Time of pitch

In baseball, the time of pitch is the instant when the pitcher has begun his pitching motion and, by the rules, has committed himself to throwing the pitch. This instant thus occurs before the pitcher releases the ball. Once a pitcher commits himself to throwing a pitch, it is illegal for him to return to his set. If that happens, he is charged with a balk, and all baserunners advance a base.

A baserunner's time-of-pitch base is the base which he has last legally reached at the time of pitch.

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Horacio Ramírez pitching from the stretch, at the time of pitch. At this point he has raised his right knee but has not begun to move toward home plate.
Beanball

"Beanball" is a colloquialism used in baseball, for a ball thrown at an opposing player with the intention of striking them such as to cause harm, often connoting a throw at the player's head (or "bean" in old-fashioned slang). A pitcher who throws beanballs often is known as a "headhunter". The term may be applied to any sport in which a player on one team regularly attempts to throw a ball toward the general vicinity of a player of the opposite team, but is typically expected not to hit that player with the ball. In cricket, the equivalent term is "beamer". Some people use the term, beaner, though that usage is discouraged because of the negative connotations associated with that usage.

Catch (baseball)

In baseball, a catch occurs when a fielder gains secure possession of a batted ball in flight, and maintains possession until he voluntarily or intentionally releases the ball. When a catch occurs, the batter is out, and runners, once they properly tag up (retouch their time-of-pitch base), may attempt to advance at risk of being tagged out.

Unlike in American football and other sports, neither secure possession for a time nor for a number of steps is enough to demonstrate that a catch has occurred. A fielder may, for example, appear to catch and hold a batted ball securely, take a few more steps, collide with a wall or another player, and drop the ball. This is not a catch.

Umpires signal a catch with the out signal: a fist raised into the air, often with a hammering motion; if there is doubt about it, the umpire will likely shout "That's a catch!" On a close no-catch, the umpire will signal with the safe signal, which is both arms swept to the side and extended, accompanied by the call "No catch, no catch!" with an emphasis on the word "no".

The fielder must catch the ball with his hand or glove. If the fielder uses his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession, it is not a catch. Therefore, a foul ball which directly becomes lodged in the equipment of the catcher (other than his or her glove) is not considered a catch and hence not a foul tip.

It is not a catch if the batted ball hits a fielder, then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire, and then is caught by another defensive player.

A catch is legal if the ball is finally held by any fielder before it touches the ground. Runners may leave their bases the instant the first fielder touches the ball. A fielder may reach over a fence, a railing, a rope, or a line of demarcation to make a catch. He may jump on top of a railing or a canvas that may be in foul ground. Interference should not be called in cases where a spectator comes into contact with a fielder and a catch is not made if the fielder reaches over a fence, a railing, a rope. The fielder does so at his or her own risk.

If a fielder, attempting a catch at the edge of the dugout, is "held up" and kept from an apparent fall by a player or players of either team and the catch is made, it shall be allowed.

To avoid ambiguity with the common term catch meaning any action that gains possession of a ball, some may say that a fielder gloved a thrown ball or a batted, bouncing ball.

Dead ball

Dead ball is a term in many ball sports in which the ball is deemed temporarily not playable, and no movement may be made with it or the players from their respective positions of significance. Depending on the sport, this event may be quite routine, and often occurs between individual plays of the game.

Force play

In baseball, a force is a situation when a baserunner is compelled (or forced) to vacate his time-of-pitch base—and thus try to advance to the next base—because the batter became a runner. A runner at first base is always forced to attempt to advance to second base when the batter becomes a runner. Runners at second or third base are forced only when all bases preceding their time-of-pitch base are occupied by other baserunners and the batter becomes a runner.

A forced runner's force base is the next base beyond his time-of-pitch base. Any attempt by fielders to put a forced runner out is called a force play. Think of forced runners as bumper cars. If with a runner on first, the batter hits a ground ball, the batter must run to first, and since two runners are not allowed to stay on one base at one time, the runner who was on first to begin with is now bumper-carred by the advancing batter over to second. If there already was a runner on second as well, that runner is now bumper-carred over to third, and so on. If a runner is bumper-carred over to the next base by the advancing batter or by another runner who was bumper-carred by the advancing batter, then that runner is considered to have been forced to advance to the next base. If, however, with a runner on third, for example, the batter hits a ground ball, the batter must run to first, but the runner on third, not having been bumper-carred by the batter, is not forced to advance and can stay where he is if he elects to.Force plays, or force outs, are one of the two ways to get a runner out on a ground ball. For a fielder to get a forced, bumper-carred runner out, he needs only to retrieve the hit ball and (1) step on the base in question before the forced runner gets there, or (2) tag that runner before the runner gets there. For example, with a runner on first, the batter hits a ground ball to the second baseman. The runner on first is being bumper-carred or forced over to second by the advancing batter. Since this is a force play, the second baseman, once he catches the ball, needs only to step on second base or tag the runner before the bumper-carred runner gets there in order to get him out. A tag out, or tag play, the second way to get a runner out on a ground ball, involves an unforced runner and is much more difficult to execute.A force on a runner is "removed" when the batter or a following runner is put out. This most often happens on fly outs—on such, the batter-runner is out, and the other runner(s) must return to their time-of-pitch base, known as tagging up. It also occasionally happens when a sharply hit ground ball is fielded by the first baseman, who then quickly steps on first base to force out the batter-runner. This removes the requirement that the runner already on first must advance to second base; he cannot be forced out by a defensive player holding the ball while touching second base, and the runner can try to escape from a rundown by returning to first base.

