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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, Taiwan, 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.

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Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson Day is a traditional event which occurs annually in Major League Baseball, commemorating and honoring the day Jackie Robinson made his major league debut. Initiated for the first time on April 15, 2004, Jackie Robinson Day is celebrated each year on the same date. The festivity is a result of Robinson's memorable career, best known for becoming the first African-American major league baseball player of the modern era in 1947. His debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers (today known as the Los Angeles Dodgers) ended approximately eighty years of baseball segregation, also known as the baseball color line, or color barrier. He also was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, remembered for his services with the number 42 jersey. The gala is often celebrated at varied ballparks by Major League team players. Shea Stadium was one of the prominent venues hosting the event, having commemorated the retirement of Robinson's number 42 jersey in 1997. The numbered jersey is still worn to mark the event every year. Bob DuPuy, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Major League baseball, described Jackie Robinson Day as a significance "not only for baseball, but for our country in general."

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Orval Leroy Grove (August 29, 1919 – April 20, 1992) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for ten seasons in the American League with the Chicago White Sox. In 207 career games, Grove pitched 1,176 innings and posted a win–loss record of 63–73, with 66 complete games, 11 shutouts, and a 3.78 earned run average (ERA). The only freshman on the Proviso East High School varsity baseball team, Grove's pitching ability attracted the attention of the White Sox. After signing with the team in 1937, Grove moved between the major leagues and minor leagues for a few seasons until 1943, when he found a solid place in the White Sox's pitching rotation. Grove had a career-year in 1943, finishing the season with career-bests in ERA, wins, and complete games; in 1944, he made his only All-Star appearance. Grove spent four more full seasons with the White Sox, and after pitching one game in 1949, was sent to the Sacramento Solons of the Pacific Coast League. After playing four seasons with them, he formally retired from professional baseball. After retirement, he worked with his uncle in a trucking business in Chicago while continuing to pitch at the semi-pro level. In 1992, Grove died at the age of 72.

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People say I don't have great tools. They say that I can't throw like Ellis Valentine or run like Tim Raines or hit with power like Mike Schmidt. Who can? I make up for it in other ways, by putting out a little bit more. That's my theory, to go through life hustling. In the big leagues, hustle usually means being in the right place at the right time. It means backing up a base. It means backing up your teammate. It means taking that headfirst slide. It means doing everything you can do to win a baseball game.
Pete Rose, Cincinnati Reds second baseman, on his explanation for his professional] success


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Jason Varitek, the most recent Red Sox captain
There have been 19 different captains of the Boston Red Sox, an American professional baseball franchise also known previously as the Boston Americans. This is a comprehensive list of these captains. The Boston Red Sox are the 2007 World Series Champions. They are members and current champions of both the Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League Eastern Division and of the American League (AL). The "Red Sox" team name originates from the iconic uniform feature. They are sometimes nicknamed the "BoSox", a combination of "Boston" and "Sox" (as opposed to the "ChiSox"), the "Crimson Hose", and "the Olde Towne Team". Most fans simply refer to them as "the Sox". In Major League Baseball, a captain is an honorary title given to the member of the team primarily responsible for strategy and teamwork while the game is in progress on the field. This role has been particularly important during eras and situations in which managers and coaches have been precluded by the rules from interacting with players on the field while the game is in progress. As is the case with the National Hockey League, some MLB captains (such as the Red Sox' Jason Varitek) wear a distinctive "C" on the left side of their jersey.

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