Why Is Baseball Famous?

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Why Is Baseball Famous?



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Baseball vs Cricket - Which sport is better? ⚾🏏

Some purists complained, but it's only three rows deep and really doesn't detract from the classic Fenway setting. In addition, two extra rows of box seats were squeezed in behind the diamond, and a new concession area was added in back of the right field bleachers, where a run-down garage had been previously. Prior to the a new section of luxury "tavern style" seats was added on top of the roof in the right field corner, adorned with a big "Budweiser" sign in neon lights. The biggest change came in , when the tiny top level was expanded into a real upper deck, albeit a small one. Also, the glass was removed from the former " Club" behind home plate, exposing Boston's elite patrons to the chilly air.

In , a new section known as the "Coca-Cola Corner" was added to the upper deck in the left field corner, and in a similar section was added near the right field corner. At some point in recent years, party tables and a stage for musical performances were added to the roof of the adjacent building on the northwest side, and several rows of vegetables were planted to provide the ultimate in fresh food for hungry fans. In , the upper deck was extended about 25 feet to the left field corner, while additional renovations were completed underneath the grandstand. These incremental additions have raised the seating capacity to over 37,, guaranteeing the Red Sox a big enough revenue stream to remain competitive in future years.

The need to finish any construction over the winter months forced them to make a relatively modest expansion of the upper deck in But what if the diamond had been relocated in order to make room for a much bigger uper deck expansion? That scenario is envisioned in the "hypothetical" configuration shown above, where home plate is moved to right field, with a foot high fence in the new temporary center field. Stadiums in Cincinnati and Anaheim continued to host games during a major construction projects, so it wouldn't be the first time. It is an admittedly far-fetched possibility, and in any event was rendered moot when the upper level at Fenway Park was expanded in , and subsequent years.

The "hypothetical" diagram above is presented merely for the sake of amusement. This event had been held at Wrigley Field the year before. It was a very tight squeeze. In November , Harvard and Yale played a football game at Fenway Park, with the gridiron parallel to the grandstand, as was the original intent. Click on the camera icon links below to see the photos, one by one. First five photos taken September 5, Grand view, from the press box behind home plate. Grand view toward left field from the first base side upper deck.

Exterior view from the first southwest. View from upper deck on 1st base side. Next five photos are courtesy of John Crozier, April 18, Grand view of the diamond and outfield, from behind home plate. View from near the left field corner. View from near the left field corner, at night. Fans on Lansdowne Street before the game. View from the right field corner. Entrance ramps on the southwest corner. August View from the right field corner, July 3, Courtesy of John Clem. Bleachers from first base side. This video was filmed at McKechnie Field in Florida and at no point did it ever have so many Gillette signs all over.

Another giveaway comes from knowing the game of baseball. The safety cage usually at BPs that also allows players not to have to run all over the field collecting missed balls is no where to be seen. At the very least there should be a catcher and there's no one. Even more importantly, there is no safety net to protect the pitcher, something MLB teams would never do during BPs. Who knew at the time that years later this low production video would be seen by millions more than the real commercial?

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A player bats at home plate and must attempt to safely reach a base before proceeding, counterclockwise , from first base, to second base, third base, and back home to score a run. The team in the field attempts to prevent runs from scoring by recording outs , which remove opposing players from offensive action, until their next turn at bat comes up again. When three outs are recorded, the teams switch roles for the next half-inning. If the score of the game is tied after nine innings, extra innings are played to resolve the contest. Many amateur games, particularly unorganized ones, involve different numbers of players and innings. The game is played on a field whose primary boundaries, the foul lines, extend forward from home plate at degree angles. The degree area within the foul lines is referred to as fair territory; the degree area outside them is foul territory.

The part of the field enclosed by the bases and several yards beyond them is the infield ; the area farther beyond the infield is the outfield. In the middle of the infield is a raised pitcher's mound, with a rectangular rubber plate the rubber at its center. The outer boundary of the outfield is typically demarcated by a raised fence, which may be of any material and height. The fair territory between home plate and the outfield boundary is baseball's field of play, though significant events can take place in foul territory, as well. There are three basic tools of baseball: the ball , the bat , and the glove or mitt :. Protective helmets are also standard equipment for all batters. At the beginning of each half-inning, the nine players of the fielding team arrange themselves around the field.

