It is thought that baseball developed from rounders and children's
In the 1840s Alexander Cartwright of the New York Knickerbocker Club
standardised many of the features and field dimensions still in use.
Though the rules continue to change a little, by 1900 the game was
basically the same as today's.
Huge sporting event played each autumn between the winner of the American
League and the National League. The team that wins four out of seven games
is crowned the Major League champion.
The 2008 World Series marks the 104th anniversary. The Philidelphia
Phillies and the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays bat it out for MLB supremacy.
Teams consist of nine players who use a leather-covered hard ball, a
wooden (in the professional game) or aluminium bat, and padded gloves. .
Teams take turns in the field and at bat, the home team bats last. One
turn at bat for each team makes up an inning, and nine innings are a
In the field there is a pitcher, a catcher, four infielders, and three
outfielders. The pitcher throws overhand from a raised mound to home
plate, about 60 ft away. The opposing batter tries to hit the pitches
and safely reach base, while the fielders try to put the batter out by
catching the ball before it hits the ground, tagging him as he runs, or
getting the ball to first base before him.
A batter who misses three pitches, or fails to swing at three judged
hittable, is out on 'strikes'. But if the pitcher first throws four
pitches out of the strike zone, the batter automatically goes straight
to first base.
A run is scored every time a batter becomes a runner and crosses home
plate after touching each of three bases. When the fielding team puts
out three batters (or runners), the teams switch places.
If the score is tied at the end of nine innings, the team continue into
extra innings until one team scores more runs than the other in an equal
number of turns at bat.