Baseball: history, rules, equipment

Baseball

In the article “Baseball” you will learn a brief history of the development of the game in the world and Russia, the rules of the game in an accessible language, talk about equipment for athletes.


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Baseball is one of the most popular and exciting games, which has a rich history and a huge number of fans around the world. It is believed that the first mentions of baseball-like games appear in ancient cultures, but it was in America in the XIX century that baseball became a popular sport. It is officially believed that the first game under the rules of baseball was organized by Alexander Cartwright and played on June 19, 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Alexander Cartwright
Alexander Cartwright

As time went on, baseball became increasingly popular and became a national sport in the United States. Baseball teams began to appear all over the country, and soon the first professional league, the National Baseball League, was established.

One of the key moments in baseball’s history was the game’s inclusion in the Olympic program. Baseball was an official sport at the Summer Olympics from 1992 to 2008 before it was removed from the program. However, in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, baseball returned and there was also a women’s softball competition.

Baseball was also able to take root in Russian sports history thanks to the ancient Russian lapta. In the 1930s, the first attempts to introduce the sport nationally were made in the USSR, as refugees from North America very often played baseball in various cities of the country.

The initiative was supported by the Soviet authorities, but with the beginning of the “Great Terror” the idea was rejected. Only in the late 80’s baseball got a chance to revive thanks to its inclusion in the Olympic Games program. In 1992, the first teams were formed, demonstrating a high level of skill on the European stage.

Jim Fuller, MLB coach, recently gave his opinion on our athletes:

“The main weakness of Russian players is their defensive skills. To become a top-class baseball player, these skills must be practiced in childhood. Perhaps the reason for the weak defense is the lack of popularity of the game in the country”

If in soccer the main character is the ball, in hockey – the puck, then in baseball the whole gameplay is not focused on one thing. The whole game is similar to chess in its tactical and complex component, as you have to think through every move and closely monitor both the ball and the actions of your opponents.

Baseball equipment

A baseball player is totally dependent on his playing elements such as trap, bat, and ball. There are many varieties of bats: composite, aluminum, wooden.

Remove the row

Column: 1

Baseball trap

Column: 2

Baseball bat

Column: 3

Baseball ball

Wooden bits are more professional, but they also have their nuances. First, they can be made of different wood: maple, ash, birch, glued bamboo. Secondly, all bits differ in weight and size, which is indicated on the handle.

Traps also vary in size. The shorter ones are used inside the outfield to make it much faster and more effective. The farther outfield players use longer, 12-inch traps.

In addition to the playing elements, each athlete will also need spiked shoes to avoid slipping on the grass. Pants that will protect from burns and abrasions, as well as a T-shirt. For the game in defense will be a great addition of a baseball cap and sunglasses, and the offensive player – helmet and gloves that help in working with the bat.

Rules of baseball

A modern baseball field has the shape of a sector with a radius of about 175 meters. It is divided into an outfield and an infield. At the corners of the infield are 4 bases, the fourth is called “home”. Inside the infield is the pitcher’s mound where the ball is put into play.

Baseball field
Baseball field

Baseball is played by two teams of 9 players, at the amateur level there may be more. A baseball game is divided into 9 rounds called innings. In each inning, each team is on offense and the other team is on defense, but after 3 outs they switch roles.

The defensive team has all 9 men on the field, while the offensive team has only four. The defensive pitcher pitches the ball and the offensive team’s hitter (batter) strikes out.

The pitcher is the main player on the field who throws the ball into play. He makes the throw in such a way that it is as difficult as possible for the opponent to field the ball.

The batter is the man with the bat on the offensive team. His main goal is to hit the ball so that it does not go to the defense.

The catcher is the most equipped player who catches balls and is behind the back of the batter. The other players on the defensive team guard the bases and catch the ball in the outfield.

Remove the row

Column: 1

Pitcher
Pitcher

Column: 2

Batter
Batter

Column: 3

Catcher
Catcher

The object of the game is to score as many runs as possible. They are awarded if the batter hits the pitcher’s ball, gets to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd base in succession, and gets back to home. But, executing a good at-bat is not always possible. Also, the defensive players can send the batter to the out and the offensive team has to start all over again. Three such outs and the defense and offense switch roles.

The formation on the baseball field
The formation on the baseball field

There are several ways to send a player out: strikeout, grand out, tag out, and fly out. A strikeout occurs when a batter misses a fly ball, misses it, or hits it over the sideline.

By the way, you can throw the ball only in the strike zone (above the batter’s knee and up to his elbow), otherwise, after 4 unsuccessful pitches, the umpire will allow the batter to take first base unimpeded. The umpire will also allow the batter to take first base if the pitcher intentionally throws the ball at him.

A grand out occurs when a batter fouled the ball off and did not have time to run to the base because the opponent got the ball to the base faster. A tag-out occurs when an offensive player touched the ball while running. A fly-out occurs when a batted ball sent in by a batter is trapped on the fly, i.e., before it hits the ground.

The surest and at the same time the most difficult way to avoid a fly-out is to hit a home run when the batter sends the ball outside the stadium. Then the batter can safely visit all the bases and score a point for his team. But, as a rule, you have to take the bases one at a time.

A set of baseball scores
A set of baseball scores

There is also a concept in the game called double play, which translates to double out. A situation when one player is already standing on one of the bases, and after the ball is batted out, both the batter and that player run to their bases, but the defenders get the ball to the bases faster through passes.

The team that can score the most points wins the game.

Interesting fact! Why do baseball players constantly spit? To avoid dehydration, to moisten gloves or fingers for a more powerful throw, players used to use chewing tobacco to increase saliva production. Now players use gum or snus.

Today, baseball remains one of the most popular sports on the planet. Hundreds of thousands of games are played every year in various leagues and tournaments, and professional players earn millions of dollars. Baseball is not just a game, it is a lifestyle that unites people.

About baseball

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