Baseball Basics

3 Conversations

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<h1 align="center">The Basics <img src="">of Baseball</h1>
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<h2>The Players</h2>
All players on the field (both infield and outfield).
The batter and the base runners.
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<h3>The Batter</h3>
It is most important to keep your eye on the ball and rotate your dominate hand over the top of your bottom hand for a better swing. The objective when hitting the ball is to make solid contact with the ball. Power is not always the answer.
<h3>The Base Runners</h3>
Once a hitter has made contact with the ball he becomes a base runner; the objective being to round the bases and get home safely for a run.
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<h2>The Infield</h2>
The Umpire makes all the final decisions on whether or not a base runner is safe or out. They decide if pitches thrown are strikes or <A href="#balls">balls</a> and if hits are foul or home runs and if there is any interference with a home run.
<h3>First Base</h3>
The first baseman covers first base and is one of the most difficult positions to play because you must be able to catch the ball under any circumstance, such as a <A href="#onehop">one hop</A> or a 90mph throw from third base (like Cal Ripkin Jr. might have thrown).
<h3>Second Base</h3>
The second baseman covers second base when a ball is hit between third and second base.
The shortstop covers second base whena ball is hit between first and second base. When the ball is hit up the middle over second base - the quicker of the second baseman and the shortstop should go for the ball while the slower of the two should cover second base.
<h3>Third Base</h3>
This baseman covers third base and any ball that comes between the third base line and thirty feet towards second base. He also covers any bunts from the pitcher to third base.
The catcher's responsibility is great; he must watch all base runners and he must know his opponents so he can correctly signal the pitcher. He has to have the accuracy of a pitcher and the arm of a center fielder to throw out any potential base-stealers. He backs up first and third base coverage in case of a bad throw.
The sole duty of this person is to pitch, he takes his cues from the catcher for what kind of pitch to throw. He must watch for signals from his catcher that any base runner is leading too far out and that he should throw to the appropriate baseman to keep the runner honest. (To keep him from stealing a base.) If the ball is hit to the first baseman and he is too far from the base the pitcher must cover first.
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<h2>The Outfield</h2>
<h3>Right Field</h3>
This position is played behind first base. The objective of this player is to catch any fly ball or knock down any ball hit in his direction that the infield missed and get it back to the second baseman or first baseman if someone is running home. (First and second basemen are considered cutoff men which means they "cutoff" the ball from the outfield to home for a more accurate throw.)
<h3>Center Field</h3>
This position is played behind second base. The objective of this player is also to catch any fly ball or knock down any ball hit in his direction that the infield missed and get it back to the second baseman or the shotstop if someone is running home. (The shortstop and second basemen are considered cutoff men for the center fielder.)
<h3>Left Field</h3>
This position is played behind third base. The objective of this player is also to catch any fly ball or knock down any ball hit in his direction that the infield missed and get it back to the second baseman, third baseman, or the shotstop if someone is running home. (The shortstop, second, and third basemen are considered cutoff men for the left fielder.)
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<h2>Game Play</h2>
The object of the game is to score runs. A run is when a hitter\base runner makes it to home base (touching first, second, and third base) without getting tagged out. The hitter must hit the baseball into the field for a hit before they are allowed the chance to run the bases.
There are 9 innings in a game. An inning is where each team gets to play until they accrue three outs. Outs are achieved when a base runner is tagged with the baseball by a baseman or fielder while trying to run home. A player can also be struck out if they swing at the ball three times and miss or even if they don't swing but the umpire calls the pitch a strike. A strike is determined by the pitch being thrown inside the <A href="#strike">strike zone</a>. A player can also get "out" if they hit the ball into the field and it is caught, or the ball is thrown to first base before the base runner reaches first. If there is a tie getting to first or the umpire cannot determine whether the ball or the runner made it to first base first the runner gets the base by default.
A player can also advance to first base by getting 4 <A href="#balls">balls</a> when up at bat.
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In the event of a tied game at the end of 9 innings the game goes into extra innings until one team is ahead at the end of an inning.
