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Major League Baseball
Considered "America's favorite pastime," the game of baseball was introduced in the early 1800s and soon caught fire with the public. As more and more people became interested in the game, baseball was institutionalized by the National Association in 1858. The Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first professional team in 1869.
The National League was instituted in 1876, while the American League was instituted in 1903. The first World Series, in which the champions of each league faced off, was played in 1903.
A Negro League was also instituted in the early 1900s, but in 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson and removed the color barrier in baseball. As more and more African American players were signed on to teams in the National League and American League, the Negro League dissolved.
Since it was first introduced, baseball has continued to gather more and more momentum and has a mlb sport fanatic base of fans of all ages, sexes, and backgrounds. Many sport fanatics are passionate about the teams they support, and rivalries such as that between the Boston Red Sox and the Yankees, as well as the Giants and the Dodgers, have become long-standing and legendary.
Today, in the MLB there are 14 teams in the American League and 16 teams in the National League. Each year, the champion of each of these leagues face off in the World Series, which is held each October. For those who can't make it into their favorite stadium, baseball games are well broadcast on both television and radio, and sports paraphernalia of all sorts is available for all Major League teams.
Major League Baseball Teams (MLB)
Teams AL East Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, AL Central Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, AL West Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, NL East Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, NL Central Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, NL West Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants
The Sport Fanatic shop for all your great MLB shopping needs click on any link below were you will find a vast array of products including MLB sport gear, MLB merchandise, MLB gifts, MLB memorabilia, MLB sport apparel, MLB dog collars, MLB posters, MLB gifts, and MLB bedding for you favorite MLB team
scroll down to see some fun and interesting sport facts and maybe have a play on the game. We hope you have fun at the sport fanatic shop.
Bobs guide to baseball
Bill.. I still don't understand the game of baseball Bob, your a sport fanatic can you explain it to me
Bob.. No problem Bill , baseball is a simple game with a million rules, all subject to the interpretation of four blind but very assertive people known as "umpires." These umpires are usually assisted by 30,000 to 40,000 beery-eyed sport fanatic witnesses sitting in the stands, all of whom are sure they saw the close play better -- from a quarter of a mile away. They are blind too.
Bill.. I bet that causes a lot of arguments.
Bob.. Yes it sure does . But Bill the strange things that you notice is that the players often wear white, representing purity and innocence of spirit. This is one of many baseball traditions.
Bill.. Ive heard about all these strange traditions
Bob.. Also white shows the dirt best. To stay loose, the players scratch themselves a lot, but only when the TV camera is on them.
Bob.. No one knows why.
Bill... So how do you start playing the game
Bob.. A game begins with a group song, then a man goes to a little hill. His purpose is to throw the ball past an opposing player, from his little hill, sometimes called a "mound," to the catcher, who takes a position behind home plate. So yes, technically, they are throwing the ball out of bounds with every single pitch.
Bill.. What happens if the man with the bat cant hit the ball
Bob.. When a "batter" misses the ball three times, he is considered "out," and it is baseball tradition for him to bark something rude to the vision-impaired (blind) person behind home plate. But not too rude. If you bark something too rude, you are asked to please leave, thank you very much. As you can tell already, baseball is a very passive-aggressive experience.
Bill.. I don't think I would like to be an umpire then, what happens if the man with the bat hit's the ball
Bob.. Now, if a batted ball lands on or within the chalk lines, the batter runs counterclockwise in sequence to the four bases.
Bill.. Why would you want to run in a big circle, basically getting nowhere
Bob.. It is one of the glories of the game and is considered a template for life itself. First, second and third base are also popular euphemisms for sexual conquest, assuming you have such things in your life.
Bill.. How does that work then
Bob.. As with romance, there are many ways to be called out in baseball. You can strike out, as mentioned earlier, or you can get tagged out. Various scenarios involve tagging second, third or home, providing that it's a "force play" situation. In double plays, the shortstop doesn't even need to have the ball when he swipes second base. He just needs to pretend. Are you with me so far?
Bill.. Sort of
Bob.. Good. Now when a team records three outs, all the sport fanatics get up and go to the snack bar for ridiculously overpriced food. In another baseball tradition, items that are supposed to be hot are cold (hot dogs), and items that are supposed to be cold are hot (beer).
Bill.. sounds like fun
Bob.. Thats not all, sport fans will also use this time to stand in line at the restroom By the time the sport fanatic return, it is often about the fifth inning. There is usually much circling of the bases by the batters about this time, which makes everyone happy, except the manager and the pitching coach, who are all the time going out to the mound to consult with the pitcher and to make sure he is not drunk or something.
