Baseball is a bat and ball game played by two teams of nine players each. A game consists of nine innings in which players of both the teams take turns at batting to score runs by advancing around four bases. Each inning consists of three outs for each team and the team with the most runs at the end of the match wins. The origins of baseball are uncertain. Games similar to baseball were played in Wallachia (part of Romania) and Russia in the 14th century and a similar game was very popular amongst monks in France in the 1330s. The main objective of the sports is to score more runs than the opponent team to win the match.
The modern sport of baseball is considered to be evolved from cricket and rounders (British sport), being played in England in the 18th century. However, the only widely accepted story is that a man named Abner Doubleday invented the game in 1839 in Cooperstown, New York. Alexander Cartwright invented the rules of the game in 1845 and the first recorded game in the U.S. history took place in 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey. By the end of the 19th century, the sport was widely considered as the national sport of the United States and is currently popular throughout America, the Caribbean and East Asia, and particularly in Japan.
Baseball emerged from older bat-and-ball games already being competed in England by the mid-18th century. Emigrants accompanied this game to North America, where the contemporary version developed. Near the late nineteenth century, baseball was widely known as the national sport of the U.S. Baseball is popular in North America and components of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and East Asia, notably in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
References to baseball originate from the 1700s, and in 1871 the first professional league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, was created. Five years later, the National League was formed and the American league followed it in 1901. The World Series was held for the first time in 1903, between the champions of the two major leagues, and by 1905 it became an annual event. Low-scoring games characterised baseball early within the twentieth century. However, the dead-ball era led to 1920s with rule changes and therefore the rise of power hitter George Herman Ruth. The main leagues had a colour barrier that lasted till 1947, once Jackie Robinson made his debut.
Professional baseball leagues featured groups from Canada as early as 1877, and therefore the sport unfolded to various countries within the 1800s and 1900s. It had been completed within the Olympics as a medal sport from 1992 to 2008. Different competitions between national teams embrace the baseball world cup and therefore the World Baseball Classic (that was initially held in 2006).
The baseball balls were initially very lightweight, soft, and small. Local merchants or players stitched leather over a core wrapped in yarn and made the balls by themselves. They went under several modifications from 1857 to 1872. The size and core materials constantly kept changing until the white ball was introduced in 1861. From then onwards, dimensions continued to improve, and today the baseball measures five ounces, nine inches in circumference, and contains 108 stitches making the figure-eight.
The original baseball bats were more substantial and thicker than the present baseball balls. They were flat on one side and custom made for each baseball player. This form of bat went under constant changes until 1895, and the modern baseball bat was introduced.
In the early format of this game, players never wore gloves to protect their hands since it ridiculed their manhood. However, common sense won the battle between masculinity and safety, and players started wearing padded gloves to protect their hands and have some comfort.
Baseball gloves were initially made by directly stitching pieces of leather together and wearing them on hands. They were fingerless and allowed players to experience the thrill of catching the ball with their bare hands while offering some protection.
The gloves underwent some major modifications after that, taking the form of modern baseball gloves we see today.
Baseball masks were made to protect a player's face from getting injured. There is quite a dispute upon who wore the baseball mask first. Some say it was Fred Thayer of the Harvard University Baseball Club, in 1875, but some say it was Jim Tyng, in 1876, when he transformed a fencing mask.
From 1897 to 1915, baseball players started to use protective headgears, thanks to the new york giants catcher and baseball Hall of Famer, Roger Bresnahan, who once got injured by a baseball and introduced the concept in return.
The first evidence of shin guards being used during a baseball match came in 1907, when Roger Bresnahan, a legendary baseball catcher, trimmed down the cricket pads and wore them to protect his shins. Every major league baseball player later adopted this practice, and that's how shin guards came into existence in baseball.
The earliest trends in baseball uniforms were long blue woollen pants, white flannel shirt, and a straw hat, which are 150 years old. The pantaloons (or long pants) were initially very long and players used to trip over them. Thus, short pants (or knickers) were introduced in the 1860s.
By the 1880s, many teams simply sewed the name of their team on the front of their shirts, and modern baseball uniform code came into existence.
Softball additionally known as the diamond ball, indoor-outdoor, kitten ball, mush ball, or playground ball, is just like baseball because the rules and techniques of each game are much similar. But, it's competed on a smaller court with entirely different instrumentation and each game has only seven innings. The sport is incredibly widespread within the US. The ball circumference is merely twelve inches but it's also competed with a ball of sixteen inches circumference and between 2 teams of 10 members each.
Stickball originated from baseball and is changed to play within the streets. The ball used is typically made of rubber to give it a big bounce, and the bat features a broomstick handle. It's just like other stick and ball games that we discover within the streets in which the walls of buildings work as boundaries, and therefore the rules are defined and measured locally.
The batter hits the ball into the air and if the ball is caught, the batsman is out. Hits are measured and outlined by the way the ball is shot; if the ball lands on a structure or if it breaks a window, it's typically thought of a home run. Some versions of baseball don’t involve running between bases.
