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How to play baseball.
pastime! Americans love to watch and play baseball, from the little
leagues to the major leagues. Ask almost any baseball fan about
legendary baseball greats that epitomized the game, and names like
Babe Ruth (of the Boston Red Sox, Boston Braves, and New York
Yankees); Joe DiMaggio (of the New York Yankees); Jackie Robinson
(of the Brooklyn Dodgers); Mickey Mantle (of the New York Yankees);
and Willie Mays (of the New York Mets and New York-San Francisco
Giants) immediately come to mind.
In the U.S., perhaps
the most popularly watched baseball game is the final game of the
World Series - an annual postseason tournament that takes place in
October, involving the top teams of the two major baseball leagues
(American League and National League) vying for the crown of
national champions. Baseball is also an Olympic sport played in the
summer version, which takes place once every four years. In addition
to baseball, the Summer Olympics have included as many as 32 kinds
of sports representing teams from different countries all around the
If you have a big
backyard, the game of baseball is a fun and popular American sport
you and your guests can play at your leisure. The following include
the basic rules of a backyard version of baseball. Play ball!
How to Play
The following is a list of equipment
you will need in order to play the game:
Four (4) bases
Safety gear (i.e. baseball batting helmet, jock straps
and protective cups, etc.)
Create a makeshift baseball field
in your backyard. Arrange each of the four bases (first, second,
third, and home plate) on the ground, marking four corners in
the shape of a diamond.
Assemble two teams, each
consisting of nine (9) players.
Assign an umpire behind home
plate, who will be in charge of calling strikes, foul balls,
outs, etc., throughout the game.
A game of baseball consists of
nine (9) innings. An inning represents a period of the game in
which each of the two teams has had their turn at-bat and three
outs. Whichever team scores the most runs after nine (9) innings
is the winner. (Note: If the game is tied after nine (9)
innings, then proceed with extra innings).
Flip a coin to decide which team
will bat first. The team at-bat is fittingly called the
batting (or offensive) team; conversely, the other group of
players, positioned on the field, is likewise appropriately
called the fielding (or defensive) team.
Assign each player on the
fielding team a position (first, second, and third basemen;
pitcher; catcher; shortstop; and, right, center, and left
Assign a batting order for each
player of the batting team.
Standing on the mound, which is
located in the middle of the field, is the pitcher who throws
the ball with an overhand motion toward his/her teammate, the
catcher, who is squatting behind home plate and the batter of
the opposing team. The catcher is ready to catch the ball if the
batter fails to hit it. The goal of the batter is to hit the
ball within the first and third base lines. The batter has three
(3) attempts to hit the pitched ball within the foul lines. If
after three (3) tries the batter is unsuccessful at hitting the
ball, the batter is out. As the saying goes, “Three strikes and
Note: The pitcher must throw the ball within an area above home
plate called the strike zone. If the pitcher throws a foul ball,
that is, the ball is thrown outside the strike zone, and the batter
does not swing at it, it is called a ball. If a total of four
(4) balls are thrown by the pitcher, before three (3) strikes
are called, the batter is given first base, which is called a
If the batter successfully hits
the ball, he/she attempts to run counterclockwise from home
plate to the first, second, and third bases, and finally, back
to home. When the batter hits the ball, he/she runs to first
base. If the batter hits the ball far enough, he/she can run to
second, third, and even home plate to complete a home run.
Meanwhile, the fielding team
attempts to catch the ball and tag the player with it. If the
ball is caught in midair (without it touching the ground), it is
an out. If the player of the batting team is tagged by a fielder
before he/she reaches a base, it is also an out. Furthermore, an
out is called if a fielding team member tags the base before the
player of the batting team reaches it.
Players of the batting team
continue to line up at-bat as long as three (3) outs have not
yet been called.
After each batter successfully
hits a ball, the players of the batting team continue to move
counterclockwise, touching each base until they reach home plate
and score a run. At anytime, players can advance on the bases at
their own risk. (If a player is off a base, he/she can be tagged
with the ball by a fielder and declared out).
After three (3) outs, the teams
switch positions: the batting team becomes the fielding team and
- Continue to
play the game until nine (9) innings are reached. If the game is
tied after nine (9) innings, then proceed with extra innings
until a winner is declared.
No matter what sport or physical activity you and/or your guests
decide to participate in, this section provides useful information
and tips for optimal performance and enjoyment:
Stay Hydrated! If you and/or
your guests engage in outdoor physical activities, especially
during hot weather, remember to drink plenty of fluids! Drinking
simple, pure water is a great option to replenish your fluids
during and after exercising. Most tap water is excellent.