For force outs resulting from neighborhood plays, see the highlighted link.

Foul ball

In baseball, a foul ball is a batted ball that:

Settles on foul territory between home and first base or between home and third base, or

Bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or

First falls on foul territory beyond first or third base, or

While on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground. By interpretation, a batted ball that touches a batter while in his batter's box is foul regardless of whether it is over foul territory.A foul fly shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the fielder is on foul or fair territory at the time he touches the ball. If the foul ball gets caught, then it would be judged as an out.

Additionally, ballpark ground rules may specify that batted balls striking certain fixed objects such as railings, nets, or a roof if present are foul balls.

Foul territory or foul ground is defined as that part of the playing field outside the first and third base lines extended to the fence and perpendicularly upwards. Note: the foul lines and foul poles are not part of foul territory.

In general, when a batted ball is ruled a foul ball, the ball is dead, all runners must return to their time-of-pitch base without liability to be put out, and the batter returns to home plate to continue his turn at bat. A strike is issued for the batter if he had fewer than two strikes. If the batter already has two strikes against him when he hits a foul ball, a strike is not issued unless the ball was bunted to become a foul ball, in which case a third strike is issued and a strikeout recorded for the batter and pitcher. A strike is, however, recorded for the pitcher for every foul ball the batter hits, regardless of the count. If any member of the fielding team catches a foul ball before it touches the ground or lands outside the field perimeter, the batter is out. However, the caught ball is in play and base runners may attempt to advance.

A foul ball is different from a foul tip, in which the ball makes contact with the bat, travels directly to the catcher's hands, and is caught. In this case, the ball remains live and a strike is added to the batter's count. If a foul tip is strike three, the batter is out.

Ground rule double

A ground rule double is a baseball rule that awards two bases from the time of pitch to all baserunners including the batter-runner, as a result of the ball leaving play after being hit fairly and leaving the field under a condition of the ground rules in effect at the field where the game is being played. An automatic double is the term used to refer to a fairly hit ball leaving the field in circumstances that do not merit a home run, as described in Major League Baseball (MLB) rules 5.05(a)(6) through 5.05(a)(9). The automatic double (or rule-book double) is quite often mistakenly called a ground rule double.

Hitting for the cycle

In baseball, hitting for the cycle is the accomplishment of one batter hitting a single, a double, a triple, and a home run in the same game. Collecting the hits in that order is known as a "natural cycle". Cycles are semi-rare in Major League Baseball (MLB), having occurred only 329 times, starting with Curry Foley in 1882. The most recent example was accomplished by Jonathan Villar of the Baltimore Orioles on August 5, 2019, against the New York Yankees.The Miami Marlins are the only current MLB franchise who have never had a player hit for the cycle.

Out (baseball)

In baseball, an out occurs when the umpire rules a batter or baserunner out for one of the reasons given below. When three outs are recorded in an inning, a team's half of the inning (their turn at batting), ends.

To signal an out, an umpire generally makes a fist with one hand, and then flexes that arm either upward, particularly on pop flies, or forward, particularly on routine plays at first base. Home plate umpires often use a "punch-out" motion to signal a called third strike.

Outline of baseball

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to baseball:

Baseball – bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond.

Pitching position

In baseball, there are two legal pitching positions: the windup, and the set. Colloquially, the set is often referred to as "the stretch", although this term actually only refers to one part of the pitching motion when pitching from the set.Both types of pitching position have their strengths and weaknesses. Compared to the set, the windup has a relatively slower execution, so therefore is better suited for situations in which there are no baserunners, or when the lead runner is on third base, since it is difficult to steal home plate. Conversely, a pitch from the set, having a relatively faster execution, is preferred when there are baserunners. Faster execution is important to prevent stolen bases.

However, some pitchers, particularly relief pitchers, are more comfortable pitching from the set position, and thus use it regardless of the situation.

