Baseball is a team sport in which players attempt to score points by hitting a ball into play with their bats. The game takes place over nine innings, and the team with the most points at the end wins. The ball used is called a baseball, and is typically made from either wood or aluminium materials. Each player wears a glove, and the fielding players also wear protective gear. The pitcher, who throws the ball, stands on a raised mound known as a pitching plate. The catcher, who is behind the batter to catch any balls that are missed, wears leg guards, a body pad and a helmet. The umpires, who stand behind the defensive players to call the game, use a series of hand gestures to signal to the batter what kind of pitch they will receive and where it will be delivered.
Once a batter is ready, he or she steps up to home plate and attempts to hit the ball into fair territory between the bases. Runners who touch all of the bases without the defensive players getting them out are credited with scoring a run. The batter can be “out” of the game by either striking out (missing the ball three times after receiving good pitches) or being tagged out at the base by the defensive player with the ball.
The game is played by teams of nine players, although subs are permitted if necessary. Each batting team selects a specific order for its members, and the order cannot be changed during the course of the game. The same players begin the game by batting in order in the top of each inning, and they remain in that order until they are “out” or the end of the ninth inning. Subs may be brought in at any time, but they must replace the original batter in the batting order.
In the history of baseball, the sport has reflected the ethos of America’s fabled melting pot. Early rosters were populated by Irish, German and Italian players; black players began to appear in the 1940s; and Asian players have recently begun making a presence.
A game of baseball lasts for nine innings, and a team is declared the winner if it has more points at the end of an inning than its opponent. If the game ends in a tie, extra innings are added until one team is ahead in points. In addition to the traditional bases, the defensive players also have a number of movable bases called “outfielders,” which allow them to catch balls in areas that are out of reach for other fielders. The outfielders must also be ready to move from one position to another in case a play develops quickly. The hitters also have the option of moving between bases at any point, though only one runner is allowed on each base at a given time. This helps prevent a single runner from advancing to another base without the chance of being tagged out by a fielder.