Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of nine players each, who take turns batting and fielding. A run is scored when a player advances around the bases, Players on the batting team take turns hitting against the pitcher of the fielding team, which tries to prevent runs by getting hitters out in any of several ways. A player on the team who reaches a base safely can attempt to advance to subsequent bases during teammates turns batting. The teams switch between batting and fielding whenever the team records three outs. One turn batting for both teams, beginning with the team, constitutes an inning. A game is composed of nine innings, and the team with the number of runs at the end of the game wins. Baseball has no clock, although almost all games end in the ninth inning. Baseball evolved from older bat-and-ball games already being played in England by the mid-18th century and this game was brought by immigrants to North America, where the modern version developed. By the late 19th century, baseball was widely recognized as the sport of the United States.
Baseball is now popular in North America and parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, in the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball teams are divided into the National League and American League, each with three divisions, East and Central. The major league champion is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series, the top level of play is similarly split in Japan between the Central and Pacific Leagues and in Cuba between the West League and East League. The evolution of baseball from older bat-and-ball games is difficult to trace with precision, a French manuscript from 1344 contains an illustration of clerics playing a game, possibly la soule, with similarities to baseball. Other old French games such as thèque, la balle au bâton, consensus once held that todays baseball is a North American development from the older game rounders, popular in Great Britain and Ireland. Baseball Before We Knew It, A Search for the Roots of the Game, by David Block, suggests that the game originated in England, recently uncovered historical evidence supports this position.
Block argues that rounders and early baseball were actually regional variants of other. It has long believed that cricket descended from such games. The earliest known reference to baseball is in a 1744 British publication, A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, David Block discovered that the first recorded game of Bass-Ball took place in 1749 in Surrey, and featured the Prince of Wales as a player. William Bray, an English lawyer, recorded a game of baseball on Easter Monday 1755 in Guildford and this early form of the game was apparently brought to Canada by English immigrants
In the scoring system used to record defensive plays, the third baseman is assigned the number 5. The third baseman requires good reflexes in reacting to batted balls, the third base position requires a strong and accurate arm, as the third baseman often makes long throws to first base. The third baseman sometimes must throw quickly to second base in time to start a double play, the third baseman must field fly balls in fair and foul territory. Third base is known as the hot corner, because the third baseman is relatively close to the batter, a third baseman must possess good hand-eye coordination and quick reactions in order to catch hard line drives sometimes in excess of 125 miles per hour. Third basemen often must begin in an even closer to the batter if a bunt is expected. As with middle infielders, right-handed throwing players are standard at the position because they do not need to turn their body before throwing across the infield to first base. Mike Squires, who played fourteen games at third base in 1982 and 1983, is a rare example of a third baseman who threw lefty.
Some third basemen have been converted from middle infielders or outfielders because the position does not require them to run as fast. Players who could hit with more ability often were not suited for third base, since the 1950s the position has become more of a power position with sluggers such as Eddie Mathews, Mike Schmidt and Ron Santo becoming stars. There are fewer third basemen in the Baseball Hall of Fame than there are Hall of Famers of any other position
Catcher is a general term for a fielder who catches the ball in cricket. Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player, when a batter takes his/her turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. In addition to primary duty, the catcher is called upon to master many other skills in order to field the position well. The role of the catcher is similar to that of the wicket-keeper in cricket, positioned behind home plate, the catcher can see the whole field, and is therefore in the best position to direct and lead the other players in a defensive play. The catcher typically calls for using hand signals. The calls are based on the mechanics and strengths, as well as the batters tendencies and weaknesses. Foul tips, bouncing balls in the dirt, and contact with runners during plays at the plate are all events to be handled by the catcher and this includes a mask and throat protectors, shin guards, and a heavily padded catchers mitt.
