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is a bat-and-ball sport
played between two teams of nine players. The aim 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 diamond
.Each section of the diamond is 90 feet long. Players on the batting team
take turns hitting against the pitcher
of 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 for each team constitutes an inning
and 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 was brought by immigrants to North America, where the modern version developed. By the late nineteenth century, baseball was widely recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball is now popular in North America, parts of Central and South America and the Caribbean, and parts of East Asia.
In the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are divided into the National League (NL) and American League (AL), each with three divisions: East, West, and Central. The major league champion 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. Each top-level team has a farm system of one or more minor league teams.
Baseball is the leading team sport in both Japan and Cuba, where the top competitions are the Nippon Professional Baseball and Cuban National Series.
Otto Everett Graham, Jr.
(December 6, 1921
– December 17, 2003
) was an American football quarterback
who played for the Cleveland Browns
in the All-America Football Conference
and National Football League
. Graham is regarded by critics as one of the most dominant players of his era, having taken the Browns to league championship games every year between 1946 and 1955, winning seven of them. With Graham at quarterback, the Browns posted a record of 114 wins, 20 losses and four ties, including a 9–3 win–loss record
in the playoffs
. While most of Graham's statistical records have been surpassed in the modern era, he still holds the NFL record for career average yards gained
per pass attempt
, with nine. Long-time New York Yankees
owner George Steinbrenner
, a friend of Graham's, once called him "as great of a quarterback as there ever was."
Graham grew up in Waukegan, Illinois, the son of music teachers. He entered Northwestern University in 1940 on a basketball scholarship, but football soon became his main sport. After a brief stint in the military at the end of World War II, Graham played during the 1946 season for the National Basketball League's Rochester Royals, who won the league championship that year. Paul Brown, Cleveland's coach, signed Graham to play for the Browns, where he thrived. After he left football in 1955, Graham coached college teams in the College All-Star Game and became head football coach at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. After seven years at the academy, he spent three unsuccessful seasons as head coach of the Washington Redskins. Following his resignation, he returned to the Coast Guard Academy, where he served as athletic director until his retirement in 1984. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.
The Youngstown Ohio Works
baseball team was a minor league
club that was known for winning the premier championship of the Ohio–Pennsylvania League
in 1905, and for launching the professional career of pitcher Roy Castleton
a year later. A training ground for several players and officials who later established careers in Major League Baseball
, the team proved a formidable regional competitor and also won the 1906 league championship.
During its brief span of activity, the Ohio Works team faced challenges that reflected common difficulties within the Ohio–Pennsylvania League, including weak financial support for teams. Following a dispute over funding, the team's owners sold the club to outside investors, just a few months before the opening of the 1907 season.
The club's strong record and regional visibility spurred the growth of amateur and minor league baseball in the Youngstown area, and the community's minor league teams produced notable players throughout the first half of the 20th century. The story of the Ohio Works team proved to be an early chapter in Youngstown's long history of amateur and minor league baseball. In the 1930s and 1940s, the city was a frequent host of the National Amateur Baseball Federation (NABF) championship. NABF officials praised the community for the condition of its sandlot baseball diamonds, which they rated as among the best in the country. During the first half of the 20th century, Youngstown-based teams provided experience and exposure to future major league players such as Everett Scott, Floyd Baker, and Johnny Kucab, and played an indirect role in launching the career of Hall of Fame umpire Billy Evans. In the late 1990s, this tradition was rekindled, with the establishment of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, a minor league team based in neighboring Niles, Ohio.
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