History of Baseball
Baseball has a long extensive history, it started with just a
leather ball and wooden bats for hitting the ball. It began in the early 1800s
where Local rules were used at the time playing the sport we know today as baseball.
Popularity began even more for the sport in the 1860s, being described as
America’s “national pastime.” It was in 1845 where the modern
baseball field was built by a male named Alexander Joy Cartwright. Alexander
Cartwright was a member of a baseball club in New York. The club was called Knickerbocker
Baseball Club who devised the first rules and regulations for the modern game
It was in 1846 where the first recorded baseball game took
place by Alexander Cartwright’s Knickerbockers who lost to the New York
Baseball Club. The game was held at the Elysian Fields, in Hoboken, New Jersey.
In 1858, the first organized baseball league was formed and called itself: National
Association of Base Ball Players. In the early 19th century an English
game called rounders was played and became popular, it was based off of what we
the sport we now called baseball. The game back than was called “base”,
“townball”, or “baseball”.
Major League Baseball is the highest level of play in North
American professional baseball. The regular season includes 162 games for each
team and is concluded by advancing five teams from each league (American League
and National League) to the “postseason”, or play-off, where the
winner is laurelled after the World Series.
How is it played?
Playing the Game Baseball is played on an area divided into
an infield using standard proportions and an outfield of varied dimensions depending
on the field. The infield is square, with 90 ft on each side. The corner
farthest from the outfield fence is home plate, and the other bases–first, second,
and third–run counterclockwise. The pitcher’s mound, an 18-ft circle inclining
upward toward a small rectangular rubber slab in the center, lies inside the square
60 ft 6 in. from home plate. The outfield ends at an outer fence, the distance
of which from home plate varies with the shape of the field. It is usually 250
to over 450 ft. The teams play nine innings, alternating in the field and at
bat, with the home team batting last. The infielders–first baseman, second
baseman, shortstop, and third baseman–usually position themselves along the
two sides of the square between first and second and second and third bases.
The outfielders–left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder–cover the
respective portions of the outfield. The pitcher stands on the rubber, and the
catcher crouches behind the batter.
The team at bat sends its nine men to the plate in a
specified sequence. Each batter attempts to hit the pitcher’s deliveries, which
the latter tries to vary in speed and in placement within the strike zone (the
area over home plate and between the batter’s knees and armpits).
Each team’s half-inning consists of three outs. An out occurs
most commonly when
a ball is caught before bouncing (a fly ball), when a groundball
is caught and thrown to first base before the batter arrives, when a base runner
is not touching a base and is tagged by a fielder holding the ball, when a
fielder who has the ball touches a base other than first when there is a runner
approaching that base and each previous base, when a player has left a base and
is unable to get back before a caught fly ball is thrown to the base, and when
the pitcher gets three strikes on a batter. A strike is any pitch at which the
batter swings and misses, any pitch that travels through the strike zone, and
any batted ball that lands outside the straight lines running from home plate
through first base and from home plate through third base to the outfield fence
(called a foul). If the batter already has two strikes, a foul is not considered
a strike unless it is a foul bunt or a tipped foul caught by the catcher before
it bounces. The team at bat tries to get players on base and advance them until
they round all four bases to score runs. The team with more runs after nine
innings wins. If the score is tied at the end of nine innings, the teams play
extra innings until one team scores more than the other and both teams have had
an equal number of turns at bat. A batter reaches base if hit by a pitch, if he
or she receives a walk by taking four pitches (called balls) outside the strike
zone, if a defensive player misplays the ball for an error, if the catcher
interferes with a swing, and if the catcher fails to catch the pitcher’s throw
on a third strike and does not throw the ball to first base before the batter
reaches the base. But the most common way of reaching base is with a hit. Hits
come in many forms: deliberately gentle bunts to unreachable parts of the infield,
hard-hit ground balls that travel between infielders, bloopers popped in an arc
beyond the infield but out of the outfielders’ reach, line drives in front of
or between the outfielders, and clouts smashed over the fence. Both the batter
and runners may advance as far as possible on any hit. A one-base hit is a single,
a two-base hit a double, a three-base hit a triple, and a four-base hit a home
run. The most common kind of home run is a fair ball over the fence on a fly,
but a batter may also run around all the bases before the fielders can retrieve
a ball hit inside the park and throw it to the plate. Runners may also advance
by stealing a base, on a balk (improper procedure by a pitcher), on a sacrifice
(a bunt intended to move the runner even though the batter will be out), or on
a sacrifice fly (a fly ball caught by an outfielder but not returned to the proper
base before the runner reaches it–provided the runner does not leave his or
her original base before the ball is caught). Four umpires, one near each base,
regulate the game, enforce the rules, and call balls and strikes, foul and fair
balls, and safe or out. The umpires may also eject players from the game for improper
behavior and call a forfeit for serious infractions.
