A baseball game is played between two teams that take turns playing offense (batting and baserunning) and defense (pitching and fielding). A pair of turns, one at bat and one in the field, by each team constitutes an inning. The goal of the game is to score more runs than the other team. There are three basic tools of baseball: the bat, the ball and the glove or mitt. The bat is a hitting tool, traditionally made of a single solid piece of wood. The ball is a fielding tool, made of padded leather with webbing between the fingers. Play begins with a pitch being thrown by the pitcher to the batter, who attempts to hit the ball with the bat. A player who reaches first base safely on a hit is credited with a single. If a player makes it to second base safely as a direct result of a hit, it is a double.
If a ball hit into play rolls foul before passing through the infield, it becomes dead and any runners must return to the base they occupied when the play began. Any runners already on base may attempt to advance on batted balls that land, or contact the ground, in fair territory, before or after the ball lands. A pitch that is not hit into the field of play is called either a strike or a ball. Common ways a member of the batting team may be put out include the ground out, force out, and tag out. A runner may be stranded on base when a third out is recorded against another player on the team. Three outs in one play, a triple play, is possible, though rare. The batting order is set before the game begins, and may not be altered except for substitutions. A runner may circle the bases only once per plate appearance. Once a player has completed a plate appearance, that player may not bat again until the eight other members of the player's team have all taken their turn at bat in the batting order.
First played in England, with the Prince of Wales playing in the first recorded baseball game in 1749, Baseball is a popular sport in North America and parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and East Asia. It is believed that it originated in England in the 18th century from bat-and-ball games (rounders, bass-ball) played by immigrants to North America. By the early 1830s, there were reports of uncodified bat-and-ball games being played around North America. The first officially recorded baseball game in North America was played in Beachville, Ontario, Canada, in 1838. The "New York Nine" defeated the Knickerbockers, 23–1, in Hoboken, New Jersey, on June 19, 1846.
Known throughout the world as "America's National Pastime" the history of baseball in the United States dates to the 18th century. Amateur men's ball clubs were formed in the 1830–50s. Semi-professional baseball clubs followed in the 1860s. The first professional leagues arrived in the post-American Civil War 1870s. Baseball became the national sport of the United States in the 19th century. The major league game in the United States was originally targeted toward a middle-class, white-collar audience due to its high ticket price at the time but a century later the popularity of other sports such as basketball, hockey and football (American) with much higher ticket prices meant baseball shifted towards a working-class/blue-collar following. Today it is one of the most blue-collar-oriented spectator sports in the United States with millions of fans attending games each season
In The UK
As a rapidly growing sport in the UK, there are baseball clubs all around the country that cater to adults, juniors, and students in leagues that range from social and recreational, to competitive. Whether you're a rookie or a pro, whether you're an adult, junior, student or company, we can help get you in the game. There are baseball leagues, clubs and teams around the country ready to welcome you!
To get started in baseball you can get in touch with the British Baseball Federation, the British Baseball League, the South West Baseball League, the West Midlands Baseball League or Baseball Scotland.
To find a club local to where you live, use our Team Finder by clicking the logo below!