Bill.. What happens when the manager is unhappy
Bob.. If the manager is unhappy, or the pitcher is drunk, the manager will motion for another pitcher to come in, someone who is worse than the one before. At that point, another new player trots in, usually from the farthest point possible from the pitching mound itself. They call this distant area "the bullpen." The journey is basically like going from the Continental terminal for a connecting flight to the American terminal -- except it takes longer.
Bill.. So the new pitcher can start pitching then
Bob.. No even after the new pitcher finally arrives, the game cannot resume yet, for although he has been warming up, this new pitcher needs to warm up some more.
Bob.. No one knows why. But after a long delay, the game begins again, and this new pitcher will often face only one or two batters before the manager will "yank" him for another pitcher, because the next batter is right-handed, and he doesn't want his lefty to face a righty because batters see the ball better when it is thrown by someone of the opposite persuasion.
Bill.. This is getting confusing
Bob.. That's not all in almost every game, there will be a big flare-up, a batter will be hit by a pitch or maybe a "balk" will be called.
Bob.. No one completely understands balks, except for three old-timers and they are all living in an assisted-care facility in Palm Springs. So whenever a balk is called, there is much discussion.
Bill.. What do they discuss
Bob.. These discussions are frequent in baseball, and occasionally venomous. Anger is essential to the game of baseball and provides much of the visual entertainment. Anger is almost as important as eating, which provides the main action. Honestly, if you took away the food, no one would go to a baseball game at all.
Bill.. Forget it Bob im so confused and theres so much anger involved in it im of for a lay down
Bob.. But I have to tell you how the innings work and how they score the game ,Bill.. Bill .. come back Bill
1. baseball stars from the National League and the American League played the first All-Star Game in 1933. The National League has won 41 of the 80 games. The game ended in a tie twice. In 1961 rain in Boston prevented extra innings and the game ended in a 1-1 tie. And in 2002, the game went 11 innings with the score knotted at seven before it was finally called off due to a lack of pitchers.
2. 1914 Babe Ruth makes his debut in Major league baseball (MLB)
3. before 1859, baseball umpires were seated in padded chairs behind home plate.
4. The average life span of major league baseball is 7 pitchers.
5. Babe Ruth wore a cabbage leaf under his cap while playing baseball, and he used to changed it every two innings.
6. The New York Yankees have won 26 World Series titles, which is more than any other team.
7. Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. didn't miss a game in 16 years. He played in 2,632 consecutive games from April 30, 1982 to Sept. 19, 1998.
8. The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum is located in Cooperstown, N.Y. It was created in 1935 to celebrate baseball's 100th anniversary.
9. It is a herculean task to narrow down the date of origin of baseball. It is believed that the game originated somewhere between the mid-1700s and early-1800s in the United States.
10. The rules of baseball have been changed literally every year, right from 1877 when the first rule book was issued for the National League.
11. The first baseball stadium built in the United States was the Forbes Field, built in Pittsburgh in 1909.
12. The distance between the bases is exactly 90 feet in the Major League Baseball (MLB), while the distance from the pitchers mound to the home plate is 60 feet and 8 inches.
13. The first professional baseball league was initiated in 1871. Most of the big cities in the eastern parts of United States had a professional team representing them by the beginning of 20th century.
14. The first World Series was played in 1903 between Pittsburgh and Boston. The nine-game series was won by Boston 5-3.
15. In 1997, the teams from the American League were allowed to play in the National League, thus bringing to an end one of the oldest tradition of the game. The first inter-league game was played on 12th June, 1997.
16. Initially, the hits which cleared the outfield were considered as home runs. But today, the hits have to clear the ballpark, more importantly, without leaning towards the foul areas in order to be considered as a home run.
17. The longest game in the history of Major League (MLB) Baseball was played between the Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Robins on 1st May, 1920. The 26-inning game which was called off as a draw at the leveled scores of 1-1, actually went on for 8 hours, 22 minutes.
18. The lifespan of an average baseball is just eight days. A baseball is used only once in one Major League Baseball (MLB) game.
19. According to Rule 301c of Major League Baseball (MLB), the umpires have to rub down 6 dozen balls and remove their slick shine before the commencement of the game.
20. left-handed, Ruth used to play right-handed while in school, the reason being unavailability of left-handed gloves.
21. Nolan Ryan, hailing from the Texas, holds the baseball record for striking out the most batters in his Major League Baseball career spanning over 27 MLB seasons.
22. After signing for Astros in 1979, Nolan Ryan became the first player in Major League Baseball (MLB) to sign as a free agent for a salary of $1 Million.
23. In 1986 Danny Heep became the first player in a World Series to be a designated hitter (DH) with the initials "D.H."
24. In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first, and only, home run.
25. In 1910, A baseball with a cork center was used in a World Series game for the first time. The Philadelphia Athletics (managed by Connie Mack) and the Chicago Cubs (managed by P.K. Wrigley) played for the championship.