One of them, the pitcher , stands on the pitcher's mound. The pitcher begins the pitching delivery with one foot on the rubber, pushing off it to gain velocity when throwing toward home plate. Another fielding team player, the catcher , squats on the far side of home plate, facing the pitcher. The rest of the fielding team faces home plate, typically arranged as four infielders—who set up along or within a few yards outside the imaginary lines basepaths between first, second, and third base—and three outfielders. In the standard arrangement , there is a first baseman positioned several steps to the left of first base, a second baseman to the right of second base, a shortstop to the left of second base, and a third baseman to the right of third base.

The basic outfield positions are left fielder , center fielder , and right fielder. With the exception of the catcher, all fielders are required to be in fair territory when the pitch is delivered. A neutral umpire sets up behind the catcher. Play starts with a member of the batting team, the batter, standing in either of the two batter's boxes next to home plate, holding a bat. A batter who hits the ball into the field of play must drop the bat and begin running toward first base, at which point the player is referred to as a runner or, until the play is over, a batter-runner.

A batter-runner who reaches first base without being put out is said to be safe and is on base. A batter-runner may choose to remain at first base or attempt to advance to second base or even beyond—however far the player believes can be reached safely. A player who reaches base despite proper play by the fielders has recorded a hit. A player who reaches first base safely on a hit is credited with a single. If a player makes it to second base safely as a direct result of a hit, it is a double ; third base, a triple. If the ball is hit in the air within the foul lines over the entire outfield and outfield fence, if there is one , or otherwise safely circles all the bases, it is a home run : the batter and any runners on base may all freely circle the bases, each scoring a run.

This is the most desirable result for the batter. A player who reaches base due to a fielding mistake is not credited with a hit—instead, the responsible fielder is charged with an error. Any runners already on base may attempt to advance on batted balls that land, or contact the ground, in fair territory, before or after the ball lands. A runner on first base must attempt to advance if a ball lands in play, as only one runner may occupy a base at any given time. If a ball hit into play rolls foul before passing through the infield, it becomes dead and any runners must return to the base they occupied when the play began.

If the ball is hit in the air and caught before it lands, the batter has flied out and any runners on base may attempt to advance only if they tag up contact the base they occupied when the play began, as or after the ball is caught. Runners may also attempt to advance to the next base while the pitcher is in the process of delivering the ball to home plate; a successful effort is a stolen base. A pitch that is not hit into the field of play is called either a strike or a ball.

A batter against whom three strikes are recorded strikes out. A batter against whom four balls are recorded is awarded a base on balls or walk, a free advance to first base. A batter may also freely advance to first base if the batter's body or uniform is struck by a pitch outside the strike zone, provided the batter does not swing and attempts to avoid being hit. While the team at bat is trying to score runs, the team in the field is attempting to record outs. In addition to the strikeout and flyout, common ways a member of the batting team may be put out include the ground out , force out , and tag out.

These occur either when a runner is forced to advance to a base, and a fielder with possession of the ball reaches that base before the runner does, or the runner is touched by the ball, held in a fielder's hand, while not on a base. It is possible to record two outs in the course of the same play. This is called a double play. Three outs in one play, a triple play , is possible, though rare. Players put out or retired must leave the field, returning to their team's dugout or bench. A runner may be stranded on base when a third out is recorded against another player on the team. Stranded runners do not benefit the team in its next turn at bat as every half-inning begins with the bases empty.

An individual player's turn batting or plate appearance is complete when the player reaches base, hits a home run, makes an out, or hits a ball that results in the team's third out, even if it is recorded against a teammate. On rare occasions, a batter may be at the plate when, without the batter's hitting the ball, a third out is recorded against a teammate—for instance, a runner getting caught stealing tagged out attempting to steal a base. A batter with this sort of incomplete plate appearance starts off the team's next turn batting; any balls or strikes recorded against the batter the previous inning are erased.

A runner may circle the bases only once per plate appearance and thus can score at most a single run per batting turn. Once a player has completed a plate appearance, that player may not bat again until the eight other members of the player's team have all taken their turn at bat in the batting order. The batting order is set before the game begins, and may not be altered except for substitutions. Once a player has been removed for a substitute, that player may not reenter the game. Children's games often have more lenient rules, such as Little League rules, which allow players to be substituted back into the same game. If the designated hitter DH rule is in effect, each team has a tenth player whose sole responsibility is to bat and run. The DH takes the place of another player—almost invariably the pitcher—in the batting order, but does not field.