The physical and mental demands of being involved on every defensive play can wear catchers down over a long season, because of the strategic defensive importance of catching, if a catcher has exceptional defensive skills, teams are often willing to overlook their relative offensive weaknesses. A knowledgeable catchers ability to work with the pitcher, via selection and location. Many great defensive catchers toiled in relative anonymity, because they did not produce large offensive numbers, notable examples of light-hitting, defensive specialists were, Ray Schalk, Jim Hegan, Jim Sundberg and Brad Ausmus. Schalks career batting average of.253 is the lowest of any player in the Baseball Hall of Fame. That he was selected for enshrinement in 1955 was largely a tribute to his defensive skills. Catchers are often able to play first base and less commonly third base, in the numbering system used to record baseball plays, the catcher is assigned the number 2. In the middle of the century, the game of baseball began to evolve from a sport played by amateurs for recreation into a more serious game played by professionals.
One of the most dramatic changes was the transition of the delivery from an underhand motion to an overhanded throw. As the game progressed towards professionals and became serious, pitchers began to attempt to prevent the batter from hitting the ball by throwing faster pitches. With the introduction of the strike in 1858, catchers began inching closer to home plate due to the rules requirement that a strikeout could only be completed by a catch. These developments meant that catchers began to take on a defensive role
Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball or softball fielding position between second and third base, which is considered to be among the most demanding defensive positions. The position is filled by defensive specialists, so shortstops are generally relatively poor batters who bat in the batting order. In the numbering used by scorers to record defensive plays. More hit balls go to the shortstop than to any position, as there are more right-handed hitters in baseball than left-handed hitters. Like a second baseman, a shortstop must be agile, for example performing a 4-6-3 double play. Also, like a third baseman, the shortstop fields balls hit to the side of the infield. Doc Adams of the Knickerbockers created the concept of the position, according to Thorn. In the first five years the Knickerbockers played, the team fielded anywhere from eight to eleven players, the only infielders were the players covering each of the bases, if there were more than eight players, extra outfielders were sometimes used.
The outfielders had difficulty throwing baseballs into the infield, because of the light weight. Adams shortstop position, which he started playing at some time from 1849 to 1850, was used to field throws from the outfielders, with the advent of higher-quality baseballs, Adams moved to the infield, since the distance the balls could travel increased. Adams had a playing career with the Knickerbockers, he remained a player with the team until 1860. The shortstop ordinarily is positioned near second base on the third-base side, a shortstop must be extremely agile, because balls hit to or near the shortstop position are usually hit harder than to other infield positions. Shortstops are required to cover second base in double play situations when the ball is hit to the second baseman or first baseman and they cover second when a runner is attempting a stolen base, but only when a left-handed hitter is batting. This is because the infield will respond to a batter by shifting toward first base. They often become the man on balls to any part of the outfield that are being directed towards third base and all balls to left.
Depending on the system the shortstop may cut balls from left field heading home, the emphasis on defense makes the position unusually difficult to fill. Historically, a strong shortstop did not have to be a good hitter.200, since the 1960s, such mediocre hitting has become rarer as teams increasingly demand players with ability to both field and hit. Alex Rodríguez, Michael Young, or Miguel Tejada, the year in which the player was inducted is given in brackets after his name
A batboy or batgirl in sports is an individual who carries the baseball bats around to a baseball team. A batboy may lay out the equipment and mud the baseballs to be used in the game and batboys had both been part of baseball since the 1880s. After the 1919 World Series scandal, he was hired by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1920, when the Dodgers lost the 1920 World Series to the Cleveland Indians, some suggested the four straight losses on the road were due to leaving Bennett behind. He served for almost 12 years as mascot/batboy for the New York Yankees, batboys typically wear the same uniform design as their associated team. They will wear a batting helmet to protect them from flying balls or bats. During any given major league game, both the home and visiting team batboys will be drawn from the city where the game is taking place, a batboy may be provided his own number, but will usually wear 00 or BB in its place. If a batboy uniform does not have a first name on it, it usually have the term BAT BOY or no name at all.
