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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

The Nashville Sounds mascot, Booster
The Nashville Sounds are a minor league baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), and the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. They are located in Nashville, Tennessee, and are named for the city's association with the music industry. The team plays its home games at First Tennessee Park which opened in 2015 and is partially located on the former site of the historic Sulphur Dell ballpark. The Sounds previously played at Herschel Greer Stadium from its opening in 1978 until the end of the 2014 season. Established as a Double-A team in 1978, the Sounds moved up to the Triple-A level in 1985. The team has served as a farm club for seven major league franchises. A total of 26 managers have helmed the club and its over 1,100 players. As of the completion of the 2016 season, the team has played in 5,587 regular season games and compiled a win–loss record of 2,877–2,710 (.515). The Sounds won the PCL Championship in 2005 as the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Previous league titles won by the team are the Southern League Championship in 1979 as the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, and again in 1982 as the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. The team fielded in 1980 was recognized as one of the 100 greatest minor league teams of all time. The 2006 team tied the record for the longest game in PCL history. Of the three nine-inning perfect games in the history of the PCL, two have been pitched by members of the Sounds.

Selected picture

John McGraw in a promotional photograph.
Credit: Paul Thompson

John Joseph McGraw (April 7, 1873–February 25, 1934), nicknamed "Little Napoleon" and "Muggsy", was a Major League Baseball player and manager. His total of 2840 victories as a manager ranks overall second behind only that of Connie Mack; he still holds the National League record with 2669 wins in that circuit.

Selected biography

Adenhart pitching for the Salt Lake Bees in 2008
Nicholas James Adenhart (August 24, 1986 – April 9, 2009) was an American right-handed baseball starting pitcher who played two seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In four career games, Adenhart pitched 18 innings and posted a win-loss record of 1–0, with nine strikeouts and a 6.00 earned run average (ERA).

A graduate of Williamsport High School, Adenhart was highly touted as a high school prospect until an injury in his final game required Tommy John surgery. He was drafted by the Angels in the 14th round of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft, and began playing in their minor league system after the surgery was a success. He spent three full years in the minor leagues before making his major league debut on May 1, 2008. After appearing in three games, Adenhart spent the rest of 2008 in the minor leagues developing his skills, and in 2009 he earned a spot in the Angels' starting rotation.

Just after pitching his first start of 2009, Adenhart was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. Both the Angels and the Salt Lake Bees, for whom Adenhart played in 2008, suspended their next games. There were many tributes to him over the course of the season, including his former teammates spraying champagne and beer on one of his jerseys after they clinched the 2009 American League West division championship.

Quotes

I'm not a big guy and hopefully kids could look at me and see that I'm not muscular and not physically imposing, that I'm just a regular guy. So if somebody with a regular body can get into the record books, kids can look at that. That would make me happy.
Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners right fielder, on his having, in the 2004 Major League Baseball season, displaced Saint Louis Browns first baseman George Sisler atop the enumeration of Major League players by most hits in a single season despite his measuring just 69 inches (1.75 metres) and weighing just 160 pounds (72.57 kilograms), and on the distinction betwixt his physique and those of others accused of doping


Selected list

Hank Aaron
The Hank Aaron Award is given annually to the Major League Baseball (MLB) players selected as the top hitter in each league, as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media. It was introduced in 1999 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron's surpassing of Babe Ruth's career home run mark of 714 home runs. The award was the first major award to be introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years. For the 1999 season, a winner was selected using an objective points system. Hits, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI) were given certain point values and the winner was the player who had the highest tabulated points total. In 2000, the system was changed to a ballot in which each MLB team's radio and television play-by-play broadcasters and color analysts voted for three players in each league. Their first place vote receives five points, the second place vote receives three points, and the third place vote receives one point. Beginning in 2003, fans were given the opportunity to vote via MLB's official website, MLB.com. Fans' votes account for 30% of the points, while broadcasters' and analysts' votes account for the other 70%. The first winners of the award were Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa in 1999, while the most recent winners are Kevin Youkilis and Aramis Ramirez. Alex Rodriguez has won the award four times, the most of any player. Barry Bonds has won the award three times, the second-most of any player. The winner with the most hits is Todd Helton, who won as a Colorado Rockie in 2000. The winner with the most home runs is Barry Bonds from 2001, and Manny Ramírez in 1999 has the most RBIs.

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