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Carl Crawford batting for Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005. A left-hander, Crawford has more triples (getting to third base) than any...Read More >>Carl Crawford batting for Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005. A left-hander, Crawford has more triples (getting to third base) than any other baseball player currently playing (121). Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport that takes its name from the four bases that form a diamond (the infield) around the pitcher's mound. There are nine players on each side. The batting team attempts to score runs by using a wooden bat to hit a leather-covered hard ball thrown by the pitcher, then running anticlockwise around a series of four bases. Called first, second, third and home plate, these are set at the corners of the square-shaped baseball diamond. A run is scored whenever a player returns to home plate—although it may take several plays to do so. Players on the batting team take turns hitting against the pitcher of the fielding team, which tries to get batters out. A runner who reaches a base later attempts to advance to the next base or bases when his teammates are batting. The teams switch between batting and fielding whenever the fielding team succeeds in putting three men out. One turn at bat for each team is called an inning; a game consists of nine innings each. The team with the greater number of runs at the end of the game wins. 

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California


The game is played on a field whose boundaries, called the foul lines, extend from the home plate beyond first and third bases. The diamond-shaped part of the field enclosed by the bases, together with a dirt area several yards beyond them, is called the infield. The area beyond the infield is called the outfield. In the centre of the infield is a raised pitcher's mound with a rectangular rubber plate (the rubber) on it. The outer boundary of the outfield is marked by a raised fence.

In baseball, one team—by tradition, the visiting team—bats in the top, or first half, of every inning. The other team, the home team, bats in the bottom, or second half, of every inning.

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