The Basics of Baseball

The game of baseball is a complex amalgamation of strategy, athleticism, and psychology. It requires a strong work ethic to play at the professional level. A player who is not willing to put in the hours of practice and the effort necessary to improve his skills will never make it to the major leagues. Nevertheless, the sport remains a popular pastime for many Americans.

There are four main statistics that determine the winning team in a baseball game. They are runs scored, home runs, batting average, and on-base percentage. Runs are scored when a batter gets around all of the bases in order and crosses home plate without being called out. A batter can also score by making other players reach base.

A batting average is calculated by counting the number of times the batter hits the ball into play. A player with a high batting average is considered to be a good hitter. A player with a low batting average is considered to be a poor hitter.

The best players can hit the ball far and fast, as well as play defense and run the bases. These players are often called power hitters.

During the late 1800s, African Americans played baseball on Southern plantations, but they were barred from the professional leagues until Jackie Robinson became the first black player in major leagues in 1947. Since then, there have been numerous strides and setbacks in the integration of the game.

In the present day, there are 162 games in a regular season. The division champions in each league advance to the playoffs, which are a series of best-of-seven games. The winner of the playoffs receives the league’s pennant.

Each game is nine innings long, and the team with more runs at the end of the inning wins the game. During the course of a game, teams change turns batting and fielding. The batting team’s turn to bat ends when the fielding team records three outs.

The goal of the fielding team is to prevent runners from scoring runs. This can be done by throwing the ball to the batter before it bounces, catching a thrown ball on the fly, or tagging a base runner out. The batting team must score at least three runs to win the game.