Baseball Introduction


The invention of baseball has long been awarded to U.S. Army officer Abner Doubleday. In a meadow in Cooperstown, New York, where he is from, the soldier would have invented baseball in 1839.

Nowadays, most sports historians agree that baseball is the descendant of an English game dating back to the thirteenth century, called the "rounders." Often practiced by children, this activity pitted two teams of nine players against each other on a modern diamond field with bases at each angle like today's baseball.

Alexander Cartwright, surrounded by amateur players, established the Knickerbocker Club in New York in 1845. Some of the game's rules that are still relevant today, such as the fact that all players have to wear the same uniform, were found within that Baseball Club. The Knickerbockers disbanded in the 1880s.

The first Women's Baseball teams were created in academia in the 1860s. During the 1880s, Harry S. Freeman attempted to set up a women's championship in New York City, but without success. A few years later, W. S. Franklin organized the first women's championship in New York. The Young Ladies Baseball Club, created in 1883, was the most competitive of the time, sometimes even facing men's teams.

In 1869, the first professional baseball club appeared. Its name was the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Everything then accelerated, two years later, nine professional teams came together to form a professional association, and the Nation League was born in 1876. The American League arrived much later in 1900. Major League Baseball (MLB) is the result of the clash between these two leagues. Today, there are 30 professional teams in total. The best team from each League has met every year since the first edition in 1903 during the World Series. The Boston Americans were the first winners after their victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Baseball is very popular on the American continent: the United States, Panama, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic. It is just as important in Asia: Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.


There are mainly national professional baseball competitions in the Americas and Asia. MLB is composed of 30 American and Canadian franchisees and teams. 

In Japan, there is Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). Twelve professional teams compete in two Leagues: the Central League and the Pacific League.South Korea also has its national competition with the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). The KBO is composed of eight teams with company names. The Mexican Baseball League (LMB) is also a professional circuit.

France and Cuba also have national competition, but they remain amateurs.

In baseball, there are very few international competitions. The Baseball World Cup was created and played every two years from 1938 to 2011.There has been a Women's Baseball World Cup since 2004, also held every two years. The same is true for the Intercontinental Cup created in 1973 and which ended in 2010.

The only international competition still played is called the World Baseball Classic. The last edition took place in 2017.


Before diving into the rules of baseball, here is a definition from the Larousse dictionary: "Ball sport that is practiced on a field punctuated by pegs (bases) between two teams of nine players. The ball sent by a pitcher must be returned as far as possible by the batsman who must then progress from base to base while the defenders recover the ball ».

Baseball is played on a quarter-circle field. The field is divided into three parts: the outfield, the infield and the part behind the lines of false balls (white lines with an angle of 90°). There are also three bases,a marble and a mound on this land at the center of this diamond.

In baseball, there are nine positions: pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second base, third base, shortstop and three outfielders.

Placement on the field is important. For the defending team, the pitcher is placed on the mound reserved for him in the center of the diamond and the catcher settles behind the marble set back from the batter. Four defensemen settle in the infield (base players and shortstop), one at each base and one located between the second and third bases. Finally, three players are placed in the outfield, one on the left, one in the center and one on the right.

A match is played in nine rounds where the two teams of nine players alternate attack and defense. The team with the most points at the end of the match wins the game. A round ends when both teams have moved on once in attack and once in defense. A team's attack lasts as long as three players are still playing on the field. 

During the attack, the team must score as many points as possible.Teams score when a batsman has managed to go around the three bases and reach the marble. 

When an attacker hits a throw and the ball goes into the limits of the field, he becomes a runner. There cannot be more than one runner per base. If the ball has been hitten beyond the outfield between the two field limit posts, it is called a "home run", the best shot in baseball, the batsman and all runners on base score one point, for a maximum of four (grand slam). Finally, if a pitcher sends four balls out of the strike zone, the batsman wins the first base.

Defenders must prevent the attackers from scoring points, by eliminating three batsmen. There are several ways to achieve this:

  • The pitcher gets three strikes on a batsman. The pitcher makes a strike when he throws a ball into the catcher's glove and into the "strike zone" which corresponds to the width of the marble and the height between the knees and the batsman's upper body. This area is left to the judgment of the referee who is behind the receiver. 
  •  A defender catches a ball hit by a batsman. The ball must not touch the ground.
  •  A defender touches a runner with the glove.
  •  A runner can be eliminated if the ball arrives before him at the base he was aiming at. 

The basic equipment of a baseball player consists of:

  •  a bat
  •  a helmet
  •  a receiving glove 
  •  a protective mask that is specific to the recipient

When attackers go to bat they can also wear additional protections, such as elbow pads or wrist protection. 

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