However, if you are still concerned about lead content and other
potentially harmful particles in your tap water, using a water
filter or purifier is one way to go. A water filtration system
Brita, Culligan or Pur) can keep vital minerals in the
water like fluoride, while filtering out any contaminants or
pollutants that may be in your tap water.
While exercising, perspiration allows your body to cool off as the
sweat evaporates from your skin (a natural cooling mechanism), but
in the process of this thermoregulation you loose electrolytes in
addition to H2O. Therefore, if you’ve been especially
sweating a lot, you need to replenish your lost electrolytes.
In this case, sports drinks - fortified with electrolytes - (i.e.
Gatorade, Powerade, All Sport, Recharge, Extreme Ripped Force and
Champion Nutrition Revenge Sport) are good choices.
There are also other energy drinks available on the market, such as
vitamin-fortified water (i.e. Glacéau (a.k.a.
Glaceau) Vitamin Water, Glacéau Smart Water, Glacéau
Fruit Water, Glacéau Vitamin Energy, Propel Fitness Water and SoBe
Play it safe!
Wear the appropriate safety gear for each sport or activity you
engage in. Also, make certain that you have all the necessary
equipment for the sport or activity. Visit your local sporting
goods store for assistance.
warm-up! It’s important to stretch and warm-up before
participating in any physical activity or sport. Stretching has
many benefits: It allows your muscles and joints to relax, it
improves your range of motion and it may prevent injuries.
Before starting any sport or physical activity, consult your
physician and get a physical exam.
over-the-counter pain reliever handy! Don’t let minor
aches and pains slow you down or prevent you from participating
in a sport or physical activity you enjoy at your outdoor
barbecue event. Over-the-counter pain medication (i.e. Tylenol
(Acetaminophen), Motrin (Ibuprofen), Advil (Ibuprofen), Anacin
(Aspirin), Bayer (Aspirin), Aleve (Naproxen), etc.)
work great at relieving minor muscle and joint pain. Note:
Always consult your physician before taking any medication, and
use as directed.
emergencies arise, keep a cell phone handy, or even a
walkie-talkie! A walkie-talkie is a two-way radio transceiver,
which is convenient, portable and handheld. It allows you to
communicate with another person that is located at a reasonably
close distance to you (i.e. if you are in the backyard, you can
easily communicate with someone that is inside the house if you
are both using walkie-talkies). It’s a great way to keep in
first-aid kit handy! Accidents happen, so, for minor scrapes,
cuts, etc., readily have available bandages; gauze; adhesive
tape; sterile swabs; antiseptic (i.e. hydrogen peroxide topical
solution, antibiotic ointment (i.e. Neosporin), alcohol pads,
etc.); tweezers; anti-itch ointment (i.e. hydrocortisone); etc.
Seek medical attention if necessary.
sunburn! Protect your skin from the sun’s potentially harmful
rays, which may cause premature aging (i.e. wrinkles) and skin
cancer. So, don’t forget to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at
least 15 and one that offers broad spectrum protection against
both UVA and UVB rays. If participating in outdoor sports or
activities, consider wearing a sunscreen that is waterproof.
bug bites! Keep a bottle of bug spray handy. If you do get bit,
use anti-itch ointment (i.e. hydrocortisone) to help relieve the
sting of the bite.
at bay, and enjoy your time outdoors!
If you suffer from allergies, have readily available an
over-the-counter allergy medicine - (i.e. Claritin (Loratadine);
Benadryl (Diphenhydramine); Sudafed PE (Phenylephrine); Zyrtec (Cetirizine
HCl); Zyrtec-D (Cetirizine/Pseudoephedrine); etc.) - to relieve
allergy symptoms, such as red, itchy, watery eyes; nasal
etc., due to the increased levels of pollen, dust, mold,
etc., in the air. Note: Always consult your physician
before taking any medication, and use as directed.
Goals! Don’t overexert yourself, especially at an outdoor
get-together where the idea is to relax and have a good time.
Remember, as with most things in life, practice makes perfect!
So, if you’re really interested in a particular sport or
activity, practice it often, and you’ll be sure to impress your
friends and family at your next outdoor event.
Most of all...Have Fun! Whether you’re a competitive athlete or
an amateur, playing sports and exercising should be about
enjoying yourself, spending time with friends and family,
getting in touch with the great outdoors, teamwork, the spirit
of the game, stress-relief, and good health!
Handyman Zone Team