MLB draft as a high school senior, but the Giants and Bonds were unable to agree on contract terms when Tom Haller's maximum offer was $70,000 and Bonds’ minimum to go pro was $75,000, so Bonds instead decided to attend college.
Bonds attended Arizona State University, hitting.347 with 175 runs batted in. In 1984 he had 30 stolen bases. In 1985, he hit 23 home runs with a. 368 batting average. He was a Sporting News All-American selection that year, he tied the NCAA record with seven consecutive hits in the College World Series as sophomore and was named to All-Time College World Series Team in 1996. Bonds was not well liked by his Sun Devil teammates, in part because in the words of longtime coach Jim Brock, he was "rude and self-centered." For instance, when he was suspended for breaking curfew, the other players voted against his return though he was the best player on the team. He graduated from Arizona State in 1986 with a degree in criminology, he was named ASU On Deck Circle Most Valuable Player. During college, he played part of one summer in the amateur Alaska Baseball League with the Alaska Goldpanners; the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Bonds as the sixth overall pick of the 1985 Major League Baseball draft. He joined the Prince William Pirates of the Carolina League and was named July 1985 Player of the Month for the league.
In 1986, he hit.311 in 44 games for the Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League. Before Bonds made it to the major leagues in Pittsburgh, Pirate fan attendance was low, with 1984 and 1985 attendance below 10,000 per game for the 81-game home schedule. Bonds made his major league debut on May 30, 1986. In 1986, Bonds led National League rookies with 16 home runs, 48 RBI, 36 stolen bases and 65 walks, but he finished 6th in Rookie of the Year voting, he played center field in 1986, but switched to left field with the arrival of centerfielder Andy Van Slyke in 1987. In his early years, Bonds batted as the leadoff hitter. With Van Slyke in the outfield, the Pirates had a venerable defensive tandem that worked together to cover a lot of ground on the field although they were not close off the field; the Pirates experienced a surge in fan enthusiasm with Bonds on the team and set the club attendance record of 52,119 in the 1987 home opener. That year, he hit 25 home runs in his second season, along with 59 RBIs.
Bonds improved in 1988. The Pirates broke. Bonds now fit into a respected lineup featuring Bobby Bonilla, Van Slyke and Jay Bell, he finished with 19 homers, 58 RBIs, 14 outfield assists in 1989, second in the NL. Following the season, rumors that he would be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jeff Hamilton and John Wetteland, but the team denied the rumors and no such trade occurred. Bonds won his first MVP Award in 1990, hitting.301 with 114 RBIs. He stole 52 bases, which were third in the league, to become a first-time member of the 30–30 club, he won his first Gold Glove Silver Slugger Award. That year, the Pirates won the National League East title for their first postseason berth since winning the 1979 World Series. However, the Cincinnati Reds, whose last post-season berth had been in 1979 when they lost to the Pirates
In baseball, the strike zone is the volume of space through which a pitch must pass in order to be called a strike, if the batter does not swing. The strike zone is defined as the volume of space above home plate and between the batter's knees and the midpoint of their torso. Whether a pitch passes through the zone is decided by an umpire, positioned behind the catcher. Strikes are desirable for the pitcher and the fielding team, as three strikes result in a strikeout of that batter. A pitch that misses the strike zone is called a ball. Balls are desirable for the batter and the batting team, as four balls allow the batter to take a "walk" to first base as a base on balls. Multiple sets of rules govern baseball and softball, which define the strike zone differently; the rulebook in use depends on the league. The Major League Official Rules defines the top of the strike zone at the midpoint between the top of the batter's shoulders and the top of the uniform pants; the bottom of the strike zone is at the hollow beneath the kneecap, both determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at the pitched ball.
The right and left boundaries of the strike zone correspond to the edges of home plate. A pitch that touches the outer boundary of the zone is as much a strike as a pitch, thrown right down the center. A pitch at which the batter does not swing and which does not pass through the strike zone is called a ball; the active tally of strikes and balls during a player's turn batting is called the count. The strike zone is a volume of space delimited by vertical planes extending up from the pentagonal boundaries of the home plate and limited at the top and bottom by upper and lower horizontal planes passing through the horizontal lines of the definition above; this volume thus takes the form of a vertical right pentagonal prism located above home plate. A pitch passing outside the front of the defined volume of the strike zone but curving so as to enter this volume farther back is described as a "back-door strike". Major League Baseball has increased or reduced the size of the strike zone in an attempt to control the balance of power between pitchers and hitters.
After the record home run year by Roger Maris in 1961, the major leagues increased the size of the strike zone from the top of the batter's shoulders to the bottom of his knees. In 1968, pitchers such as Denny McLain and Bob Gibson among others dominated hitters, producing 339 shutouts. Carl Yastrzemski would be the only American League hitter to finish the season with a batting average higher than.300. In the National League, Gibson posted a 1.12 earned run average, the lowest in 54 years, while Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale threw a record 58 and two-thirds consecutive scoreless innings during the 1968 season. As a result of the dropping offensive statistics, Major League Baseball took steps to reduce the advantage held by pitchers by lowering the height of the pitcher's mound from 15 inches to 10 inches, by reducing the size of the strike zone for the 1969 season. Although the de facto enforced strike zone can vary, the Official Rules define a pitch as a strike "if any part of the ball passes through any part of the strike zone."
A batter who accumulates three strikes in a single batting appearance has struck out and is ruled out. In early iterations of the rules during the 19th century, it took up to 9 balls for a batter to earn a walk. While baseball rules provide a precise definition for the strike zone, in practice, it is up to the judgment of the umpire to decide whether the pitch passed through the zone; the Official Baseball Rules state that objections to judgment calls on the field, including balls and strikes, shall not be tolerated, that any manager, coach, or player who leaves his dugout or field position to contest a judgment call will first be warned, ejected. Many umpires and analysts, including the authors of a University of Nebraska study on the subject, believe that due to the QuesTec pitch-tracking system, the enforced strike zone in 2002–2006 was larger compared to the zone in 1996–2000 and thus closer to the rulebook definition; some commentators, such as Tim Roberts of covers.com, believe that the zone has changed so much that some pitchers, such as Tom Glavine, have had to radically adjust their approach to pitching for strikes.
In 2003, a frustrated Curt Schilling took a baseball bat to a QuesTec camera and destroyed it after a loss, saying the umpires shouldn't be changing the strike zone to match the machines. In 2009, a new system called Zone Evaluation was implemented in all 30 Major League ballparks, replacing the QuesTec system. Much of the early resistance from Major League umpires to QuesTec had diminished and the implementation of the new Zone Evaluation system in all the parks went unnoticed. Like the old system, the new system will be used to grade umpires on accuracy and used to determine which umpires receive postseason assignments. Glossary of baseball Gammons, Peter. "What Ever Happened to the Strike Zone?". Sports Illustrated. 66: 36–40, 45–46. 2001 Changes in Strike Zone St. Petersburg Times article. Strike Zone MLB website. John Walsh, "Strike Zone: Fact vs. Fiction", The Hardball Times, July 11, 2007 The Strike Zone: A Chr