A foreigner once said that “whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.” It might be a little sweeping because in reality, not all Americans know how to play baseball.
The following are some of the basics on the game of baseball.
Playing the game
One baseball game lasts for nine innings. An inning is when both teams have been at bat through three outs.
The visiting team will be at bat first while the home team takes the field. The order of the batters is decided on by the team’s manager.
The batting team usually begins with good batters while the power-hitters and homerun hitters follow and could be at the 3rd to 5th. The catcher and the pitcher are usually in the end.
The game ends after nine innings, and there is a winner if one team has a higher score. If the home team is ahead after 8 and a half innings, they may not need to take up the last ups.
In case of a tie, both teams will continue to play complete innings until a score is no longer tied and both teams have had their turns at bat.
Object of the game
Scoring a run is the object of baseball. A batter must safely touch all the bases (first, second and third) and end back at home plate.
There is a hit if the batter hits the ball and makes it to the next base. Going from home to fist base is called a single, going from home to the second base is called a double and making it to the third base without stopping is a triple.
A homerun is making it safely around all the bases back to home without stopping.
There are nine players per team. They are, namely, the pitcher, the catcher, the first baseman, the second baseman, the third baseman, the short stop, the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder.
The pitcher is probably has the most important role in the game. Aside from controlling the game’s tempo, his biggest role is to shut down the opposition and prevent them from scoring any runs.
People say baseball is played on a “diamond”. What they mean is the shape of the field (a diamond) bordered by the home plate, first base, second base and the third base.
In the middle is the pitcher’s mound where the pitcher stands to pitch the ball. In the home plate is the catcher who will catch the pitched balls of the pitcher.
The bases are covered by their assigned personnel (first baseman at the first base, etc.) while the short stop covers the area between the second and the third base.
The outfield (extension beyond the infield bordered by the first and third bases) is covered by the left, center, and right fielders. They will catch the ball going their way.
Baseball can be one of the most exciting sports game to watch. The fun stems from the fact that there is strategy at work (mental game) as well as the physical power involved (power hitters, runners, pitching, etc).
It is just as exciting, of course, to play the game as well. But first, you have to learn baseball.
Baseball is a complex sport that cannot be mastered overnight. You have to learn baseball basics such as the various requirements and rules of the game before you play it in the field. And once you have a clear idea of the basics, you will need to learn how to throw, catch, and hit the ball. To make learning baseball a lot easier for you, here is a quick overview of the different aspects of the game.
Basically, baseball games are played by two teams, each with nine players, that take turns in playing the offense and defense positions. Each player takes one of the following nine positions: catcher, pitcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, leftfielder, rightfielder, and centerfielder.
To be able to win the game, a team must score more runs than its opponent. A run is scored when a team is able to run along the four bases on the diamond-shaped field. In professional baseball matches, each of the nine innings is divided in half at the bottom of the inning when the visiting team takes the defense position, and the home team takes the offense. On the other hand, the inning is divided in half to top of the inning when the home team plays defense and the visiting team plays offense. In each half of the innings, each team gets three outs.
The team that plays defense wears baseball gloves for catching the ball. The offense team will strike the ball using a bat. The bat is made of a metal composite or aluminum for amateur players and wood for professional players.
An important aspect of the game is the position that each player takes. For the defense, the pitcher starts the game by throwing the ball to the home plate. If the ball is not hit by the player of opponent’s team, the catcher (of the defense team) catches it. There are four infielders and three outfielders completing the rest of the team on defense.
A defense team has four ways to eliminate an offensive player. The most common is the strikeout in which a hitter misses three pitches. Second is the tag out that happens when a runner is touched with a glove holding the ball or with the ball. Flyouts occur when an offensive player hits the ball in the air and a defensive player catches it before it lands on the ground. Lastly, force outs occur when a defensive player who has the ball reaches the base first before the runner.
The field where a baseball game is held is divided into two parts: the infield and the outfield. The infield is the area near the bases, while the grassy area outside the infield is called the outfield. Each base is 90 feet away from the diamond; the distance is much shorter in children’s leagues.
It takes a great deal of time and patience to learn baseball. The best way to start learning how to play it is to familiarize yourself with the basics, including the positions, equipment, and rules of the game.