Talking About Baseball
Baseball is a sport made famous by the United States, but which is also extremely popular in East Asian countries including Japan and South Korea. Baseball, however, is not played or watched a lot in Europe, Africa, Australia, Russia or the Middle East.
A Brief outline of Baseball
First, baseball is a team sport. There are two teams. The teams are the “home” team and the “away” team. The team that is the “away” team bats first.
The game is organized into “innings“. The basic game consists of nine complete innings. If the game is tied after nine innings, the game goes into “extra innings” until one team wins. Each inning lasts until there are three “outs” on the part of the team that is “at bat“. There are many ways to score an “out”.
Next, we have the baseball field. There are four bases: home plate, first base, second base, and third base. Because the bases are arranged in the shape of a diamond, we use the term “baseball diamond” to refer to these four bases.
The baseball field is divided into “infield” and “outfield“. The pitcher’s mound is located in the infield. The “infielders” are the following players: The pitcher, the catcher, the first baseman, the second baseman, the shortstop, and the third baseman. The “outfielders” are the right fielder, the center fielder, and the left fielder. That adds up to nine players on the defensive team who may be on the field at any one time.
Finally, the equipment used in the game is the following: the bat, the fielders’ gloves, the four bases. There are also batting helmets , knee and ankle protectors, and the catcher’s and umpire’s protective equipment such as the face mask and chest protector, because the ball can move very quickly and players can receive injuries. If played during the daytime, sunglasses, batting gloves, and suntan lotion are also essential items.
Here are some common Words and Expressions from Baseball.
assist; baseman; battery; batting team; catcher; center fielder; designated hitter; diamond; foul; home plate; home run; home team; intentional walk; major league; MVP (most valuable player); play offs; pinch hitter; pitcher; positions; scoreboard; shortstop; strike; umpire; walk
positions in baseball include a pitcher: a catcher; a short-stop; base fielders (infielders), and outfielders. Let’s look at the key positions:
A batter is an offensive player who takes his position in the batter’s box and attempts to hit a ball thrown to him by the pitcher. It needs very good hand-eye coordination to hit a ball pitched at high speed or which may curve strongly.
A major-league pitcher can generally throw a ball between 90 and 100 miles an hour (144 and 160 kms). A good pitcher has a variety of pitches including the slider, curve ball, fast ball and change-up. The pitcher works closely with the catcher and must be willing to take direction from him.
The catcher plays behind the home plate, in front of the umpire. Next to the pitcher, the catcher, is the second most important defensive baseball player. The catcher’s main role is to catch the baseball when the batter misses or doesn’t swing at it. The catcher must be agile and also have very good catching hands and a strong throwing arm.
Below are some Questions people may ask, when talking about baseball.
• Do you like baseball?
• Are you interested in baseball?
• In which countries is baseball popular?
• Do you know the rules of baseball?
• What is the judge called in a baseball game?
• Ball park; run out; innings are some common baseball words. What other words do you know?
• How many players are on a baseball team?
• What position do you think is the most difficult?
• Who is your favorite baseball player? Why do you like him?
• Would you rather watch baseball at a stadium or on television?
• What is your favorite baseball team? Why?
• Are there any baseball players from Japan playing in the USA?
• What baseball leagues are there in Japan?
• What kinds of food are sold at baseball stadiums in your country?
• Do people play softball in your country?
• Do you think the playoffs are more exciting than the regular season?
Glossary of baseball: