Learn How to play America's Pastime

May 1, 2012
By Anonymous

This sport has been around for about 150 years. It’s considered America’s national pastime, and was invented by Alexander Cartwright, modeled upon the stick and ball game that he played. That’s right! The sport is baseball! Baseball is a difficult sport to play and understand, but with some basic tips you can learn how to hit, throw, and catch like a pro.

The first thing that you need to know about baseball is the basics. The basics include the field, how many players are allowed to be on the field, and etc. The game of baseball is a nine inning game that includes nine players on each team that play on the field. The nine innings are played with a top and a bottom. The top of the inning is where the away team is up to bat while the home team is playing defense on the field and vise versa for the bottom of the inning. Each inning has three outs; there is different ways to call a batter out. Some of the different ways that you can get a batter out is striking them out, catching the ball before it drops, or if the ball drops, the fielder needs to throw the ball to the base that the batter is going to. There is umpire behind the plate that lets everyone know if the pitch is in the strike zone or not. If it was, then the pitch is a "strike". If it wasn’t, then the pitch was a "ball". When the batter is batting you get three strikes and four balls. If you get four balls before you get three strikes, then that is called a "walk". You get a free pass to "walk" or go to first base. If you get three strikes before you get four balls, then that is a strikeout. The bases on the field go in a order as a diamond. The bases start at home plate where the batter goes to hit. Home plate follows by first, second, third, and than back to home. Now since you know the basics of baseball, it's now time to learn about how to hit, throw and catch.

According to USA TODAY's Sports staff, hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things in to do in all of sports. They think this because since the pitcher throws the ball to the batter, the ball is usually coming at a speed of around 90 mph or faster, the batter only has .04 seconds to make a decision if they want to swing or not to swing the bat. Don't worry! With some steps to how to hit a ball and some practice you will be hitting the ball in no time. The most important thing to hit the baseball is to keep your eye on the ball. That sounds like a no brainier but the ball comes in at a fraction of a second and people always make this common mistake on not keeping their eye on the ball. When you get up to bat stand with you legs parallel to your shoulders. Once the pitcher starts his windup and is about to throw the ball, you have to lean back and put about sixty percent of your body weight on your back leg. After you put all your weight on your back leg you want to make a little step forward to drive all your weight at the ball to hit it. After all those steps and during your swing you want to make sure that your arms are fully extended in order to hit the ball. When you swing the bat you want to make sure that your swing is level as if you are trying to chop a tree down. With a lot of practice this all with become natural to you and you will be hitting a ball in no time.

Next are the steps on home to throw a baseball. Unlike hitting a baseball throwing a baseball is a lot easier. One easiest way to remember to throw a ball is remembering the saying "Egg, Break, Throw". Lets break down the saying Egg, Break, Throw. First the egg means to have the ball in your hand and have it inside your glove like an egg. After you have that complete you have break. Break means to take the hand with the ball in it and put it straight behind you and do it the same with your glove hand but in front of you. Next is throwing. With the hand with the ball you want to rotate it up towards your head, and once it reaches your head you to flick your wrist forward towards where you want to throw the ball. One thing to remember is to have your glove hand pointing at where you want to throw it so it acts like a guide.

The last but not least step is how to catch a baseball. If the ball is hit on the ground and rolling to you, you need to run up to the ball and do the "Alligator". The alligator is when you put the glove down in front of the ball and then you grab your other hand and scoop it up into your glove. This is called the alligator because you hands act like an alligator as if the alligator is going to eat the ball. When going for a grounder and before the alligator technique makes sure your knees and back are bent to get the ball. The next way to catch a ball is when there is a pop up. When there is a pop up you want to run under the ball. Once you are under the ball, with your glove hand in the air and have your other hand behind the glove so once the ball reaches you glove your want to close your glove to make sure the ball doesn't pop out.

Now you know how to play the sport that has been around for about 150 years, and considered America’s national pastime. Baseball is a difficult sport to play and understand, but now knowing the basics of baseball and knowing how to hit, throw, and catch a baseball can enjoy the sport of baseball!

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