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.