The Fundamentals of Baseball
Baseball is a team sport in which two teams compete against each other over nine innings in which each team attempts to score runs. It is always the home team that bats second (in the “bottom” of the inning), and it is always the visiting team that bats first (in the “top” of the inning)
At the beginning of each innings, the batting team sends one player, known as the hitter or batter, in turn, to the plate (known as a “at bat”) until three hitters are “out,” while the pitching team has nine players on the field trying to prevent them from scoring by striking out. The tenth inning is played if the scores are tied at the end of nine innings, and if necessary, the eleventh, and so on until the game is decided (both halves of the extra inning have to be completed before the game is resolved, if both teams score a run in the tenth, then an eleventh is played, etc). Baseball is a sport in which there are no ties.
Running backs score runs when they reach home base after touching first, second, and third base before advancing to home plate. At any given time, only one runner is permitted to be on a given base.
In practise, each team has only nine players on the field at any given time, but they are usually made up of twenty-five players overall (the rest are substitutes). A substitute may be introduced into the game at any point during the game (whether due to injury, fatigue, or tactical considerations), but once a player has been replaced by a substitute, he is not permitted to return to the field of play.
The Playing Field
It is a diamond-shaped infield with four bases (first base, second base, third base, and home base) at each corner of the diamond. The infield is square but is referred to as a “diamond.” Each base is 90 feet away from the next one in the series. The pitcher’s mound is located in the middle of the diamond, 60.5 feet away from home plate, in the middle of the diamond.
In addition to the diamond, there is an outfield that is usually surrounded by a wall and is located between 325 and 450 feet away from home plate. Aside from that, there are two “foul lines” that extend to the wall from the first and third base lines, and at the end of each foul line, where it meets the outside wall, there is a massive “foul pole” to indicate which long balls are fair and which are not.
“Fair territory” refers to the area between the first and third base lines, as well as the outfield wall, on a baseball field.
Runs for Points
An outfielder, also known as a pitcher, stands on the pitching mound and throws the ball to a hitter who is standing behind home plate. The hitter attempts to put the ball into play by hitting it inside the foul lines (the ball must first land inside the foul lines in front of first or third base) and then sprinting to first base without being tagged out. He has the option of stopping at first base or continuing to second, third, or home base if he so desires.
If a hitter comes to a halt on a base (thereby becoming a “base runner”), he will be able to advance once more when the next hitter is “at bat.” Every time a hitter brings the ball into play, you can expect to see not only him running, but also any teammates on other bases who may be on the field at the time.
The batter who hits the ball over the outfield wall (a “Home Run”), as well as any other baserunners, are automatically advanced to home base, as is the case in baseball.
Every time a runner makes it back to his starting point, he is awarded a run.
Having a Good Time
There are several ways for the fielding team to get a hitter out, including:-
Flied Out – The hitter hits the ball and the ball is caught by a fielder without the ball bouncing off the bat. In order for a ball to be caught, it does not necessarily have to be in “fair territory.” Some of the most spectacular plays have involved fielders catching the ball as it falls into the stands, dugouts, or at the outfield wall, with fielders reaching over the wall and catching a ball and preventing a “home run.”
Although it is odd, if a batter makes only a slight contact with the ball and the pitcher still manages to snag it (a “foul tip”), it does not count as a catch and is instead counted as a strike, which is somewhat unusual (which may be the third strike).
Put Out – A runner can be “put out” by the fielding side by touching him with the ball while he is not standing on a base. A fielder does not even have to “tag” the runner in certain circumstances – for example, in the case of a runner forced to run towards a base because another runner behind him is running towards his, a fielder can simply touch the base while holding the ball and the runner is “forced out.”
Strike Out – When the pitcher throws the ball, he must throw it in the “strike zone,” or else the hitter will swing and miss the ball and the pitcher will lose the game. The strike zone is located above the hitter’s knees, below the midpoint of his waist and shoulders, and above the “home plate” of the batter’s body (which is 17 inches wide). A hitter is “struck out” if a pitcher can throw three strikes in a row against him.
When a batter swings and misses at a pitch (even if the pitch is outside the strike zone), he receives a strike, as well as when he hits a “foul ball,” which is a hit that does not travel between the two foul lines. In contrast, a “foul ball” cannot be considered a third strike.
When a hitter does not swing at a pitch and the pitch does not fall within the strike zone, the pitch is referred to as a “ball.” Whenever a hitter receives four pitches, the pitcher gives him a free “walk” to first base (also known as a “base on balls”).