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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Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of play in North American professional baseball. Specifically, Major League Baseball refers to the organization that operates the National League and the American League, by means of a joint organizational structure that has developed gradually between them since 1903 (the National League having been in existence since 1876). In 2000, the two leagues were officially disbanded as separate legal entities with all their rights and functions consolidated in the commissioner's office. MLB effectively operates as a single league and as such it constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues of the United States. It is currently composed of 30 teams—29 in the United States and 1 in Canada (the Toronto Blue Jays). In conjunction with the International Baseball Federation, the MLB also manages the World Baseball Classic.

Each season consists of 162 games (with an additional game, or games, if a tie breaker is needed to determine postseason participation), which generally begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the first Sunday in October, with the postseason played in October and sometimes into early November. The same rules and regulations are played between the two leagues with one exception: the American League operates under the Designated Hitter Rule, while the National League does not. Utilization of the DH Rule in interleague play, the All-Star and World Series games is determined by the home team's league rules. MLB is controlled by the Major League Baseball Constitution that has undergone several incarnations since 1876 with the most recent revisions being made in 2005. Under the direction of Commissioner of Baseball (currently Bud Selig), Major League Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts. As is the case for most of the sports leagues in the United States and Canada, the "closed shop" aspect of MLB effectively prevents the yearly promotion and relegation of teams into and out of Major League Baseball by virtue of their performance. Major League Baseball maintains a unique, controlling relationship over the sport, including most aspects of minor league baseball. This is due in large part to a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Federal Baseball Club v. National League, which held that baseball is not interstate commerce and therefore not subject to federal antitrust law. This ruling has been weakened only slightly in subsequent years.

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Babe Ruth2.jpg
Credit: Irwin, La Broad, & Pudlin.

George Herman Ruth, Jr. (February 6, 1895 – August 16, 1948), also popularly known as "Babe", "The Bambino", and "The Sultan of Swat", was an American Major League baseball player from 19141935. Ruth originally broke into the Major Leagues with the Boston Red Sox as a starting pitcher, but after he was sold to the New York Yankees in 1919, he converted to Right Field and subsequently became one of the league's most prolific hitters. Ruth was a mainstay in the Yankees' lineup that won 7 pennants and 4 World Series titles during his tenure with the team. After a short stint with the Boston Braves in 1935, Ruth retired. In 1936, Ruth became one of the first five players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Selected biography

Clark Calvin Griffith (November 20, 1869 - October 27, 1955), nicknamed "the Old Fox", was a Major League Baseball pitcher (1891 - 1914), manager (1901 - 1920) and team owner (1920 - 1955).

Griffith entered the American Association in 1891, pitching 226 ⅓ innings and winning 14 games for the St. Louis Browns and Boston Reds. He began the following season with the Chicago Colts, and in 1894 began a string of six consecutive seasons with 20 or more victories, compiling a 21-14 record and 4.92 ERA. Griffith lowered his ERA over the following years to a low of 1.88 in 1898, the lowest mark in the league.

Griffith won 20 games for his 7th and final time in 1901 as a member of the Chicago White Stockings in the nascent American League; it was also the first year he assumed managerial duties. His success extended beyond his own play as the White Stockings won the AL title with an 83-53 record.

Quotes

I'm not a big guy and hopefully kids could look at me and see that I'm not muscular and not physically imposing, that I'm just a regular guy. So if somebody with a regular body can get into the record books, kids can look at that. That would make me happy.
Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners right fielder, on his having, in the 2004 Major League Baseball season, displaced Saint Louis Browns first baseman George Sisler atop the enumeration of Major League players by most hits in a single season despite his measuring just 69 inches (1.75 metres) and weighing just 160 pounds (72.57 kilograms), and on the distinction betwixt his physique and those of others accused of doping


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Jim Bunning threw the only perfect game in Phillies history
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They play in the National League East division. Also known in their early years as the "Philadelphia Quakers", pitchers for the Phillies have thrown eleven separate no-hitters in franchise history. Of the eleven no-hitters pitched by Phillies players, three have been won by a score of 6–0, and three have been 1–0. The largest margin of victory in a Phillies no-hitter was ten runs, in a 10–0 win by Chick Fraser. Three Phillies players have won their no-hitters by a one-run margin; Charlie Ferguson's no-hitter, the first in franchise history, was a 1–0 victory, one thrown by Kevin Millwood in 2003, and the one thrown by Roy Halladay against the Florida Marlins in 2010. Two pitchers to throw no-hitters for the Phillies have been left-handed: Johnny Lush (in 1906) and Terry Mulholland (in 1990). The other eight pitchers were right-handed. One pitcher has thrown more than one no-hitter in a Phillies uniform, that being Halladay. Some, including Hall of Famer Jim Bunning, have pitched more than one in their careers, but not more than one for the Phillies. The longest interval between Phillies no-hitters was between the games pitched by Lush and Bunning, encompassing 58 years, 1 month, and 20 days. Conversely, the shortest interval between no-hitters was between both of Halladays (131 Days). A different umpire presided over each of the Phillies' eleven no-hitters, including Wes Curry, who created Major League Baseball's catcher interference rule. Two perfect games, a special subcategory of no-hitter, has been pitched in Phillies history. The first was achieved by Bunning in 1964 and was the first perfect game in the National League since 1880. The second was by Halladay against the Florida Marlins. Halladay also pitched the second postseason no hitter in MLB history against the Reds in the National League Divisional Series NLDS. As defined by Major League Baseball, "[in] a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game."

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