What is the objective of the offensive team in baseball?
What is the role of the pitcher in baseball?
What is the purpose of the umpires in baseball?
What is Sabermetrics?
What is the origin of baseball?
What is the goal of the game in baseball?
What is the role of the designated hitter (DH) in baseball?
What is the significance of Babe Ruth in baseball?
What is the impact of baseball on popular culture?
Overview of Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of nine players each.
The game occurs over the course of several plays, with each play generally beginning when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball that a player on the batting team, called the batter, tries to hit with a bat.
The objective of the offensive team (batting team) is to hit the ball into the field of play, away from the other team's players, allowing its players to run the bases, having them advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs".
The objective of the defensive team (referred to as the fielding team) is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases.
Baseball evolved from older bat-and-ball games already being played in England by the mid-18th century.
A baseball game is played between two teams, each usually composed of nine players, that take turns playing offense (batting and baserunning) and defense (pitching and fielding).
The goal of the game is to score more points (runs) than the other team.
The players on the team at bat attempt to score runs by touching all four bases, in order, set at the corners of the square-shaped baseball diamond.
The team in the field attempts to prevent runs from scoring by recording outs, which remove opposing players from offensive action.
A pitch that is not hit into the field of play is called either a strike or a ball.
Any runners already on base may attempt to advance on batted balls that land, or contact the ground, in fair territory, before or after the ball lands.
If the designated hitter (DH) rule is in effect, each team has a tenth player whose sole responsibility is to bat (and run).Baseball: A Comprehensive Summary
A baseball team typically consists of nine players, including a pitcher, catcher, five starting pitchers, seven or eight relievers, a backup catcher, and two or three other reserve players.
The manager, or head coach, oversees the team's major strategic decisions, and is typically assisted by two or more coaches with specialized responsibilities.
Umpires make rulings on the outcome of each play, with at least one umpire standing behind the catcher to call balls and strikes, and additional umpires stationed near the other bases to judge plays such as attempted force outs and tag outs.
Many of the pre-game and in-game strategic decisions in baseball revolve around matchups between right- and left-handed batters and pitchers, with managers and coaches making substitutions to create favorable matchups.
Pitch selection is a key tactical decision that precedes almost every play in a baseball game, with pitchers using a variety of gripping and throwing techniques to create differing pitches that can be selected.
Other key tactical decisions include pickoff attempts, pitchouts, employing a shift, playing in with a runner on third base, and offensive tactics such as the hit and run, sacrifice bunt, and squeeze play.
Baseball evolved from older bat-and-ball games, with consensus holding that it is a North American development from the older game rounders, popular among children in Great Britain and Ireland.
The National Association of Base Ball Players, the sport's first governing body, was formed in 1857, with the more formally structured National League founded in 1876.
The rise of Babe Ruth in the 1920s helped permanently alter the nature of the game, with a new era of power hitting and higher scoring.
The first significant Negro league, the Negro National League, was founded in 1920, with integration proceeding slowly until Jackie Robinson broke the major leagues' color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
Attendance had been growing steadily since the mid-1970s, with the free agency system and the introduction of non-division-winning wild card teams and regular-season interleague play helping to fuel this growth.
The use of illegal steroids to enhance performance began attracting significant media attention in 2002, with no penalty for their use before 2004.
Baseball is well established in several other countries, including Canada, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Japan.Baseball is played professionally in many countries, including Japan, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic, with the Japanese major leagues considered the highest quality outside of the US.
Baseball has distinctive elements that set it apart from other team sports, including the absence of a clock, individual focus, and the uniqueness of playing fields.
The length of an average MLB game has increased steadily, attributed to longer breaks between innings for commercials and a slower pace of play.
Baseball statistics are central to the game's "historical essence" and are used by managers and scouts to evaluate players and make strategic decisions.
Sabermetrics is a field of baseball statistical study that has brought attention to new statistics, including on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Baseball has a large following in the United States, with nearly half of Americans being fans, but it has faced competition from other sports such as football.
Baseball has an important place in the culture of other countries, such as Cuba and Japan.
The playing fields in baseball can vary significantly in size and shape, with no regulations on the dimensions of foul territory or the height of fences.
Baseball has a reputation for being a data-driven sport, with the statistical record being central to the game's history.
Baseball has been played in Europe, with the most successful professional league being the Italian league, founded in 1948.
After being admitted to the Olympics in 1992, baseball was dropped from the 2012 Summer Olympics due to MLB's reluctance to allow its players to participate during the major league season.
Baseball has certain attributes that make it a unique sport, including the absence of a clock and the individual focus.Baseball: A Summary
- Baseball is a popular sport in the United States, Japan, South Korea, and the Caribbean, among other regions.
- Attendance at Major League Baseball games has fluctuated over the years, with a record high of 79.5 million in 2007 and a low of under 73 million in 2016.
- The Dominican Republic is the primary source of foreign talent for Major League Baseball, with 83 players on MLB Opening Day rosters in 2017.
- Baseball has declined in popularity in Puerto Rico since 1990, when young Puerto Rican players began to be included in the major leagues' annual first-year player draft.
- Baseball is among the most popular sports in Japan and South Korea, with Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) generating an estimated $1 billion in combined revenue for its twelve teams in 2007.
- Little League Baseball oversees leagues with close to 2.4 million participants in over 80 countries, with a decline in participation since the 1990s.
- Baseball has had a broad impact on popular culture, inspiring works of art, entertainment, and literature.
- Baseball cards were introduced in the late 19th century and are now prized collectibles.
- Modern fantasy sports began with Rotisserie League Baseball in 1980 and have since inspired similar games based on different sports.
- Derivative games of baseball include corkball, softball, and Finnish baseball.
- British baseball was codified in 1892, with a strong community game already in existence in Wales and Merseyside.
- Pesäpallo, a combination of traditional ball-batting team games and North American baseball, was invented in the 1920s by Lauri "Tahko" Pihkala in Finland.
Think you know everything there is to know about baseball? Test your knowledge with our baseball quiz! From the basic rules of the game to the history and evolution of baseball, this quiz covers it all. Challenge yourself and see how much you really know about America's favorite pastime.
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