Portal:Baseball

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Baseball (crop).jpg
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The goal is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot square, or diamond. Players on one team (the batting team) take turns hitting against the pitcher of the other team (the fielding team), which tries to stop them from scoring runs by getting hitters out in any of several ways. A player on the batting team can stop at any of the bases and later advance via a teammate's hit or other means. The teams switch between batting and fielding whenever the fielding team records three outs. One turn at bat - 3 outs - for each team constitutes an inning; nine innings make up a professional game. The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins.

Evolving from older bat-and-ball games, an early form of baseball was being played in England by the mid-eighteenth century. This game and the related rounders were brought by British and Irish immigrants to North America, where the modern version of baseball developed. By the late nineteenth century, baseball was widely recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball on the professional, amateur, and youth levels is now popular in North America, parts of Central and South America and the Caribbean, and parts of East Asia. The game is sometimes referred to as hardball, in contrast to the derivative game of softball.

In North America, professional Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are divided into the National League (NL) and American League (AL). Each league has three divisions: East, West, and Central. Every year, the champion of Major League Baseball is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series. Five teams make the playoffs from each league: the three regular season division winners, plus two wild card teams. Baseball is the leading team sport in both Japan and Cuba, and the top level of play is similarly split between two leagues: Japan's Central League and Pacific League; Cuba's West League and East League. In the National and Central leagues, the pitcher is required to bat, per the traditional rules. In the American, Pacific, and both Cuban leagues, there is a tenth player, a designated hitter, who bats for the pitcher. Each top-level team has a farm system of one or more minor league teams. These teams allow younger players to develop as they gain on-field experience against opponents with similar levels of skill. (more...) Template:/box-footer

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Steve Goodman, author of the song
"Go Cubs Go", "Go, Cubs, Go" or "Go, Cubs, Go!" is a song written by Steve Goodman in 1984. At various times the Goodman version of the song has been the official Chicago Cubs team song and the official Cubs victory song. The Goodman version of the song is now referred to as the official Chicago Cubs victory song. The Goodman version has been included in both a 1994 Steve Goodman anthology album and a 2008 Cubs songs and sounds album. An alternate 2008 version by Manic Sewing Circle has also been released. Goodman was a lifelong Cubs fan. The song was written by Goodman at the request of WGN (AM), which is the Cubs' radio broadcast partner. Goodman had in 1981 recorded "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request", a song about the historic failures of the Cubs franchise, but had been banned from playing it at Wrigley Field. That song described the team as "doormat of the National League" and referred to Wrigley Field as an "ivy-covered burial ground."

At the time that WGN Program Director Dan Fabian requested the new song, "It’s a Beautiful Day for a Ball Game" by The Harry Simeone Songsters was the theme song. He had been motivated by Cubs manager Dallas Green's effort to change the team spirit. Goodman happened to be in town for a WGN radio talk show and was receptive to the idea of writing the team a new song. "Go, Cubs, Go" first became popular during 1984 when the Cubs won the 1984 National League East Division Championship and subsequently lost in the 1984 National League Championship Series. That season (and for several afterwards) it was the official team song. It was first aired on WGN on Opening Day and played every gameday for the rest of the season. During that season, Goodman lost his sixteen-year battle with leukemia four days before the Cubs clinched the division title. In the next three years, 60,000 copies of the song were sold with proceeds going to charity. Some 1984 Cubs players can be heard performing the refrain.

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Connie Mack
Credit: Paul Thompson

Cornelius McGillicuddy, Sr. (December 22, 1862 – February 8, 1956), better known as Connie Mack, was an American professional baseball player, manager, and team owner. The longest-serving manager in Major League Baseball history, he holds records for wins (3,731), losses (3,948), and games managed (7,755), with his victory total being almost 1,000 more than any other manager.

Selected biography

Theodore Roosevelt "Double Duty" Radcliffe (July 7, 1902–August 11, 2005) was at his death thought to be the oldest living professional baseball player (it was later discovered that Silas Simmons was born seven years earlier in 1895), one of only a handful of major league (considering the Negro Leagues major) players who lived past their 100th birthdays, and a former star in the Negro Leagues. Playing for more than 30 teams, Radcliffe had more than 4,000 hits and 400 home runs, won about 500 games and had 4,000 strike-outs. He played as a pitcher and a catcher, became a manager, and in his old age became a popular ambassador for the game.

Damon Runyon coined the nickname "Double Duty" because Radcliffe played as a catcher and as a pitcher in the successive games of a 1932 Negro League World Series doubleheader between the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Monroe Monarchs. In the first of the two games at Yankee Stadium Radcliffe caught the pitcher Satchel Paige for a shutout and then pitched a shutout in the second game. Runyon wrote that Radcliffe "was worth the price of two admissions." Radcliffe considered his year with the 1932 Pittsburgh Crawfords to be one of the highlights of his career. The Crawfords beat the Monarchs 5-1 in the best-of-nine series.

Quotes

What we have are good gray ballplayers, playing a good gray game and reading the good gray Wall Street Journal. They have been brainwashed, dry-cleaned and dehydrated!...Wake up the echoes at the Hall of Fame and you will find that baseball's immortals were a rowdy and raucous group of men who would climb down off their plaques and go rampaging through Cooperstown, taking spoils....Deplore it if you will, but Grover Cleveland Alexander drunk was a better pitcher than Grover Cleveland Alexander sober.
Bill Veeck, Chicago White Sox owner, on the contemporary disfavoring by Major League Baseball executives of players' acting boisterously off-field


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Dan Brouthers played first base for the Reds
The Boston Reds were a Major League Baseball franchise that played in the Players' League (PL) in 1890, and one season in the American Association (AA) in 1891. In both seasons, the Reds were their league's champion, making them the second team to win back-to-back championships in two different leagues. The first franchise to accomplish this feat was the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, who won the AA championship in 1889 and the National League (NL) championship in 1890. The Reds played their home games at the Congress Street Grounds. The Reds were an instant success on the field and in the public's opinion. The team signed several top-level players, and they played in a larger, more comfortable and modern ballpark than the Boston Beaneaters, the popular and well established cross-town rival. Player signings that first year included future Hall of Famers King Kelly, Dan Brouthers, and Charles Radbourn, along with other veterans such as Hardy Richardson, Matt Kilroy, Harry Stovey, and Tom Brown. The PL ended after one season, leaving most of its teams without a league. After the dissolution of the PL, the AA voted to allow the Reds into the new combined league. This was based on the condition that all players be returned to their former clubs via the reserve clause. Although the team's on-field captain, Kelly, became the player-manager for a new AA club, the Cincinnati Kelly's Killers, the Reds stayed intact by keeping several of their top players. Of the club's key players from the previous year's team, Brouthers, Richardson, and Brown were retained. To fill the void of the departing players, the team brought in future Hall of Famers Hugh Duffy and Clark Griffith, along with solid veterans Paul Radford, Charlie Buffinton, and George Haddock. When the 1891 season ended, the AA folded as well, leaving the NL as the sole major league, and the Reds were bought out by the surviving NL clubs.

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