By Melanie Walker
Ah, Spring. One of the best times of the year: the time for beginnings, blossoms, and baseball. That’s right, ladies. I’m talking about those tight-pants-wearing players with the messy hair that sticks out of their caps.
Picture this: it’s a warm spring night in May and the dude you’re interested in wants to take you out on a date to the ballgame. Or maybe you scored some free tickets to the minor league game that’s happening that night and you have someone special in mind to take.
If you’re anything like me, you prefer a little dirt on your diamonds and this is your ideal date.
There’s just something special about sitting in those hard chairs sharing a blanket with someone your love, anticipating the next pitch on a 4 Ball 3 Strike while your team’s bases are loaded, with a hot dog in one hand and a Coke in your cup holder.
But for those girls who aren’t as stoked about the ballpark due to lack of cognizance when it comes to the rules, don’t worry— I got you covered. You’ll be baseball-chic in no time, and, quite impressive on your date!
Here is The Basic Baseball Low-Down:
(Oh, and if you don’t want to go to the game because you think baseball is boring, please see someone about that; I can assure you that nothing is boring about a sport that requires such meticulous technique, strength, and teamwork.)
Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, played on an enclosed field.
The infield is a 90-foot square. The outfield is the area between two foul lines formed by extending two sides of the square from home plate.
There are nine innings in a game and three outs for each team.
The objective of each team is to win by scoring more runs than the opponent.
A fielder is any defensive player. A batter is any offensive player.
A pitch is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher.
The catcher is the fielder who takes his position back of the home base and catches the pitcher's pitch when the batter does not hit the pitch.
A runner is an offensive player who is advancing toward, or touching, or returning to any base.
A tag is when a fielder in touches a base or the runner with his body while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove
A strike is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire. Strikes occur when the batter misses his pitch or does not hit the ball when it is in the strike zone.
The strike zone is the swinging area eligible for strike-outs by the pitcher.
A ball is a pitch which does not enter the strike zone in flight and is not struck at by the batter.
An out is one of the three unsuccessful tries of a score from offensive team during its time at bat.
The players of the home team take their defensive positions and the first batter of the visiting team takes his position in the batter's box.
The game begins when the Umpire calls, “play.”
The batting order has to be followed throughout the entire game unless players are substituted for another.
A batter has legally completed his time to bat when he is put out or becomes a runner.
Batters are put out by:
Batters advance to their bases by:
Once the batter advances to first base, he is considered a runner.
A run is scored each time the runner legally touches first, second, third, and home base before three batters are put out to end the inning.
When three offensive players are legally put out, the teams switch making the team on field the batters and vice versa.
A run is scored One run shall be scored each time a runner legally advances to and touches first, second, third and home base before three men are put out to end the inning.
Whichever team has scored the most runs by the 9th inning wins. However, if teams are tied, the game may go into extra innings until a team wins.
Extra Baseball Terms to Impress
Fly ball: batted ball that goes high in the air straight from the bat without first touching the ground.
Batter’s Box: the area within which the batter shall stand during his time at bat.
Battery: the pitcher and catcher
Ground ball: is a batted ball that rolls or bounces close to the ground.
Wild Pitch: an error pitch that is not hit by the batter, and not stopped by the catcher, that enables the runners to advance.
So there you have it. Your own personal instruction manual to read up on before the game. Don’t forget to use these terms, put on that ball cap, and always remember: you don’t score points in baseball, only runs.
(Images via crunchyroll.com)