On August 3,2015, a 9-year old bat boy for the Liberal Bee Jays in Kansas, the batter did not see Kaiser who was running to retrieve a bat, when he did a warm-up swing. Despite wearing a helmet, he died in the hospital from the injuries he sustained. On June 30,2000, police discovered steroids and syringes in the compartment of the Mercedes-Benz that had been loaned to Boston Red Sox batboy Carlos Cowart by infielder Manny Alexander. In the 2002 World Series, a bat boy was involved in an incident when he went out to get a bat while the play was going on. After the incident, MLB set an age limit of 14 for bat boys. Matthew McGough described his experiences with the New York Yankees in Bat Boy, My True-Life Adventures Coming of Age with the New York Yankees. McGoughs book served as the basis for Clubhouse, a television show that aired on CBS in the fall of 2004. In a pregame ceremony on May 5,2007, Stan Bronson, known as Stan The Man, has served as the batboy for the University of Memphis baseball team since the 1958 season.
His 50 years of service is recognized in the 2008 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, league president William Cutler subsequently announced that the leagues mandatory fine for being ejected would not be enforced against Morris. Dominick Ardovino wrote about his experience with the New York Mets in The Bat Boy. Drew Storen of the Seattle Mariners was a Batboy for the Montreal Expos, jesse Litsch who pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays, was a Batboy for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2001 &2002
In the game of baseball, the official scorer is a person appointed by the league to record the events on the field, and to send the official scoring record of the game back to the league offices. Judgment calls are made about errors, unearned runs, fielders choice, the value of hits in certain situations. This record is used to compile statistics for each player and team, a box score is a summary of the official scorers game record. Newspaper writers initially performed this function in the days of Major League Baseball. Controversies related to perceived bias or errors in scoring have led to questions about important baseball records, including several no-hitters and Joe DiMaggios 56-game hitting streak of 1941. By 1979, many major newspapers decided to ban their writers from scoring baseball games due to conflict-of-interest concerns, since 1980, some reforms have been suggested to improve the performance of official scorers. In 2001, MLB formed a committee to review their performance. This authority was used by the scoring three times during the 2009 season.
In 2006, an academic study seemed to confirm the existence of a home-team bias in scoring decisions. Henry Chadwick is generally credited with the invention of scorekeeping in baseball, Chadwick was the inventor of the modern box score and the writer of the first rule book for the game of baseball. A judgment call that is required by the official scorer does not alter the outcome of a game, qualified candidates for scoring were submitted to the leagues for approval. Baseball writer-scorers usually worked at the games played at the stadium of the team which they covered for their newspaper. The writer-scorers were tasked with making decisions that could impact the statistics of the team they were writing about. Because of this affiliation, the scorer was often presumed by the baseball players and managers to favor the home team when making the required judgment calls during the course of a game. Criticism of scoring decisions date to the earliest days of the game, some historians claim that Joe DiMaggios record 56-game hitting streak in 1941 was made possible by several generous rulings at Yankee Stadium.
Although scoring decisions were widely believed to favor the hitter over the defense, infielder Dave Johnson said, Ive been involved in five or six no-hit games, and all of them were suspected of being helped by hometown scoring. One of the last controversies of the era was seen in a 1978 game at St. Louis. The official scorer Neal Russo judged the play to be a rather than a hit
In baseball, a number of coaches assist in the smooth functioning of a team. They are assistants to the manager, who determines the lineup, beyond the manager, more than a half dozen coaches may assist the manager in running the team. Baseball is unique in that the manager and coaches typically all wear numbered uniforms similar to those of the players. After the widespread adoption of numbered uniforms in the early 1930s, Joe McCarthy, another Hall of Fame manager, wore a full uniform, all three men retired during or after the same season —1950. Full-time coaches in professional baseball date to 1909, when John McGraw of the New York Giants engaged Arlie Latham, by the 1920s, most Major League teams had two full-time coaches, although the manager often doubled as third-base coach and specialists such as pitching coaches were rare. Batting and bench coaches came into vogue during the 1960s and later, because of the proliferation of uniformed coaches in the modern game, Major League Baseball now restricts the number of uniformed staff to six coaches and one manager during the course of a game.
