A Sure-fire Way to Impress People at Your Next Summer Barbecue
By Guest Blogger Rachel Freeman I SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY: Undergrad degree – cum laude – in communications. Currently pursuing a master’s in broadcast and electronic communication arts. Currently Social Media Consultant at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Not-so-secret passion: Baseball (go, San Francisco Giants!).
I love baseball; I love everything about it. (I sometimes trot this sentiment out at parties; as much as I hate to say this, because I’m a girl, if anyone actually happens to be listening I’m practically guaranteed a home run in the game of overall impressiveness. But I digress.) Watching a game, though, makes me realize that baseball is one weird sport. Don’t get me wrong: Being weird is not a bad thing by any means. I’m just saying that baseball has some quirks.
Here are 10 things about baseball that, in my opinion, make it weird.
Adapted from “10 Reasons Baseball is a Weird Sport” by Microsoft Encarta (2000)
- If a batter fails two-thirds of the time, he’s considered a top-notch hitter. That is to say, if a hitter’s batting average is .333, he’s most likely one of the best hitters on his team.
- If the bases are loaded and the batter walks, he’s credited with an RBI (Run Batted In). He didn’t even hit the ball and he’s credited with “batting in” a runner.
- Baseball is played on dirt and grass and yet when the ball gets dirty, the umpire replaces it with a new one. Maybe this explains why the average life of a baseball is 7 pitches.
- You know the old adage, “Three strikes and you’re OUT?” Well that’s not always the case. If the catcher drops the pitch for strike three, the batter is allowed to run to first base and has to be thrown out just as if he had actually hit the ball. If he reaches first base safely, the inning continues. Therefore, a pitcher can have 4 strikeouts in one half-inning. And it has actually happened 54 times since the start of Major League Baseball in 1888!
- Stealing a base can be a game-changing play in baseball. It’s also one of the few situations in America in which it is actually a good thing to steal!
- In football, coaches wear slacks and logo apparel. In basketball, coaches usually wear suits. In baseball, coaches wear the exact same uniform that the players wear.
- Baseball players can apparently spit almost anywhere they want. The one place they are not allowed to spit (per rule 8.02 in the Official Rule Book of Major League Baseball): on the ball.
- Catcher interference is when a player swinging his bat hits the catcher. Even though the catcher may get injured as a result of this swing, the catcher is still at fault for the contact.
- Football fields have the same dimensions no matter where in the country a team is playing. Same with basketball courts and ice hockey rinks. In baseball, there is no one standard for baseball fences. This means that a 330 foot hit in one park may be a homerun, while the same 330 foot hit in another park could just be a really, really long out.
- “The 7th-inning stretch” – and here I quote – “makes baseball the only sport where spectators must take part in calisthenics.”
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