AAA Resources at
Serving the Public Quest for Knowledge Since 2000


The Game, Rules and History

The history of the origin of baseball is under debate. It is really pretty old in the very basic form of hitting a ball with a device and running, but the rules which apply specifically to American baseball had its roots in the early 1800s and most likely was never invented by Abner Doubleday.

A bit of trivia, Jackie Robinson was NOT the first African-American in the professional league. Bud Fowler (March 16, 1858 - February 26, 1913) was a baseball player and baseball club organizer, the earliest known African-American professional player. He played more seasons and more games in Organized Baseball than any black man until Jackie Robinson broke the color line (which became more prominent with the rise in post-Civil War racism) in 1946 and played his 11th season in 1956.

In 1879, William Edward White, a Brown University player, may have become the first African-American to play in the major leagues when he appeared in one game for the Providence Grays of the National League. In 1884, two African American players, Moses Fleetwood Walker and his brother Welday Walker, attained big league status when their club, the Toledo Blue Stockings, joined the American Association.

Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players. The teams require a pitcher, a catcher, and several members to play various field positions. There may be one or more umpires to call the plays in the game.

The field is a diamond shape. In the middle is where the pitcher stands to throw the ball to the home plate where the batter will stand and the player will eventually score a point. There are four bases - home, first, second, and third. Fielders can be left, right or center of these bases.

The objective of each team is to win by scoring more runs than the opponent during the nine innings. During each inning, the teams take turn at bat until they have 3 members on the team strike out, then it will be the next team's turn at bat. When both teams have had a turn at bat, the inning is over.

At the end of 9 innings which do not result in a tie, a winner is declared. If at the end of the 9th inning both teams are tied, a tie is broken when the first team scores a run.

While at bat, a player is to hit the ball without a "ball" or a strike. When the ball is hit, the player is to run to the first base and wait for the next player to hit the ball to proceed to the next base.

A "ball" is a pitch which does not enter the strike zone in flight and is not struck at by the batter.

A strike is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which:

The strike zone is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the knee cap.

A run is the score made after the player hits the ball and then touches first, second, third and home bases in that order.