Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams that 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 objective of the offensive team (batting team) is to hit the ball into the field of play, allowing its players to run the bases, having them 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, as well as East and Southeast Asia, particularly in Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
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. (Full article...)
The 1995 American League West tie-breaker game
was a one-game playoff
for Major League Baseball's AL West
division championship, played on October 2, 1995
between the California Angels
and Seattle Mariners
at the Kingdome
. The game was necessitated due to both teams finishing the strike
-shortened 144 game season with identical records of 78–66.
Seattle won the game by a score of 9–1, securing its first playoff berth in franchise history. The game matched two highly unlikely teams: The Angels had not been to the postseason since 1986, and had not finished above third place in the American League West since. On the other hand, the Mariners had never been to the postseason, and before 1995 only had two seasons with a record above .500.
With less than two months left in the 1995 regular season, the Angels held a comfortable lead in the AL West standings, 11 games ahead of the second-place Texas Rangers and 13 games ahead of the third-place Mariners. However, the Mariners mounted a late-season comeback, coupled with a late-season collapse by the Angels, to force the tie-breaker.
After winning the tie-breaker, the Mariners went on to play the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. They won the series in 5 games on an 11th-inning double by Edgar Martínez in Game 5, but lost the American League Championship Series to the Cleveland Indians in 6 games. The Angels, meanwhile, did not earn a trip to the postseason until 2002.
An Afghan girl playing baseball in August 2002 (from
Defensive positions on a baseball field, with abbreviations and scorekeeper's position numbers (not uniform numbers) (from
baseball field Diamond may refer to the square area defined by the four bases or to the entire playing field. The dimensions given are for professional and professional-style games. Children often play on smaller fields. (from Baseball)
Diagram of a
Rickey Henderson—the major leagues' all-time leader in runs and stolen bases—stealing third base in a 1988 game (from Baseball)
The Worcester Worcesters
, sometimes referred to as the Brown Stockings
or the Ruby Legs
, were a Major League Baseball
team based in Worcester, Massachusetts
. Though the team's alternate names appear in many modern sources, no contemporary records from the time exist that support the use of names other than "Worcester". They existed in the National League
(NL) from 1880
, and played their home games at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds
. The team was organized in 1879 as the Worcester Baseball Association, and joined the minor league
National Association. The team was profitable, successful against rival teams, and did well against NL teams in exhibition games
. After the season, team management turned their attention on the NL, and pursued the slot vacated by the departing Syracuse Stars
. The team was voted into the NL by a majority of the owners, and in 1880, the team began their first season. The manager
of the team, Frank Bancroft
, and many of the players stayed with the team when it joined the NL, including pitchers Lee Richmond
and Tricky Nichols
, and position players Arthur Irwin
, Doc Bushong
, Charlie Bennett
, and Chub Sullivan
. On June 12, Richmond threw the first perfect game
in major league history, against the Cleveland Blues
. Harry Stovey
, in his first major league season, led the league in triples
and home runs
. However, the Ruby Legs were, in turn, no-hit
on August 20 by Pud Galvin
of the Buffalo Bisons
, becoming the first team to be no-hit at home. They played 85 games in their first season, and had a win–loss record of 40 wins, 43 losses, with 2 ties, finishing fifth in the league. By 1882, the team had declined, and the pitchers began to complain of exhaustion and accused management of overuse. A second consecutive last-place finish, along with declining talent, their fans stopped attending home games, with attendance numbers averaging 50 paid spectators. John Clarkson
, who went on to win 328 games in a 12-season career, and was the only Hall of Famer
to have played for the franchise, began his career for the 1881 Ruby Legs. When the season ended, the NL decided to drop the team from the league, replacing them with the Philadelphia Quakers
, who later became the Phillies.