26. In July 1934 Babe Ruth paid a fan $20 dollars for the return of the baseball he hit for his 700th career home run.
27. In 1964 for the 10th time in his major-league baseball (MLB) career, Mickey Mantle hit home runs from both the left and ride sides of the plate in the same game - setting a new baseball record.
28. Baseball cards have been around since 1886. Modern cards, with high-resolution color photographs on the front and player statistics on the back, date from 1953. The photos are taken in the spring, with and without team caps, just in case the player is traded to another team.
29. The silhouette on the Major League Baseball (MLB) logo is Harmon Killebrew.
30. Until the 1870s, baseball was played without the use of gloves.
31. Reggie Jackson holds the major league record for most strikeouts with 2,597.
32. Houston's Bob Watson scored Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1,000,000th run on May 4, 1975.
33. The largest baseball card collection, 200,000 cards, is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
34. Baseball rules were codified in 1846 by Alexander Cartwright of the Knickerbocker Baseball Club.
35. Baseball's National League was born in 1876. Eight competing baseball teams met in New York City's Grand Central Hotel. The first president of the new league was Morgan Gardner Bulkeley, who later became a US Senator. The eight original cities with teams were: Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Louisville and Hartford. Two of the original teams are now in the American League (Boston and New York) while Louisville and Hartford are now minor-league baseball towns.
36. Babe Ruth hit his first major-league home run on May 6, 1915. He was playing for the Boston Red Sox at the time. 'The Sultan of Swat' went on to smash 714 round-trippers before he retired, as a New York Yankee, in 1935.
37. Babe Ruth was able to throw two baseballs in such a way that the balls remained parallel to each other all the way from his hand to the catcher's glove. Ruth was famous for this stunt and would demonstrate it on request.
38. Bullfrog Dietrich of the Chicago White Sox was the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter while wearing eyeglasses. He did it in 1937.
39. When Henry Aaron hit his 715th Home Run, breaking Babe Ruth's record, the pitcher who served it up was Al Downing of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They were both wearing number 44.
40.Mike Greenwell of the Boston Red Sox holds the major league record for the most RBIs that accounted for all of his team's runs. In 1996, he batted in nine runs in a game against the Seattle Mariners.
41. The first baseball game which was recorded with codified rules was played on 19th June, 1846, in New Jersey, United States.
GREAT MOMENT: Bobby Thompson's shot heard round the world
Thomson became a celebrity for hitting a game-winning home run in a playoff game, off of Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, to win the 1951 National League pennant. The home run (nicknamed the "shot Heard Round the World") is perhaps the most famous in baseball history. The Dodgers and Giants split the first two games. This forced the decisive contest on October 3rd at the Polo Grounds. The Dodgers took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Giants' cause appeared lost. But Thomson's homer turned what looked like a certain defeat into a 5-4 victory. The moment was immortalized by the famous call of Giants play-by-play announcer Russ Hodges who cried, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"
It used to be that baseball bats were built from a single type of material: wood. But, as time has went on, there are many different materials that baseball (and softball) bats are made out of. With this item, we'll take a look at the different types of baseball bats.
The original baseball bats were crafted from wood. Wood bats continue to be popular today, as they are required in professional baseball and even some amateur leagues. Louisville Slugger is most likely the most popular wood bat creators in the world.
There are two core kinds of wood that are used for these bats; ash and maple. Ash is the most popular. Northern White Ash has its own unique texture and feel and has been used for a lot of years. But, a bug, the emerald ash borer, has produced a lot of troubles for ash bat makers in the last few years, harming tens of millions of ash trees in the state of Michigan by itself, and tens of millions more in other states and Canada.
Maple bats have gained fame in the big leagues in the last few years. The maple bats are harder than their ash bat counterparts. However, splintering has become an issue, as the bat handles are regularly made with a smaller diameter. More and more professional and amateur hitters are playing with maple bats at the plate.
Bamboo has come upon the landscape lately, too. Recognized for being a lighter and more durable bat, batters are starting to use this "green" wood as a workable option. The same can be said for birch bats. Birch bats are known to be more durable than ash, and more bendable than maple.
But, composite bats have come upon the landscape in the last few years. They are built with the same aluminum outer shell, but have a graphite layer inside the hull. This gives the composite bat a lighter weight and greater trampoline effect on the batted ball.
Because of this superior trampoline effect, associations, such as Little League Baseball, have put a freeze on composite bats. Additionally, it also led to a new rule in the NCAA. Composite bats now have to meet the BBCOR standard. The National Federation of High Schools is also using the BBCOR standard for the 2012 season. Basically, it will be vital that bats adhere to the BBCOR standard of.50 or less and be stamped with the BBCOR logo to be legal.