Thus, even with the DH, each team still has a batting order of nine players and a fielding arrangement of nine players. The number of players on a baseball roster, or squad , varies by league and by the level of organized play. A typical roster features the following players: [20]. The manager , or head coach, oversees the team's major strategic decisions, such as establishing the starting rotation, setting the lineup, or batting order, before each game, and making substitutions during games—in particular, bringing in relief pitchers.

Managers are typically assisted by two or more coaches ; they may have specialized responsibilities, such as working with players on hitting, fielding, pitching, or strength and conditioning. At most levels of organized play, two coaches are stationed on the field when the team is at bat: the first base coach and third base coach, whom occupy designated coaches' boxes, just outside the foul lines. These coaches assist in the direction of baserunners, when the ball is in play, and relay tactical signals from the manager to batters and runners, during pauses in play.

Any baseball game involves one or more umpires, who make rulings on the outcome of each play. At a minimum, one umpire will stand behind the catcher, to have a good view of the strike zone, and call balls and strikes. Additional umpires may be stationed near the other bases, thus making it easier to judge plays such as attempted force outs and tag outs. In MLB, four umpires are used for each game, one near each base.

In the playoffs, six umpires are used: one at each base and two in the outfield along the foul lines. Many of the pre-game and in-game strategic decisions in baseball revolve around a fundamental fact: in general, right-handed batters tend to be more successful against left-handed pitchers and, to an even greater degree, left-handed batters tend to be more successful against right-handed pitchers. During the late innings of a game, as relief pitchers and pinch hitters are brought in, the opposing managers will often go back and forth trying to create favorable matchups with their substitutions.

The manager of the fielding team trying to arrange same-handed pitcher-batter matchups and the manager of the batting team trying to arrange opposite-handed matchups. With a team that has the lead in the late innings, a manager may remove a starting position player—especially one whose turn at bat is not likely to come up again—for a more skillful fielder known as a defensive substitution. The tactical decision that precedes almost every play in a baseball game involves pitch selection. With a runner on base and taking a lead , the pitcher may attempt a pickoff , a quick throw to a fielder covering the base to keep the runner's lead in check or, optimally, effect a tag out.

Violation of any one of these rules could result in the umpire calling a balk against the pitcher, which permits any runners on base to advance one base with impunity. With a runner on third base, the infielders may play in , moving closer to home plate to improve the odds of throwing out the runner on a ground ball , though a sharply hit grounder is more likely to carry through a drawn-in infield. Several basic offensive tactics come into play with a runner on first base, including the fundamental choice of whether to attempt a steal of second base.

The hit and run is sometimes employed, with a skillful contact hitter , the runner takes off with the pitch, drawing the shortstop or second baseman over to second base, creating a gap in the infield for the batter to poke the ball through. A batter, particularly one who is a fast runner, may also attempt to bunt for a hit. A sacrifice bunt employed with a runner on third base, aimed at bringing that runner home, is known as a squeeze play. The batter's potential reward of reaching base via a walk exceeds the disadvantage if the next pitch is a strike.

The evolution of baseball from older bat-and-ball games is difficult to trace with precision. Consensus once held that today's baseball is a North American development from the older game rounders , popular among children in Great Britain and Ireland. Block argues that rounders and early baseball were actually regional variants of each other, and that the game's most direct antecedents are the English games of stoolball and "tut-ball". By the early s, there were reports of a variety of uncodified bat-and-ball games recognizable as early forms of baseball being played around North America.

Wheaton of the Gotham Club. In the mids, a baseball craze hit the New York metropolitan area , [54] and by , local journals were referring to baseball as the "national pastime" or "national game". In , it barred participation by African Americans. The National Agreement of formalized relations both between the two major leagues and between them and the National Association of Professional Base Ball Leagues, representing most of the country's minor professional leagues.

That year also saw the founding of the Negro National League ; the first significant Negro league, it would operate until For part of the s, it was joined by the Eastern Colored League. Compared with the present, professional baseball in the early 20th century was lower-scoring, and pitchers were more dominant. Strict new regulations governed the ball's size, shape and composition, along with a new rule officially banning the spitball and other pitches that depended on the ball being treated or roughed-up with foreign substances, resulted in a ball that traveled farther when hit. Louis Cardinals general manager Branch Rickey invested in several minor league clubs and developed the first modern farm system.