Players score by completing a run, 1 (one) point is awarded per run. A run occurs when a hitter makes it around to all of the bases and back to home without getting tagged by a fielder with the ball. Another way to score a run is to hit a <A href="#homer">homerun</a>.
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<h2>Some Rules</h2>
<li>You cannot at anytime ever touch the Umpire and if you have the odasity to argue a call with the Umpire you will most likely be ejected from the game.
<li>If a fielder or baseman catches a ball in <A href="#foul">foul</a> territory it is still considered an out.
<li>If anyone is on base and the batter hits a fly ball and it is caught resulting in a third out - none of the base runners get points for running home, even if they get to home base before the ball is caught.
<li>If you have two strikes and attempt a <A href="#bunt">bunt</a> but the ball goes foul, it is an automatic out.
<li>If a runner is running to another base and the batter hits the ball and the ball per chance hits the base-runner; the runner is out.
<li>If a batter is hit by a pitch he automatically advances to first base.
<li>If the batter has two strikes and there is a pitch into the dirt but the batter still swings and misses this becomes a free play. The batter can run to first and the catcher either has to tag him with the ball or throw the ball to first base before the runner gets there.
<li>Substitutions: If a player is substituted by another player on the bench he is out for the remainder of the game.
Pinch hitters or pinch runners are the usual substitution players.
<li>Double Play: This is when a runner is on first base, the batter hits the ball and an infielder attains the ball.
He throws the ball to second base to force an out on the runner on first base; then the fielder at second base throws the
ball to first to force the batter out before he gets to first base. This scenario can take place if the runners were at
home and first as above, first and second, or if the bases were loaded (runners on all bases). Basically this results in
two outs. Another way to make a double play is if the ball is caught in mid-air and thrown to a base where a runner was
before the hit, the runner must return to his base before the ball gets there. If he doesn't <a href="#tagup">tagup</a>,
he is out and of course the batter is out because the ball was caught.
<li>Triple Play: Too many scenarios for this forum and rarely happens. <img src="" align="center">
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<h2>Baseball Terminology</h2>
<li><a id="onehop"><b>One hop:</b> When the ball hits the ground once and comes your way.
<li><a id="foul"><b>Foul:</b> A ball that is hit left of the third base line or right of the first base line.
<li><a id="bunt"><b>Bunt:</b> This is when the batter squares his shoulders and faces the pitcher, levels the bat with one hand at the bottom of the bat and one hand towards the top of the bat (but not at the top) and let the ball make contact with the bat. The bat is not moved towards the ball. The batter advances to first base. Ocassionally, if there is a bad throw, the batter/base runner may advance to second base but this is rare. This is only used for the fastest players or if there are one or less outs and the team wants to advance runners that are on the bases.
<li><a id="balls"><b>Ball:</b> This is a pitch that the batter does not swing at which falls outside of the <A href="#strike">strike zone</a>.
<li><a id="strike"><b>Strike Zone:</b> When the pitched ball is within the width of home base and from the knees to the waist of the batter.
<li><a id="homer"><b>Homerun:</b> When a batter hits the ball out of the park in between the right and left foul poles. If the ball hits either of the foul poles it is still a homerun. This results in an automatic run or score. While the batter gets the point automatically he still must run around the bases and return to home base.
<li><b>Designated Hitter:</b> This is a player on the bench whose sole purpose is to bat for the pitcher when it is his turn to bat. Only the American League has this, in the National League the pitchers must bat for themselves.
<li><a id="tagup"><b>Tagup:</b> This is what a base runner must do if a ball is caught in mid-air in order to advance. This means he must return to his original base after the ball is caught. He cannot do this before the ball is caught.
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<h2>More on Baseball in the Guide</h2>
<li>The entry that prompted me to write... from <A href="">Slacker</a> on <a href="">A3178:Baseball</a>.
<li>The best team of the National League and the best team of the American League meet at the World Series for a Best of 7 (games); whoever wins 4 games first wins the World Series. Here's a nice entry about the World Series... from <A href="">Mr.Cynic ÅC&#8364;</a> on <a href="">A337042:The World Series</a>.
<li>A response to <a href="">Slacker's Entry</a> from above... from <A Href="">Steve99</a> on <a href="">A312166:Baseball</a>
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<p align="center"><img src=""><small>Thanks and love and kisses to my boyfriend, Robert, without whom this entry would not be possible as I actually know nothing about baseball!</small>
<h6 align="right">Last updated August 19, 2000</h6>

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