Baseball is one of the popular sports played all over America. It is the national sports of the United States of America. This sport involves two teams of nine members each. The game is played basically with the help of bat and ball. The pitcher hauls a hard leather covered ball towards the batter, an opponent, who hits it with a wooden cylindrical bat. While the opponent team tries to catch the ball, the batter has to run in counter clockwise direction covering four markers called bases. The match is divided into nine parts called innings. Both the teams ball and score runs in each inning. If a team gets three outs, it’s half-inning.
There are three versions of baseball, including the modern version, which was developed in the eighteenth century. There are arguments on how and where the game originated. According to some reports, the game is an extension of an older game rounders and it originated in Great Britain. British people who came to America during the late 1700s brought the sport. The professional Major League Baseball is sub-categorized into the American League and the National League with east, west and central divisions in each. In the American League, the tenth player, also known as a designated hitter, is expected to bat for the pitcher where as in the National League, the pitcher bats.
Cincinnati Red Stockings was the first established professional baseball club. The fever began catching the citizens of United States in the 1860s and newspapers were referring to it as the National Game or National Pastime. The National League was formed in 1876 and after several trials; American League was founded in 1901. At that time the game was played very aggressively than when compared to the game that is being played today. It was more like a war and the era was named as the dead-ball era. After the 1920s the sport became more civilized by introduction of many rules. It was also during this time that the famous Baseball player Babe Ruth entered the sport. Before, the scoring was very low but Babe Ruth proved that power hitting is obviously the way of the game. The structure of the ball was also worked upon so as to make it travel farther than before.
Baseball has also influenced Canada and there are many local minor league teams. After America and Canada, baseball league was formed in Cuba in 1878. Their national team consists of one of the strongest international players. After the World War I, baseball leagues began forming in Australia, Puerto Rico, Netherland, and Japan. After the World War II, more countries followed suit like Mexico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Now many of the European and Asian countries have pro and professional leagues.
Tournaments, which include baseball in their curriculum or are based on it, are Olympic games, Baseball World Cup, World Baseball Classic, etc. These are held by the International Baseball Federation, which was formed in 1938. The IOC has voted that baseball and softball tournaments won’t be a part of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games preceding. This is because there is a lack of good participation because of the seasonal restriction. These sports are only played during the summer and the Major League Baseball does not give a break to the players in order to participate. Because of the seasonal obstruction and high demand by fans, this kind of break is difficult to fit in.