The first elections to the National Baseball Hall of Fame took place in In , Little League Baseball was founded in Pennsylvania. A large number of minor league teams disbanded when World War II led to a player shortage. Chicago Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley led the formation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League to help keep the game in the public eye.

In , the union's power—and players' salaries—began to increase greatly when the reserve clause was effectively struck down , leading to the free agency system. Regular-season interleague play was introduced in and the second-highest attendance mark for a full season was set. While their identities were maintained for scheduling purposes and the designated hitter distinction , the regulations and other functions—such as player discipline and umpire supervision—they had administered separately were consolidated under the rubric of MLB. In , Barry Bonds established the current record of 73 home runs in a single season.

There had long been suspicions that the dramatic increase in power hitting was fueled in large part by the abuse of illegal steroids as well as by the dilution of pitching talent due to expansion , but the issue only began attracting significant media attention in and there was no penalty for the use of performance-enhancing drugs before With the historic popular moniker as "America's national pastime", baseball is well established in several other countries as well. As early as , a professional league, the International Association , featured teams from both Canada and the US.

The Dominican Republic held its first islandwide championship tournament in Other European countries have seen professional leagues; the most successful, other than the Dutch league , is the Italian league , founded in After being admitted to the Olympics as a medal sport beginning with the Games , baseball was dropped from the Summer Olympic Games at the International Olympic Committee meeting. It remained part of the Games. The inaugural Classic , held in March , was the first tournament involving national teams to feature a significant number of MLB participants. Baseball has certain attributes that set it apart from the other popular team sports in the countries where it has a following. All of these sports use a clock, [] play is less individual, [] and the variation between playing fields is not as substantial or important.

In clock-limited sports, games often end with a team that holds the lead killing the clock rather than competing aggressively against the opposing team. In contrast, baseball has no clock, thus a team cannot win without getting the last batter out and rallies are not constrained by time. At almost any turn in any baseball game, the most advantageous strategy is some form of aggressive strategy. While nine innings has been the standard since the beginning of professional baseball, the duration of the average major league game has increased steadily through the years. At the turn of the 20th century, games typically took an hour and a half to play. In the s, they averaged just less than two hours, which eventually ballooned to in In , Nippon Professional Baseball took steps aimed at shortening games by 12 minutes from the preceding decade's average of In , the average nine-inning playoff game in Major League baseball was 3 hours and 35 minutes.

This was up 10 minutes from and 21 minutes from Although baseball is a team sport, individual players are often placed under scrutiny and pressure. While rewarding, it has sometimes been described as "ruthless" due to the pressure on the individual player. While coaching staffs can signal pitcher or batter to pursue certain tactics, the execution of the play itself is a series of solitary acts. If the batter hits a line drive, the outfielder is solely responsible for deciding to try to catch it or play it on the bounce and for succeeding or failing.

The statistical precision of baseball is both facilitated by this isolation and reinforces it. Cricket is more similar to baseball than many other team sports in this regard: while the individual focus in cricket is mitigated by the importance of the batting partnership and the practicalities of tandem running, it is enhanced by the fact that a batsman may occupy the wicket for an hour or much more. Unlike those of most sports, baseball playing fields can vary significantly in size and shape. While the dimensions of the infield are specifically regulated, the only constraint on outfield size and shape for professional teams, following the rules of MLB and Minor League Baseball , is that fields built or remodeled since June 1, , must have a minimum distance of feet 99 m from home plate to the fences in left and right field and feet m to center.

For example, at Minute Maid Park , which became the home of the Houston Astros in , the Crawford Boxes in left field are only feet 96 m from home plate. The most famously idiosyncratic outfield boundary is the left-field wall at Boston's Fenway Park , in use since the Green Monster is feet 94 m from home plate down the line and 37 feet 11 m tall. Similarly, there are no regulations at all concerning the dimensions of foul territory. Thus a foul fly ball may be entirely out of play in a park with little space between the foul lines and the stands, but a foulout in a park with more expansive foul ground.

These variations can make the difference between a double and a triple or inside-the-park home run. While the adjacent image shows a traditional field surfacing arrangement and the one used by virtually all MLB teams with naturally surfaced fields , teams are free to decide what areas will be grassed or bare. Surface variations can have a significant effect on how ground balls behave and are fielded as well as on baserunning. Similarly, the presence of a roof seven major league teams play in stadiums with permanent or retractable roofs can greatly affect how fly balls are played.

