What is baseball

Baseball is a sacred game for all Americans. All of America cherishes and is proud of this national sport, and it can be understood, because everyone is firmly convinced that baseball was also invented by an American. However, this is not at all the case. Baseball was invented in ancient times and not by Americans. But in the form in which we are all used to seeing baseball, the sport appeared in the 40s of the XIX century.


The history of baseball as it is familiar to most fans of the sport today begins in the 19th century in the United States. For a long time, Americans believed that the creator of the game loved by the whole nation was the hero of the Civil War, General Abner Doubleday.

However, numerous recent historical studies have shown that, in fact, the creator of modern baseball is Alexander Cartwright from New York. It was he who owns the set of rules, developed in 1845, and it was he who created the first ever baseball club, the Knickerbocker.

Cartwright created a whole game system, according to which each baseball team should consist of nine players. At the same time, four so-called bases must be present on the field, 90 feet apart (this is 27.3 meters). On June 19, 1846, it was decided to hold the first official match between the New York Nikes and the Knickerbockers to see the rules in action. The New York Nikes beat the Knickerbocker clean.

After such an exciting sports spectacle, which was witnessed by the inhabitants of the city of Hoboken, baseball clubs began to open in other cities of the United States. Then the baseball mania spread to other countries.

In 1869, many teams were already allocated the “best of the best”, who were paid money for participating in matches, and already in 1876 the country was ripe for the creation of the National Baseball League. The American Baseball League was founded in 1901.

The difference between one and the other consisted only in one thing – only professional baseball players were allowed to participate in the National League games, while only amateurs were allowed to participate in the American League games.

The first major baseball championship was held in 1938. Teams from the USA and Great Britain took part in it. The British took four games out of five and became the clear winners of the series. Interestingly, after such a resounding victory, the British no longer participated in such competitions.

The popularity of baseball grew rapidly. In 1939, three teams took part in the World Cup, and in 1941 there were already nine. Initially, only teams from the USA and Latin American countries could participate in various championships, but then the rule was changed, and European, Asian and Australian teams could take part.

Baseball rules

Baseball rules have been supplemented and changed throughout the existence of this sport.

At the moment, the basic rules of the game are as follows:

  • Each team includes 9 players.
  • Athletes play with a ball, the size of which does not exceed a fist, and the weight is 150 g. The ball is sheathed in white leather and has red ties around the perimeter.
  • The object of the game is to score more points or “runs” than the opposing team. A point is only scored if a player on the offensive team runs through all 4 bases (squares 90 feet apart) on the field in turn.
  • Despite the fact that there are 18 players in the match (9 athletes on each team), only the two most important players remain in the spotlight: the pitcher (aka the thrower) and the batter (aka the batter). At the beginning of the match, one of the teams (home team) plays defense.
  • Points are also not easy to earn. The player must still earn a run through the bases. To do this, the pitcher (the player throwing the ball) must throw the ball from their special zone, and the batter (battering player from the opposing team) must hit the pitch with a bat. If everything goes well, then the batter should drop the bat and run through the bases. At the time of the run, his status will change and he will be called a hitter-runner.
  • If the batter manages to get to the desired base, he is declared “safe” and he automatically becomes a runner (otherwise, the judge will announce out). If a player is out of bounds, he must leave the playing field and sit on the bench.
  • The faster the defending team and the pinscher get all the players out, the faster they will go into offensive status. The pitcher, when throwing, does not just need to throw the ball, he needs to hit a strictly limited rectangle or “strike zone” (it is located above the zero base-home, just above the batter’s knee, but below his chest). Naturally, the judge monitors the execution of all orders.
  • A successful roll is called a strike. A strike is called when the ball passes outside the strike zone without the batter hitting it with the bat. Also, a strike is declared when the ball passes in the strike zone, and the batter did not hit it with a bat or completely ignored it.
  • There is another player behind the batter. They call him a catcher. The catcher must be from the same team as the pitcher. The task of the catcher is to catch the ball thrown by the pitcher in the event that the batter could not hit it.
  • The remaining players who defend the team either stand and guard the bases (three at each point) or try to catch the ball in the field (three people).

You can take a player out of bounds not only by preventing him from reaching all the bases. There are several ways to prevent opponents from earning points:

  • strike-out tactics (the batter failed to earn himself a run to first base because the pitcher was able to make three strikes at once in just one series of innings);
  • ground-out (the batter managed to hit the ball in the field, but the defender managed to intercept the ball and throw it to the player who is on first base before the batter from the opposing team managed to get to it and touch it);
  • force out (the attacker had to run to the base, according to the rules, but the defense player managed to get to this very base with the ball in his hand before the attacker got to the right point, the ground out is a variation of this game situation);
  • fly-out (the defending player managed to catch the batted ball before he had time to touch the field);
  • tag-out (this is a game situation in which a player from the defense hit the runner with the ball just at the moment when the latter was in the zone between the bases).

As for the time frame, then everything depends on the so-called “innings”. Innings are called game periods, in each of which teams play once both in attack and in defense.

As soon as three players from the attacking team go to the bench (otherwise: out of bounds), the teams change places. Most often, the match includes 9 innings, but if at the end of the game an equal score is set on the scoreboard, then additional innings are assigned. A draw baseball game cannot end, so the athletes will play until the victory.

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