The objective of baseball is simply to score more runs than your opponent. Advancing a base runner until he crosses home plate and scores a run. There is no other way to add to your team's run total.

Field Dimensions

There are four bases at the corners of a square, 90 feet apart, that make up what is called the infield. The space between and around the bases is usually dirt, while the remainder of the field is grass. In the center of the infield is the pitcher's mound, which is a circular mound composed of dirt and a pitcher's plate, often called the rubber. The rubber is 60 feet and six inches away from home plate. The distance from home plate to the outfield walls vary by field or stadium.


There are two lines that form a 90-degree angle extending from home plate to each corner of the outfield. 90 feet from home plate up the right line is first base, and 90 feet up the left line is third base. When a ball is hit between these two lines, it is considered fair, and is therefore a live, playable ball. If the ball is hit anywhere outside of the two lines, it is called a foul ball and is unplayable. The only playable foul ball is one that is hit in the air and caught.


The team that is fielding has nine players on the field at once; the pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, and a left, center, and right fielder. Each position requires a specific skill set. The shortstop, for example, based on his relative position to the batter must be capable of fielding a high volume of hard-hit ground balls. The outfielders, on the other hand, typically must have an ability to track down balls hit high in the air and catch them before they hit the ground.

Balls and Strikes

The pitcher is the player that throws the ball from the pitcher's mound to the catcher, who kneels behind home plate. If the pitcher throws the ball within what is called the strike zone, the pitch is called a strike. The strike zone is a virtual area above home plate and typically between the batter's knees and lower chest area. It is also a strike if the batter swings and misses or hits the ball into foul territory. If the ball fails to pass over home plate inside the strike zone, it is called a ball. In the course of one at-bat, if three strikes are reached the batter has struck out and is considered out. If four balls are pitched, however, before three strikes are reached or the batter puts the ball in play, the batter is awarded first base.

Hits and Outs

If the batter swings and puts the ball in play, there are only two categories of possible outcomes. One is an out, the other, a base hit. If the ball is hit in the air and caught before it touches the ground, it is an out. If the ball is hit on the ground and a particular fielder throws it to first base before the batter gets there, it is an out. If the batter hits the ball and beats the throw to first base, he is awarded first base on what is called a single. On several occasions, there is no throw to first base at all because the fielder realizes that there is no play to be made. If the batter gets to second base before the throw does, he is awarded a double; third base, a triple. If the batter hits the ball over the outfield fence within fair territory, it is called a home run, and anyone on the bases, including the one who hit the home run, gets to score.

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