Portal:Baseball
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Portal:Baseball

The Baseball Portal

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Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objective of the offensive team (batting team) is to hit the ball into the field of play, allowing its players to run the bases, having them advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team (fielding team) is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate (the place where the player started as a batter). The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

The first objective of the batting team is to have a player reach first base safely. A player on the batting team who reaches first base without being called "out" can attempt to advance to subsequent bases as a runner, either immediately or during teammates' turns batting. The fielding team tries to prevent runs by getting batters or runners "out", which forces them out of the field of play. Both the pitcher and fielders have methods of getting the batting team's players out. The opposing teams switch back and forth between batting and fielding; the batting team's turn to bat is over once the fielding team records three outs. One turn batting for each team constitutes an inning. A game is usually composed of nine innings, and the team with the greater number of runs at the end of the game wins. If scores are tied at the end of nine innings, extra innings are usually played. Baseball has no game clock, although most games end in the ninth inning.

Baseball evolved from older bat-and-ball games already being played in England by the mid-18th century. This game was brought by immigrants to North America, where the modern version developed. By the late 19th century, baseball was widely recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball is popular in North America and parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and East Asia, particularly in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

In the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are divided into the National League (NL) and American League (AL), each with three divisions: East, West, and Central. The MLB champion is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series. The top level of play is similarly split in Japan between the Central and Pacific Leagues and in Cuba between the West League and East League. The World Baseball Classic, organized by the World Baseball Softball Confederation, is the major international competition of the sport and attracts the top national teams from around the world. (Full article...)

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Joe West 2011.jpg
Joseph Henry West (born October 31, 1952), nicknamed "Cowboy Joe", is an American professional baseball umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB). A native of Greenville, South Carolina, West attended Rose High School and played football at East Carolina University (ECU) and Elon College. West entered the National League (NL) as an umpire in 1976; he joined the NL staff full-time in 1978. As a young umpire, West worked Nolan Ryan's fifth career no-hitter, was on the field for Willie McCovey's 500th home run, and was involved in a 1983 shoving incident with manager Joe Torre.

A few years later, West was the home plate umpire during the 1988 playoff game in which pitcher Jay Howell was ejected for having pine tar on his glove. In 1990, he threw pitcher Dennis Cook to the ground while attempting to break up a fight. West resigned during the 1999 Major League Umpires Association mass resignation, but was rehired in 2002. Since then, he has umpired throughout MLB. In a 2004 playoff game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, West's crew made a controversial decision that necessitated police presence to calm the crowd. He served as crew chief for the 2005 World Series.

In 2010, West attracted media attention after he publicly complained about the slow pace of a game between the Red Sox and Yankees. He also worked the game that year in which Albert Pujols hit his 400th career home run. West has worked several no-hitters, including a 2012 perfect game by Félix Hernández. As of 2012, West has the longest tenure of any MLB umpire. West has appeared in five World Series, two All-Star Games, seven League Championship Series (LCS) and five League Division Series (LDS).

West is president of the World Umpires Association (WUA). As the organization's president, West helped negotiate the largest umpiring contract in baseball history. He works with a sporting goods company to design and patent umpiring equipment endorsed by MLB. West is also a singer and songwriter, and has released two country music albums. He had a small acting role in the comedy film The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! and a cameo appearance in the television crime drama The Oldest Rookie. He plays golf on the Celebrity Players Tour.

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Theodore Roosevelt "Double Duty" Radcliffe (July 7, 1902 - August 11, 2005) was a professional baseball player in the Negro leagues. He is one of only a handful of professional baseball players who lived past their 100th birthdays. An accomplished two-way player, he played as a pitcher and a catcher, became a manager, and in his old age became a popular ambassador for the game. At his death he was thought to be the oldest living professional baseball player, but it was later discovered that Silas Simmons was born seven years earlier, in 1895.

Newspaperman Damon Runyon coined the nickname "Double Duty" because Radcliffe played as a catcher and as a pitcher in the successive games of a 1932 doubleheader between the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the New York Black Yankees. In the first of the two games at Yankee Stadium, Radcliffe caught the pitcher Satchel Paige for a shutout and then pitched a shutout in the second game. Runyon wrote that Radcliffe "was worth the price of two admissions." Radcliffe considered his year with the 1932 Pittsburgh Crawfords to be one of the highlights of his career. (Full article...)

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You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.


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Hank Aaron
The Hank Aaron Award is given annually to the Major League Baseball (MLB) players selected as the top hitter in each league, as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media. It was introduced in 1999 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron's surpassing of Babe Ruth's career home run mark of 714 home runs. The award was the first major award to be introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years. For the 1999 season, a winner was selected using an objective points system. Hits, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI) were given certain point values and the winner was the player who had the highest tabulated points total. In 2000, the system was changed to a ballot in which each MLB team's radio and television play-by-play broadcasters and color analysts voted for three players in each league. Their first place vote receives five points, the second place vote receives three points, and the third place vote receives one point. Beginning in 2003, fans were given the opportunity to vote via MLB's official website, MLB.com. Fans' votes account for 30% of the points, while broadcasters' and analysts' votes account for the other 70%. The first winners of the award were Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa in 1999, while the most recent winners are Kevin Youkilis and Aramis Ramirez. Alex Rodriguez has won the award four times, the most of any player. Barry Bonds has won the award three times, the second-most of any player. The winner with the most hits is Todd Helton, who won as a Colorado Rockie in 2000. The winner with the most home runs is Barry Bonds from 2001, and Manny Ramírez in 1999 has the most RBIs.

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