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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...)

Selected article

Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson Day is a traditional event which occurs annually in Major League Baseball, commemorating and honoring the day Jackie Robinson made his major league debut. Initiated for the first time on April 15, 2004, Jackie Robinson Day is celebrated each year on the same date. The festivity is a result of Robinson's memorable career, best known for becoming the first African-American major league baseball player of the modern era in 1947. His debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers (today known as the Los Angeles Dodgers) ended approximately eighty years of baseball segregation, also known as the baseball color line, or color barrier. He also was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, remembered for his services with the number 42 jersey. The gala is often celebrated at varied ballparks by Major League team players. Shea Stadium was one of the prominent venues hosting the event, having commemorated the retirement of Robinson's number 42 jersey in 1997. The numbered jersey is still worn to mark the event every year. Bob DuPuy, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Major League baseball, described Jackie Robinson Day as a significance "not only for baseball, but for our country in general."

Selected picture

Johnny Evers, Hall of Fame second baseman for the Chicago Cubs
Credit: George Grantham Bain Collection

John Joseph Evers (July 21, 1883 – March 28, 1947) was a Major League Baseball player and manager. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1946. He was born in Troy, New York. He is famously featured in the poem Baseball's Sad Lexicon along with teammates Joe Tinker and Frank Chance.

Selected biography

Frontispiece of a biography of Radcliffe autographed by its subject.
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

It ain't over 'til it's over.
Yogi Berra, In July 1973, when the New York Mets trailed the Chicago Cubs by 9½ games in the National League East; the Mets won the division title on the final day of the season.
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Selected list

Trevor Hoffman, a selection in the 1992 Major League Baseball expansion draft
On November 17, 1992, during the 1992–93 offseason, Major League Baseball (MLB) held an expansion draft in New York City to allow the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies to build their rosters prior to debuting in the National League (NL) East and the NL West divisions, respectively, in the 1993 MLB season.

The 1990 collective bargaining agreement between MLB owners and the MLB Players Association allowed the NL to expand by two members to match the American League (AL). In June 1991, MLB accepted bids of groups from Miami, Florida and Denver, Colorado, with debuts set for 1993.

The Marlins and Rockies used the expansion draft to build their teams using different strategies. As the Rockies had a smaller operating budget than the Marlins, the Rockies targeted prospects with low salaries, while the Marlins selected older players intended to provide more immediate impact. All three rounds of the draft were televised by ESPN.

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