Baseball is a ball-and-stick sport played by two competing teams who each take turns fielding and batting for an entire half-hour. The game normally proceeds when a member of the pitching team, known as the starting pitcher, tosses a ball to an opponent on the hitting team, also known as the pitcher. The bat thrown by the starting pitcher has been dipped in water or otherwise altered so that it does not count as a strike against the opponent’s bats. Once the pitch and the bat have been put into play, the players on either team take turns trying to field the ball, which is rolled around the diamond, usually from right to left, and then hit it into the seats in front of home plate. When a hit occurs, a “play” is initiated and play continues until an end result is reached, usually a run or a hit and run – which is when the game is called “played”.
In addition to the field, a baseball field usually includes three outfield’s (or fields), a first and second base, and a third base. Depending on what club is playing, the outfields may be generally located on the same side of the diamond (first base and second base are often located on different sides of the diamond), or they may be located on different sides of the field (third base is generally located on a different side of the diamond from first base and the reliever and the starting pitcher). The three main running paths from home plate to the dugout include the center field, right field, and the short (or “short”) field.
The sport of baseball is a fascinating one; particularly interesting, though, is the sport of “baseball” itself. Unlike American football, whose play last only a few minutes at most, and football, whose play last for countless hours throughout the week, professional baseball requires the players to be on the field of action for a minimum of three outs (including innings). As a result, the offensive (hitting) team (also known as the hitters) must bat during the course of play. Likewise, the defensive (fielding) team must cover the outfield during any moment of the game, as well. With few exceptions, the two teams take turns playing each other once during the entire game; the only exception is if a team is playing with three different starting pitchers.