Definition

Baseball, in the simplest definition, is a game that consists of two teams that is played upon a baseball field. Each team alternates offensive and defensive play. A game normally consists of nine innings. An inning consists of one offensive period and one defensive period. Each offensive and defensive period consists of 3 outs. The offensive team scores a run when a member of the team successfully navigates around the bases. The offensive team reaches base by hitting the ball thrown by the defensive team. The defensive team can stop the offensive runner by touching the offensive player with the ball, touching the base before the offensive player reaches the base, or by catching the offensive player's hit in the air before the ball touches the ground. This is called an out. The team that has the most runs at the end of the game determines the winner of the game.

Introduction

The game of baseball is a direct descendent of American 'Town Ball', a schoolyard game played in early America.

The history of baseball is marred with controversies and congressional actions. It is common myth that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in 1839. The United States Congress recognized Doubleday as the inventor of baseball for 50 years. It was later proven by historians that Alexander Cartwright held the rightful claim of inventing the first rules of baseball in 1845.

In the United States and Japan, professional baseball is a very popular spectator sport with millions of fans attending professional baseball games each year. Baseball has become America's favorite pastime and is considered by many to be an essential social function of modern society.

Baseball is played at most every age level in organized sports, including the very young. In 2006, Little League Baseball boasted over 2.6 million children worldwide participating in organized youth baseball sports.