There are 268 coaches in MLB, the first bench coach in baseball was George Huff, who took that helm for the Illinois Fighting Illini baseball in 1905, at the time, it meant a coach present throughout the season. More recently, the coach is a teams second-in-command. The bench coach serves as an advisor to the manager, offering situational advice. If the manager is ejected, suspended, or unable to attend a game for any reason, if the manager is fired or resigns during the season, it is usually the bench coach who gets promoted to interim manager. The bench coachs responsibilities include helping to set up the practice and stretching routines before a game. A pitching coach mentors and trains teams pitchers and he advises the manager on the condition of pitchers and their arms, and serves as an in-game coach for the pitcher currently on the mound. When a manager makes a visit to the mound, he typically is doing so to make a change or to discuss situational defense. However, to talk about mechanics or how to pitch to a particular batter, the pitching coach is generally a former pitcher.
One exception is Dave Duncan, the pitching coach of the St. Louis Cardinals. Prior to the early 1950s, pitching coaches were former catchers. The bullpen coach is similar to a coach, but works primarily with relief pitchers in the bullpen. He does not make mound visits, however, as he stays in the bullpen the entire game, the bullpen coach is either a former pitcher or catcher
In baseball, a stolen base occurs when a runner advances to a base to which he is not entitled and the official scorer rules that the advance should be credited to the action of the runner. The umpires determine whether the runner is safe or out at the next base, a stolen base most often occurs when a baserunner advances to the next base while the pitcher is pitching the ball to home plate. Successful base stealers are not only fast but have good baserunning instincts, ned Cuthbert, playing for the Philadelphia Keystones in either 1863 or 1865, was the first player to steal a base in a baseball game, although the term stolen base was not used until 1870. For a time in the 19th century, stolen bases were credited when a baserunner reached an extra base on a hit from another player. For example, if a runner on first base reached third base on a single, in 1887, Hugh Nicol set a still-standing Major League record with 138 stolen bases, many of which would not have counted under modern rules. Modern steal rules were implemented in 1898.
Base stealing was popular in the early decades, with speedsters such as Ty Cobb. Wills record was broken in turn by Lou Brock in 1974, base stealing is an important characteristic of the small ball managing style. Such managers emphasize doing the things to advance runners and score runs, often relying on pitching. The Los Angeles Dodgers of the 1960s, led by pitcher Sandy Koufax, the antithesis of this is reliance on power hitting, exemplified by the Baltimore Orioles of the 1970s, which aspired to score most of its runs via home runs. Often the small ball model is associated with the National League, some successful recent American League teams, including the 2002 Anaheim Angels, the 2001 Seattle Mariners and the 2005 Chicago White Sox have excelled at small ball. The Kansas City Royals have embodied this style recently, leading the league in stolen bases but finishing last in home runs in 2013 and 2014. Successful teams often combine both styles, with a runner or two complementing hitters with power, such as the 2005 White Sox, who despite playing small ball, still hit 200 home runs.
Baseballs Rule 8 specifies the pitching procedure in detail, a runner intending to steal on the pitcher breaks for the next base the moment the pitcher commits to pitch to home plate. The pitcher cannot abort the pitch and try to put the runner out, if the runner breaks too soon, the pitcher may throw to a base rather than pitch, and the runner is usually picked off by being tagged out between the bases. Past this moment, any delay in the runners break makes it likely that the catcher, after receiving the pitch. Before the pitch, the runner takes a lead-off, walking several steps away from the base as a start toward the next base. Even a runner who does not intend to steal takes a lead of a few more steps
In baseball, batting is the act of facing the opposing pitcher and trying to produce offense for ones team. A batter or hitter is a person whose turn it is to face the pitcher. The three main goals of batters are to become a baserunner, drive home, or advance runners along the bases for others to drive home. Hitting uses a motion that is unique to baseball, one that is rarely used in other sports. Hitting is unique because unlike most sports movements in the plane of movement hitting involves rotating in the horizontal plane. In general, batters try to get hits, their primary objective is to avoid making an out, and helping their team to score runs. There are several ways they can help their team score runs and they may draw a walk if they receive and do not swing the bat at four pitches located outside the strike zone. In cases when there is a runner on third and fewer than two outs, they can attempt to hit a fly to drive the runner in by allowing the runner on third to tag up. They might even be hit by a pitch, reach on an error or—if first is empty or there are two outs—on a dropped third strike, the defense attempts to get the batter out.
