America’s past time.
Baseball has been around America for nearly as long as the country. After being invented in 1839 by Abner Doubleday, baseball has been ingrained in American culture.
“As American as baseball and apple pie,” is a popular quote across the pond.
But the game itself can be a confusing one. Here is the rules of baseball in their simplest form.
Baseball is played 9v9, with one team batting, and 9 defensive players in the field.
The field is made up of a diamond, with the batter standing in the bottom corner. See the diagram below.
To play the game, the pitcher, standing on the pitchers mound, throws the ball towards the batter at home plate. The defensive goal is to get the batter “out.”T
his can be done in three different.
To get a batter out, the pitcher can accumulate three “strikes” on the batter. To do this, he has to deliver the pitch in the strike zone.
This is an imaginary box going from the batters knee, to his chest, and the width of home plate. If the ball is pitched inside that box, it’s a strike. If the batter swings at any ball and misses, it’s also a strike. Any combination of three of these, counts as an out.
If the ball is pitched outside the strike zone to one batter, he gets a free pass to first base, called a walk.
If the batter puts the ball in play, in the diamond, the defence can get the batter out.
When the batter hits the ball, he must proceed around the bases, counter-clockwise going to 1st base, and around.
If the defence can get a ball thats hit the ground to the base the runner is going to before he gets there, or tag him, he’s also out.
The goal of the defence is to record three outs as quickly as possible. After that, they can now bat, while the other team comes onto the field to play defence.
A game is nine innings long.
A inning is made up of two team batting, and making three outs each.
Once a team make three outs, the other team bats. That’s done nine times. Whoever is winning after that, the game is over.
A scoreboard for a game might look like this.
Looking at this example, we can see the visitor team scored one in their half of the first inning, before the defence recorded three outs.
Then, in the bottom half of the inning, the home team got two runs before the visitors could record three outs. This goes on through nine innings.
***In this scoreboard, the bottom of the ninth is left blank. If the home team is leading in a baseball game in the bottom half of the ninth inning, the home team doesn’t bat and the game is over. This is because they don’t need anymore runs.
Popular terms and their meanings.
Single – A batter hit the ball and got to first base. (this same terminology is used for two and three bases, called a double and triple)
Homerun – A batter hits the baseball over the wall surrounding the field. He gets a free pass around the bases.
Run – This is what a point is called in baseball. In the above scoreboard, the home team has 10 runs, while the visitors have 6.
Grand slam – Runners work their way around the bases from hits and walks. If the bases are full and a player hits a home run, the all score.
Southpaw – A left-handed pitcher.
Batting average – An important stat made up of how many times a player hits the ball and gets on base safely, versus the amount of times he’s been to the plate. The best hitters go about .3oo for a season. For example, a good hitter might go about 200/600 on a season.
RBI – Stands for run batted in. When a player hits a ball and another player scores, the batter gets an RBI, another important statistic.