Portal:Baseball
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Portal:Baseball

The Baseball Portal

Baseball (crop).jpg
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The goal is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot square, or diamond. Players on one team (the batting team) take turns hitting against the pitcher of the other team (the fielding team), which tries to stop them from scoring runs by getting hitters out in any of several ways. A player on the batting team can stop at any of the bases and later advance via a teammate's hit or other means. The teams switch between batting and fielding whenever the fielding team records three outs. One turn at bat - 3 outs - for each team constitutes an inning; nine innings make up a professional game. The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins.

Evolving from older bat-and-ball games, an early form of baseball was being played in England by the mid-eighteenth century. This game and the related rounders were brought by British and Irish immigrants to North America, where the modern version of baseball developed. By the late nineteenth century, baseball was widely recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball on the professional, amateur, and youth levels is now popular in North America, parts of Central and South America and the Caribbean, and parts of East Asia. The game is sometimes referred to as hardball, in contrast to the derivative game of softball.

In North America, professional Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are divided into the National League (NL) and American League (AL). Each league has three divisions: East, West, and Central. Every year, the champion of Major League Baseball is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series. Five teams make the playoffs from each league: the three regular season division winners, plus two wild card teams. Baseball is the leading team sport in both Japan and Cuba, and the top level of play is similarly split between two leagues: Japan's Central League and Pacific League; Cuba's West League and East League. In the National and Central leagues, the pitcher is required to bat, per the traditional rules. In the American, Pacific, and both Cuban leagues, there is a tenth player, a designated hitter, who bats for the pitcher. Each top-level team has a farm system of one or more minor league teams. These teams allow younger players to develop as they gain on-field experience against opponents with similar levels of skill. (more...)

Selected article

Steve Goodman, author of the song
"Go Cubs Go", "Go, Cubs, Go" or "Go, Cubs, Go!" is a song written by Steve Goodman in 1984. At various times the Goodman version of the song has been the official Chicago Cubs team song and the official Cubs victory song. The Goodman version of the song is now referred to as the official Chicago Cubs victory song.

Goodman was a lifelong Cubs fan. The song was written by Goodman at the request of WGN (AM), which is the Cubs' radio broadcast partner. Goodman had in 1981 recorded "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request", a song about the historic failures of the Cubs franchise, but had been banned from playing it at Wrigley Field. That song described the team as "doormat of the National League" and referred to Wrigley Field as an "ivy-covered burial ground."

At the time that WGN Program Director Dan Fabian requested the new song, "It's a Beautiful Day for a Ball Game" by The Harry Simeone Songsters was the theme song. He had been motivated by Cubs manager Dallas Green's effort to change the team spirit. Goodman happened to be in town for a WGN radio talk show and was receptive to the idea of writing the team a new song.

"Go, Cubs, Go" first became popular during 1984 when the Cubs won the 1984 National League East Division Championship and subsequently lost in the 1984 National League Championship Series. That season (and for several afterwards) it was the official team song. It was first aired on WGN on Opening Day and played every gameday for the rest of the season. During that season, Goodman lost his sixteen-year battle with leukemia four days before the Cubs clinched the division title.

In the next three years, 60,000 copies of the song were sold with proceeds going to charity. Some 1984 Cubs players can be heard performing the refrain. The Goodman version has been included in both a 1994 Steve Goodman anthology album and a 2008 Cubs songs and sounds album. An alternate 2008 version by Manic Sewing Circle has also been released.

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Derek Jeter
Credit: Keith Allison

Derek Sanderson Jeter (; born June 26, 1974) is a Major League Baseball (MLB) shortstop who has played his entire MLB career with the New York Yankees. He is the Yankees' current team captain. Jeter's presence in the Yankees' lineup, highlighted by his hitting prowess, played an instrumental role in the team's late 1990s dynasty, which won four World Series championships.

Selected biography

James Rodney Richard (born March 7, 1950) is a former right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career, from 1971 to 1980, with the Houston Astros. After leaving high school, Richard was selected by the Astros as the second pick in the first round of the 1969 amateur draft. From the time he made his major league debut with the Astros in 1971 until 1975, Richard had a limited role as an Astros pitcher, throwing no more than 72 innings in a season. In 1975, Richard played his first full season in the majors as a starting pitcher. From 1976 to 1980, he was one of the premier pitchers in the majors, twice leading the National League in strikeouts, once in earned run average, and three times in hits allowed per nine innings, winning at least 18 games each year. Richard could throw a fastball over 100 mph and has the fastest recorded slider in the books at 98 mph. On July 30, 1980, Richard suffered a stroke and collapsed while playing a game of catch before an Astros game, and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening blood clot in his neck. His condition brought a sudden end to his major league career at the age of 30. His 313 strikeouts in 1979 remain an Astros franchise record, and he held the team's record for career strikeouts (1,493) until 1987. In 1981, Richard attempted a comeback with the Astros, but this failed because the stroke had slowed down his reaction time and weakened his depth perception. He spent the next few seasons in the minor leagues before being released by the Astros in 1984. After his professional baseball career ended, Richard became involved in unsuccessful business deals and went through two divorces, which led to him being homeless and destitute in 1994. Richard found succor in a local church and later became a Christian minister.

Quotes

"All pitchers are liars or crybabies. "


Selected list

Ivan Rodriguez, a notable Puerto Rican MLB player
Puerto Rico currently has the second-most active players in Major League Baseball (MLB) among Latin-American countries, behind only the Dominican Republic. More than two-hundred players from the archipelago have played in the league since 1942. This includes players that were born in either one of the archipelago's islands and immigrants of Puerto Rican heritage that have represented Puerto Rico in international competition. Only those players that have worked in the league are listed, not those active in the minor leagues. The first player from the Puerto Rico to play in MLB was Hiram Bithorn. After the baseball color line was abandoned following Jackie Robinson's debut in the league, more players from the island signed contracts. This led to an improvement in their performance, and some of them were selected to participate in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Including their names in the Major League Baseball Draft is a requisite for first-year players born in Puerto Rico, because the league recognizes the island as a jurisdiction within the United States. Following the implementation of this measure, Puerto Rico's government requested exclusion from the draft and help to develop players, in order to reduce the impact of the change in the format of talent development.

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