Unusual terms: Hidden ball trick
In baseball there is something called the hidden ball trick.
To explain it, the batter hits the ball and got on first base. During this, the
pitcher covers first but the first baseman gets the ball. (Runner safe) The
baseman then acts like he handed the ball to the pitcher, while this is
happening the runner leads off first and the baseman tags him out. The hidden
ball trick works great if a runner is on base. For example the runner is on
first. Call the infielders in and have a “talk” meanwhile have the
pitcher sneak the ball to the first baseman, don’t let anyone see. Then have
the pitcher stand off the rubber and act like he’s got the ball in his glove.
The pitcher can put the glove up to his chest and act like he’s reading signs
from the catcher. Make sure the pitcher is off the rubber though, otherwise it
is illegal. Then everyone goes back to their positions. The runner leads off
and then the first baseman tags the runner and he’s out. It works well if the
pitcher is a good actor and the first baseman sells it well. Also if you are
batting and you get walked touch first and keep running to second, many people
don’t expect it, but it is legal just make sure the pitcher and catcher are not
paying attention. For the most part the
hidden ball trick is impossible to pull off. It’s tried by youth managers who
don’t know the rules. For instance, when the ball is still alive, an infielder
meets the pitcher while on the mound, and pretends to give the pitcher the
ball. Fielder then walks back to his position. If pitcher stays away from the
pitcher’s plate, the runner will remain on the base, because pro ball players
are not stupid. If the pitcher straddles the pitcher’s plate, without the ball
in his possession, “TIME. BALK”. If the pitcher and the infielder try
this stunt after a dead ball situation (foul ball, time out), nothing may
happen because the ball remains dead until the pitcher has the ball, the
catcher is in his position, the batter is in the batter’s box, and the plate
umpire points to the pitcher, and says, “Play”.
There are also other terms in baseball such as, “Tagging
Up” is when a runner returns to a base to try to advance on a pop-fly out
(a baserunner may attempt to advance to the next base on an fly-ball out, but
his foot must be touching the base at the time the fielder catches the ball).
Another term would be an “Inside the Park Home Run” is when the
baseball stays inside the field of play (rather than going over the fence).
Normally, an inside the park HR takes a player with great speed and for the
ball to take some big hops away from the fielders.
Health Benefits of Baseball
There are several health benefits in baseball including mental,
social, physical, and spiritual. Social for instance, is built on our ability
to communicate correctly and appropriately. For example, when you remember people’s
names or giving and receiving compliments to each other. Team sports are a
perfect medium for learning about communication. In order to function effectively
as a team member you have to learn to be both the communicator and the one
communicated with. As communication goes on you will eventually make new
friends and start a circle. You will then learn different social lessons as
time goes on.
People experience these benefits when joining a team by talking
more efficiently, the study people’s body language, and learning to respect other
people in the process. Spiritual follows right after as playing baseball with
others gives you high self-esteem, positive outlook, and puts you overall in a
great mood. This leads to mental stability where your mind is focused, you
create a game plan, and you work with other people on the same page to deliver.
Another example, is preventing depression by rooting for your team to win as
you stay active and interested in the sport. When local sports teams win,
there’s plenty of evidence that people actually feel better about themselves. Research
suggests that having an allegiance to a team in a community setting results in
a sense of belonging and can be beneficial to emotional health. According to a
study out of the University of Kansas, sports fans experience fewer bouts of
depression and alienation compared with people who are uninterested in sports.
A study has been shown from the University of Chicago that a particular part of
the brain that is involved in playing sports is used when sports fans and
players talk about sports. “We show that non-language related activities, such
as playing or watching a sport, enhance one’s ability to understand language
about their sport precisely because brain areas normally used to act become
highly involved in language understanding,”.
Physical fitness comes to play as well, where baseball
delivers physical strength by throwing the ball at a far range using your arm
muscles. There is also fast running when running from base to base which gives
you cardio activity. Strength also plays a role when swinging the bat to hit
the baseball as far as possible. These attributes gives your body great
physical activity to maintain shape and form.