The pitchers main role in this is to throw the ball in such a way that the batter strikes out or cannot hit it cleanly so that the defense can get him or her out. Batting is often cited as one of the most difficult feats in sports because it consists of hitting a small ball, usually moving at high velocity. In fact, if a batter can get a hit in three out of ten at bats, giving him an average of.300, he or she is considered a good hitter. In Major League Baseball, no batter has had over a.400 average at the end of the season since Ted Williams in 1941, an OPS at or near 1.000 is considered to be the mark of an exceptional hitter. A sustained OPS at or above 1.000 over a career is a only a few hitters have ever been able to reach. Batters vary in their approach at the plate, some are aggressive hitters, often swinging at the first pitch. Others are patient, attempting to work the count in order to observe all the types of pitches a pitcher will use. In preparation of hitting, every player has their own particular warm-up routine.
Warming up before the game is usually done as a team, at the amateur level, the most notable drill used is the Tee Drill, where you hit a ball off a baseball tee and correct any issues you found during previous games or practices
In baseball, a leadoff hitter is a batter who bats first in the lineup. It can refer to any batter who bats first in an inning, leadoff hitters must possess certain traits to be successful, they must reach base at a proficient on-base percentage rate and be able to steal bases. This is useful because it shows the team the pitchers pick-off move, many managers wish their leadoff hitters to take a lot of pitches, to work high pitch counts, to give their teammates a feel for the opposing pitcher, as well as raising his pitch count. Another job, often unknown and unappreciated, is the responsibility of the leadoff hitter, in the National League, after the pitcher bats, the next hitter is usually the first man in the lineup. His responsibility is to take his time walking to the plate so the pitcher doesnt have to run back to the dugout, which would waste energy and risk unwanted injury. Also, because the hitter is first in the lineup cycle of batters. Leadoff hitters tend to play defensively difficult positions, such as shortstop, second base, rickey Henderson is widely regarded as the prototypical leadoff hitter.
Bold names indicate players active going into the 2016 season
First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a baserunner in order to score a run for that players team. A first baseman is the player on the team playing defense who fields the area nearest first base, in the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the first baseman is assigned the number 3. Also called first sacker or cornerman, the first baseman is ideally a tall player who throws left-handed and possesses good flexibility, flexibility is needed because the first baseman receives throws from the other infielders, the catcher and the pitcher after they have fielded ground balls. In order for the runner to be called out, the first baseman must be able to stretch towards the throw and they often are power hitters who have a substantial number of home runs and extra base hits while maintaining a.270 plus batting average. Good defensive first basemen, according to Bill James, are capable of playing off first base so that they can field ground balls hit to the side of first base.
The first baseman relies upon the pitcher to cover first base to receive the ball to complete the out, indications of a good defensive first baseman include a large number of assists and a low number of throwing errors by other infielders. The nature of play at first base often requires first basemen to stay close to the bag to hold runners or to reach the bag before the batter. First basemen are not typically expected to have the range required of a baseman, shortstop. As a result, first base is not usually perceived to be as physically demanding as other positions, however, it can be a very hard position to play, a large amount of concentration and timing is required. Though many play at first base their entire career, it is common for players to be moved to first base in order to extend their careers or to accommodate other recently acquired players. Facing a possible trade or a reduction in playing time. Catchers and corner outfielders are often moved to first base due to deteriorating health or if their fielding abilities at their position are detrimental to the team.
When first base is not occupied by a baserunner, the first baseman usually stands behind first base, the distance he plays from the base and foul line is dependent on the current hitter and any runners on base. The exact position may depend on the first basemans experience, preference. For a known right-handed pull hitter, the first baseman might position himself further towards the second basemans normal fielding position, for a known left-handed pull hitter, the first baseman will position himself closer to the foul line in order to stop a ball hit down the line. To protect against a bunt on the first base side of the infield, as soon as the pitcher commits to throwing towards home plate, the first basemen will charge towards the hitter to field the bunt. During these plays, it is the responsibility of the second basemen to cover first base, with a base runner present at first base, the first baseman stands with his right foot touching the base to prepare for a pickoff attempt. Once the pitcher commits to throwing towards home plate, the first baseman comes off the bag in front of the runner and gets in a fielding position