A pitcher is in the windup when, with the ball, the pitcher stands on or directly in front of the pitching rubber, located at the top of the mound, with his feet pointing toward home plate. Prior to throwing a pitch, the pitcher has the option of taking one step back toward second base or to either side, using his free leg (left leg for a right-handed pitcher). During the delivery of the pitch, the pitcher must take one step forward, in the direction of home plate. Alternatively, the pitcher may step off the rubber with his pivot foot (the right foot, for right-handed pitchers) or step toward and throw or feign a throw to a base, subject to the balk rules. In the windup, the time of pitch is the instant when one of the following occurs: the pitcher commits to taking a step backward, or he takes a step to the side, or brings his hands together.

A pitcher is in the set when, with the ball, he stands on, or directly in front of—and touching—the pitching rubber, with his toes pointing toward the side (toward third base for a right-handed pitcher) and his arms apart at his sides. This initial part of the set is called the stretch, because the pitcher usually stretches toward home plate to take signs from the catcher. At this point, the pitcher may make any number of preparatory movements necessary for delivering the pitch. Delivery begins when the pitcher brings his arms together in front of his body (a movement punctuated with a discernible pause). This is called coming set. After coming set, the pitcher takes a step toward home and delivers the pitch. Typically, pitchers from the set use a high leg kick, thus lunging toward home in pitching; a pitcher may instead release the ball more quickly by using the slide step, quickly stepping directly and immediately toward home and pitching. In the set position, the time of pitch is that instant when the pitcher makes a move toward home plate after coming set.

As with the windup, prior to the time of pitch, the pitcher may step toward and throw or feign a throw to a base, subject to the balk rules, or disengage the rubber by stepping back (toward second base) with his pivot foot.

Protested game

A protested game occurs in baseball when a manager believes that an umpire's decision is in violation of the official rules. In such cases, the manager can raise a protest by informing the umpires, and the game continues to be played "under protest." An umpire's judgment call (such as balls and strikes, safe or out, fair or foul) may not be protested.

Switch hitter

In baseball, a switch hitter is a player who bats both right-handed and left-handed, usually right-handed against left-handed pitchers and left-handed against right-handed pitchers.

Tag up

In baseball, to tag up is for a baserunner to retouch or remain on their starting base (the time-of-pitch base) until (after) the ball either lands in fair territory or is first touched by a fielder. By rule, baserunners must tag up when a fly ball is caught in flight by a fielder. After a legal tag up, runners are free to attempt to advance, even if the ball was caught in foul territory. On long fly ball outs, runners can often gain a base; when a runner scores by these means, this is called a sacrifice fly. On short fly balls, runners seldom attempt to advance after tagging up, due to the high risk of being thrown out.

When a baserunner fails to tag up on a caught fly ball (for instance, if they started running too early, thinking the ball wouldn't be caught), they may be "doubled off", which results in them being called out. To double a runner off, a fielder must touch the runner's starting base while in possession of the ball, before the runner returns to the base. If the baserunner appeared to tag up, but a fielder suspects the baserunner may have left the base too early (thus failing to legally tag up), the fielder may attempt to double the runner off by touching the runner's starting base while controlling the ball, before the next pitch is thrown. This is considered a type of appeal play. If the umpire agrees that the runner did not retouch after the ball was touched by a fielder, the umpire will call the runner out, and anything else the runner did during the play (such as score a run) is negated. Doubling a runner off is considered a "time play" (as opposed to a force play), which means that even if the doubling-off is the third out of an inning, any runs which score before the double-off will count (unless the run was scored by the same runner that was doubled off, in which case the run will not count in any situation).

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field is a baseball park located on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois. It is the home of the Chicago Cubs, one of the city's two Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises. It first opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park for Charles Weeghman's Chicago Whales of the Federal League, which folded after the 1915 baseball season. The Cubs played their first home game at the park on April 20, 1916, defeating the Cincinnati Reds with a score of 7–6 in 11 innings. Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. of the Wrigley Company acquired complete control of the Cubs in 1921. It was named Cubs Park from 1920 to 1926, before being renamed Wrigley Field in 1927.

In the North Side community area of Lakeview in the Wrigleyville neighborhood, Wrigley Field is on an irregular block bounded by Clark (west) and Addison (south) streets and Waveland (north) and Sheffield (east) avenues. Wrigley Field is nicknamed "The Friendly Confines", a phrase popularized by "Mr. Cub", Hall of Fame shortstop and first baseman Ernie Banks. The oldest park in the National League, the current seating capacity is 42,495; it is the second-oldest in the majors after Fenway Park (1912), and the only remaining Federal League park.Wrigley Field is known for its ivy-covered brick outfield wall, the unusual wind patterns off Lake Michigan, the iconic red marquee over the main entrance, the hand-turned scoreboard, its location in a primarily residential neighborhood with no parking lots and views from the rooftops behind the outfield, and for being the last Major League park to have lights installed for play after dark, in 1988. Between 1921 and 1970, it was the home of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League, and was also the home of the Chicago Cardinals (now Arizona Cardinals) of the National Football League from 1931 to 1938. The elevation of its playing field is 600 feet (180 m) above sea level.

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