T-ball is a favourite game for kids aged between 4 to 7 that's practised to train young kids for hitting a ball and prepare them for alternative sports like baseball and softball. It involves hitting a stationary ball that's not pitched however placed on a versatile rod, firmly fastened on a movable base.
Wiffle ball was made-up in 1953 by David.N.Mullany for his twelve-year-old son. It's played with a bat and ball almost like that of baseball. However, they are made from plastic in an indoor or outdoor court. It's a much-liked street and backyard sport and is additionally played at summer camps.
Rounders is taken into account to be a primitive version of baseball competed in England within the eighteenth century. This bat and ball game that once started among college youngsters involves batting and fielding. The principles and sporting equipment are just like those of baseball and cricket. The ball is little, hard, and enclosed in a sheet of animal skin, and therefore the bat is shorter, made of wood, metal, or plastic and is rounded at the top. Batting rules and innings are just like that of baseball. However, batsmen earn points only if they end a circuit past four bases while not obtaining out.
Rigoball is a recent outdoor game that was developed in the Dominion Republic within the lines of baseball. However, players within the game don’t need any bats in the slightest degree. There's no batsman, and therefore the ball is thrown and caught among players. It's played on a court with no pitcher’s mound, and consequently, the game progresses faster than baseball. The team might be composed of both men and women. The sport is taken into account to be safer and less stressful. The principles are similar to baseball except some changes to make the game faster and fascinating.
Two teams of nine players each competes against each other. The players are generally referred by their playing positions on the field. The defensive positions are pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, left fielder, center fielder and right fielder.
Players wear polyester jerseys and trousers. Usually, home team wears a white uniform and visiting team wears grey but it is not compulsory. Players can also wear colored jerseys at home or on the road depending on their preference.
Baseball players wear leather shoes with metal or plastic cleats to ensure that they do not slip while running on dirt or grassy surface.
Baseball cap is a crucial element in America’s most loved game - Baseball and has emerged out as a fashion statement too. The caps have a rounded crown with a stiff projection in the front. The front part of the cap generally features a design or logo.
Batters use batting gloves to enhance the grip on the bat.\
The primary objective behind the wearing a helmet involves protection and prevention of any injury in the head and face.
Catchers wear helmets with a face mask for added protection for their face.
7) Baseball - Catcher's Gloves
A large, cushioned, leather glove is worn by the players of the defending team that allows them to catch the ball. The shape and size of a player’s glove varies, depending on his position on the field. A catcher’s glove also known as Mitt does not have finger holes and has a longer pocket than other fielders’ gloves (which have finger holes) and are well padded to protect the fingers.
Protective kneepads may be worn by players for prevention against grazing.
A protective cup known as jockstrap for men and jillstrap for women is used by players to protect the genital area from being injured.
Mouth guard covers teeth and gums and is used by players to protect their teeth, arches, lips and gums from injuries.
11) Baseball - Chest Protector
Padded chest protectors are worn by catchers to protect their chest and ribs from injuries.
Shin guard is a protective gear worn by the players to protect their shin bone against the injuries.
Foots guards made of hard plastic are worn over shoes to prevent damage to the feet.
The baseball bats are the primary equipment used in a baseball match. The baseball bat is used for hitting the ball as far as possible with high speed and strength.
The baseball ball is one of the primary equipment required in the game.The baseball ball is manufactured with a hard cork and rubber core. The ball is tightly wrapped with yarn for attaching two pieces of white leather, covered with two strips of white horsehide or cowhide, stitched together tightly.
Pitchers throw the ball in a variety of ways, each of which may have different velocities, trajectory and arm angle. These variations are introduced to confuse the batter in various ways. The main types of pitching are the fastball, the change-up, the curve-ball and the slider.
Batters grip the bat firmly around the handle with hands close together and fingers aligned at the knuckles. The three main steps used in batting are:-
The baseball field is divided into infield and outfield. The infield is a diamond-shaped area (with 90 feet long baselines) consisting of first, second and third bases, the home plate and the pitcher’s mound.
The pitcher’s mound is a raised sloping mound with a radius of 9 feet and is the place from where the pitcher throws the ball to the batter. It is in the middle of the infield and the pitching distance is 60 feet 6 inches. The home plate is a five-sided slab of rubber and the other three bases are in counter-clockwise order from the home plate and are called first base, second base and the third base. There is a one batter’s box on each side of the home plate and are 6 feet long and 4 feet wide. The right-handed batter stands in the left-side batter’s box and vice-versa.
The outfield is made either from grass or artificial turf and it is the area where the outfielders play. Two foul lines extend out from the back home plate to the foul poles at the edge of the outfield. The ball is not in play if hit outside the foul lines. The warning track runs along the fence which is a strip of dirt/gravel and is a warning sign for outfielders.
Usually, there are four umpires in baseball matches (sometimes, two or three and maximum six), one at each base (first, second and third base) and one at the home plate. They are responsible for officiating the game including the beginning and ending, enforcing the rules of the game, making judgement calls on the play and handling the disciplinary actions.