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Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team (batting team) are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team (fielding team) is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate (the place where the player started as a batter). The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

The first objective of the batting team is to have a player reach first base safely. A player on the batting team who reaches first base without being called "out" can attempt to advance to subsequent bases as a runner, either immediately or during teammates' turns batting. The fielding team tries to prevent runs by getting batters or runners "out", which forces them out of the field of play. Both the pitcher and fielders have methods of getting the batting team's players out. The opposing teams switch back and forth between batting and fielding; the batting team's turn to bat is over once the fielding team records three outs. One turn batting for each team constitutes an inning. A game is usually composed of nine innings, and the team with the greater number of runs at the end of the game wins. If scores are tied at the end of nine innings, extra innings are usually played. Baseball has no game clock, although most games end in the ninth inning.

Baseball evolved from older bat-and-ball games already being played in England by the mid-18th century. This game was brought by immigrants to North America, where the modern version developed. By the late 19th century, baseball was widely recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball is popular in North America and parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and East Asia, particularly in Japan and South Korea.

In the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are divided into the National League (NL) and American League (AL), each with three divisions: East, West, and Central. The MLB champion is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series. The top level of play is similarly split in Japan between the Central and Pacific Leagues and in Cuba between the West League and East League. The World Baseball Classic, organized by the World Baseball Softball Confederation, is the major international competition of the sport and attracts the top national teams from around the world.

Selected article

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Joseph Henry West (born October 31, 1952), nicknamed "Cowboy Joe", is an American professional baseball umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB). A native of Greenville, South Carolina, West attended Rose High School and played football at East Carolina University (ECU) and Elon College. West entered the National League (NL) as an umpire in 1976; he joined the NL staff full-time in 1978. As a young umpire, West worked Nolan Ryan's fifth career no-hitter, was on the field for Willie McCovey's 500th home run, and was involved in a 1983 shoving incident with manager Joe Torre.

A few years later, West was the home plate umpire during the 1988 playoff game in which pitcher Jay Howell was ejected for having pine tar on his glove. In 1990, he threw pitcher Dennis Cook to the ground while attempting to break up a fight. West resigned during the 1999 Major League Umpires Association mass resignation, but was rehired in 2002. Since then, he has umpired throughout MLB. In a 2004 playoff game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, West's crew made a controversial decision that necessitated police presence to calm the crowd. He served as crew chief for the 2005 World Series.

In 2010, West attracted media attention after he publicly complained about the slow pace of a game between the Red Sox and Yankees. He also worked the game that year in which Albert Pujols hit his 400th career home run. West has worked several no-hitters, including a 2012 perfect game by Félix Hernández. As of 2012, West has the longest tenure of any MLB umpire. West has appeared in five World Series, two All-Star Games, seven League Championship Series (LCS) and five League Division Series (LDS).

West is president of the World Umpires Association (WUA). As the organization's president, West helped negotiate the largest umpiring contract in baseball history. He works with a sporting goods company to design and patent umpiring equipment endorsed by MLB. West is also a singer and songwriter, and has released two country music albums. He had a small acting role in the comedy film The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! and a cameo appearance in the television crime drama The Oldest Rookie. He plays golf on the Celebrity Players Tour.

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Selected biography

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Mariano Rivera (born November 29, 1969) is a Panamanian professional baseball player who has spent his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the New York Yankees. Nicknamed "Mo", the right-handed Rivera has served as a relief pitcher for most of his career. His presence in the late innings of games to record the final outs has played an instrumental role in the Yankees' success, particularly the team's late 1990s dynasty, which won four World Series championships. Rivera was signed by the Yankees organization in 1990 and spent parts of six seasons in the minor leagues before debuting in the Major Leagues in 1995 as a starting pitcher. He found success after being converted to a relief pitcher in the bullpen. After a breakthrough year in 1996 as a setup man, he became the Yankees' closer in 1997 and has maintained that role for the team ever since. Rivera has become one of the best closers in baseball history, and he has done so by primarily throwing one pitch, a sharp-breaking, mid-90s mile per hour cut fastball that has been called an all-time great pitch. Rivera is a ten-time All-Star, a four-time American League (AL) Rolaids Relief Man Award winner, and a three-time saves leader. He has recorded the second-most saves in Major League history, and in 2009, he surpassed 500 career saves. Recognized as an exceptional postseason performer, he holds Major League postseason records for saves and earned run average (ERA), among other records. Baseball writers expect Rivera will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame upon retirement.

Quotes

"Baseball has been good to me since I quit trying to play it."


Selected list

Don Larsen threw the first perfect game in Yankees history and the only such game in MLB postseason history.
Also known in their early years as the "Baltimore Orioles" (1901–02) and the "New York Highlanders" (1903–12), the New York Yankees have had ten pitchers throw eleven no-hitters in franchise history. A no-hitter is officially recognized by Major League Baseball (MLB) only "when a pitcher (or pitchers) retires each batter on the opposing team during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings". No-hitters of less than nine complete innings were previously recognized by the league as official; however, several rule alterations in 1991 changed the rule to its current form. A no-hitter is rare enough that two of the thirty teams in Major League Baseball have never had a pitcher accomplish the feat. Three perfect games, a special subcategory of no-hitter, have been pitched in Yankees history. As defined by Major League Baseball, "in a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game." This feat was achieved by Don Larsen in 1956, David Wells in 1998, and David Cone in 1999. Wells later claimed he was a "little hung-over" while throwing his perfect game.

George Mogridge threw the first no-hitter in Yankees history, beating their rival Boston Red Sox 2–1, their only no-hitter in which the opposition scored. Their most recent no-hitter was David Cone's perfect game in 1999, the seventh Yankees no-hitter thrown by a right-handed pitcher and their third perfect game. The Yankees' first perfect game was also thrown by a right-handed pitcher, Don Larsen, and came in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. Larsen's perfect game was the only no-hitter in MLB postseason play until Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series. Coincidentally, Cone's perfect game came on "Yogi Berra Day" at Yankee Stadium. Berra had caught Larsen's perfect game and both he and Larsen were in the stands for the game. Of the eleven no-hitters pitched by Yankees players, three each have been won by the scores 4–0 and 2–0, more common than any other result. The largest margin of victory in a Yankees no-hitter was 13 runs, in a 13–0 win by Monte Pearson.

The longest interval between Yankees no-hitters was between the game pitched by Larsen on October 8, 1956 and Dave Righetti's no hitter on July 4, 1983, encompassing 26 years, 8 months, and 26 days. The shortest gap between such games fell between Allie Reynolds' two no-hitters in 1951, a gap of just 2 months and 16 days from July 12 till September 28. Reynolds is the only Yankees pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters in his career, and one of only four pitchers in Major League history to throw multiple no-hitters in a season along with Nolan Ryan in 1973, Virgil Trucks in 1952, and Johnny Vander Meer in 1938. The Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians have been no-hit by the Yankees more than any other franchise, each doing so three times. Notably, Reynolds' two no-hit victims in 1951 were the Red Sox and the Indians.

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