The area out-of-bounds on a football or soccer field does not affect play the way foul territory in baseball does, so variations in that regard are largely insignificant. These physical variations create a distinctive set of playing conditions at each ballpark. Other local factors, such as altitude and climate, can also significantly affect play. A given stadium may acquire a reputation as a pitcher's park or a hitter's park, if one or the other discipline notably benefits from its unique mix of elements. The most exceptional park in this regard is Coors Field , home of the Colorado Rockies. Its high altitude—5, feet 1, m above sea level—is partly responsible for giving it the strongest hitter's park effect in the major leagues due to the low air pressure.

For example, hitting a fly ball feet m into right field might result in an easy catch on the warning track at one park, and a home run at another. A team that plays in a park with a relatively short right field, such as the New York Yankees , will tend to stock its roster with left-handed pull hitters , who can best exploit it. On the individual level, a player who spends most of his career with a team that plays in a hitter's park will gain an advantage in batting statistics over time—even more so if his talents are especially suited to the park. Organized baseball lends itself to statistics to a greater degree than many other sports.

Each play is discrete and has a relatively small number of possible outcomes. In the late 19th century, a former cricket player, English-born Henry Chadwick of Brooklyn , was responsible for the "development of the box score , tabular standings, the annual baseball guide, the batting average , and most of the common statistics and tables used to describe baseball. The Official Baseball Rules administered by MLB require the official scorer to categorize each baseball play unambiguously. The rules provide detailed criteria to promote consistency. The score report is the official basis for both the box score of the game and the relevant statistical records.

Certain traditional statistics are familiar to most baseball fans. The basic batting statistics include: []. The basic baserunning statistics include: []. The basic pitching statistics include: []. The basic fielding statistics include: []. Among the many other statistics that are kept are those collectively known as situational statistics. For example, statistics can indicate which specific pitchers a certain batter performs best against.

If a given situation statistically favors a certain batter, the manager of the fielding team may be more likely to change pitchers or have the pitcher intentionally walk the batter in order to face one who is less likely to succeed. Sabermetrics refers to the field of baseball statistical study and the development of new statistics and analytical tools. The term is also used to refer directly to new statistics themselves. The growing popularity of sabermetrics since the early s has brought more attention to two batting statistics that sabermetricians argue are much better gauges of a batter's skill than batting average: []. Writing in , philosopher Morris Raphael Cohen described baseball as the national religion of the US.

The major league game in the United States was originally targeted toward a middle-class, white-collar audience: relative to other spectator pastimes, the National League's set ticket price of 50 cents in was high, while the location of playing fields outside the inner city and the workweek daytime scheduling of games were also obstacles to a blue-collar audience. With the rise in popularity of other team sports with much higher average ticket prices—football, basketball, and hockey—professional baseball had become among the most blue-collar-oriented of leading American spectator sports.

Overall, baseball has a large following in the United States; a poll found that nearly half of Americans are fans. In Asia, baseball is among the most popular sports in Japan and South Korea. Total NPB attendance for the year was approximately 20 million. While in the preceding two decades, MLB attendance grew by 50 percent and revenue nearly tripled, the comparable NPB figures were stagnant. There are concerns that MLB's growing interest in acquiring star Japanese players will hurt the game in their home country. Similarly, according to one official pronouncement, the sport's governing authority "has never taken into account attendance As of [update] , Little League Baseball oversees leagues with close to 2.

A varsity baseball team is an established part of physical education departments at most high schools and colleges in the United States. Today, high school baseball in particular is immensely popular there. The tournaments are known, respectively, as Spring Koshien and Summer Koshien after the 55,capacity stadium where they are played. Talented children as young as seven are sent to special district schools for more intensive training—the first step on a ladder whose acme is the national baseball team. Baseball has had a broad impact on popular culture, both in the United States and elsewhere. Dozens of English-language idioms have been derived from baseball ; in particular, the game is the source of a number of widely used sexual euphemisms.

Baseball has inspired many works of art and entertainment. One of the first major examples, Ernest Thayer 's poem " Casey at the Bat ", appeared in A wry description of the failure of a star player in what would now be called a "clutch situation", the poem became the source of vaudeville and other staged performances, audio recordings, film adaptations, and an opera, as well as a host of sequels and parodies in various media. Robinson ", and John Fogerty 's " Centerfield ". Six decades later, Time named it the best comedy routine of the 20th century. Henry Waugh, Prop.

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