Tom Hanks and girls dressed in baseball attire

BASEBALL FOR DUMMIES

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TO KEEP UP WITH THE FENWAY CROWD

HEY, HEY, HEY, WE’RE IN FENWAY!

As we open shop at our NEWEST location, by CHLOE. Fenway, we decided to get into the baseball spirit!

That being said, for those new to baseball (like us), it can be a rather confusing sport…with many rules! So to help you (and us) get more into baseball this summer, we made a beginner’s guide to baseball in order to help understand a few of the confusing terms and just learn some new things. Grab your ball cap and let’s get to studying!

 

BACK 2 THE BASICS

WHEN: Each game lasts 9 innings, each inning has no time limit, so it can be long or short. The innings are divided into top and bottom, the top inning is when the visiting team bats, and the bottom when the home team bats.

WHERE: Baseball is played on a “diamond,” with a base on each corner. Each base is 90 feet from the other, and in the middle of the field is the pitcher’s mound. Everything outside of the diamond is known as the outfield.

HOW: Baseball scoring is done in runs, the team with the most runs at the end of nine innings wins. Runs are made when batters reach home-base.

 

FACTS/RULES YOU SHOULD KNOW

The middle of the seventh inning is called the “7th Inning Stretch.” Typically take me out to the ballgame is played. PAY ATTENTION because this is often when stadiums quit selling alcohol as well. (PRO TIP: grab your drink before this happens!)

In the 9th inning, if the home team is winning, they won’t play the bottom of the 9th.

INFIELD FLY RULE: This is one of the trickiest rules in baseball! For the rule to be in effect, there must be less than two outs, and a force play at third base. If this is the case, the umpire can call an infield fly rule on any fair fly ball that could’ve been caught by an infielder. Once called, the batter is out.

BALK: This rule is to prevent a pitcher from deceiving the baserunners. A balk is called when pitchers are doing illegal acts such as pretending to throw but not. This rule can be called when one or more runners are on base(s). When a balk is called, the ball is dead and all runners move up one base.

 

THE PLAYERS

DEFENSE: On the field, there are 9 players at a time for the defense, the positions include the pitcher, catcher, first, second, and third basemen, shortstop, left fielder, right fielder, and center fielder.

CATCHER: The catcher is the player behind the batter. He typically uses hand motions to call pitches to the pitcher, and has the job of quickly having to throw to second or third base if another player is trying to steal a base. Most teams have 2 or 3.

SHORTSTOP: This is a key fielding position. He normally chills between the second and third basemen. This player often ends up throwing to first or second to catch runners. This position is also a relay for many of the throws coming from the outfield.

OUTFIELD: These are the guys in the outfield. They must communicate other so they don’t go for the same balls, and work to quickly throw the balls back to basemen to tag out runners.

 

SCORING

HOMERUNS: This is the easiest way to score but, they only account for 10-15% of all balls.

SINGLES: Where the hitter reaches first base.

DOUBLES: Where the hitter reaches second base.

TRIPLES: Where the hitter reaches third base (very rare).

ADVANCING THE RUNNERS: When a hitter hits the ball, base runners will usually try and advance, but don’t always. All base-runners can run as soon as the ball hits the bat. They will typically run if it’s a ground ball, but if it’s a fly-ball they will wait to see if it gets caught. If a runner runs and the ball is caught, he is out.

SCORING A RUN: To get a run, a batter must touch home plate before the third out of an inning is made.

STEALING A BASE: A runner can run as soon as a pitch is made *unless* the batter hits a foul. These often occur when a batter purposely swings and misses to try and catch the catcher off guard.

 

SWING BATTER, BATTER, SWIIIIING BATTER

STRIKES: A strike is called when a batter lets a well-pitched ball (one within the strike zone) go to the catcher, when the batter swings at any ball (even one outside the strike zone) and misses it, or when the batter hits a foul ball as long as it isn’t the third strike. A batter is out when they have 3 strikes.

OUTS: To get a base-runner out, one must force-out by tagging the bag, or one must tag the runner, or catch a batted ball.

 

BASEBALL DICTIONARY

ALLEY: spaces in the field between outfielders

CLEAN-UP HITTER the fourth hitter in the lineup, typically the one with the most power.

CURTAIN CALL: when a player comes out from the dugout to acknowledge the calls of fans.

DEUCE: the curveball, usually signaled from a catcher to a pitcher by holding down 2 fingers.

DOUBLE PLAY: when a batter hits the ball, resulting in the defense getting 2 outs on the play.

EARNED RUN AVERAGE: the amount of earned runs a pitcher allows every 9 innings.

GRAND SLAM: a homerun that is hit when the bases are *fully-loaded*.

GROUND RULE DOUBLE: when a hit ball takes one bounce and lands outside the field of play.

KNUCKLEBALL: a ball thrown with little or no rotation.

LEG-OUT: when a batter or base runner runs hard to get on first or advance to a base.

ON DECK: the next hitter who is scheduled to bat.

SCORING POSITION: a term used to describe a base runner who is either on second or third base.

SHOESTRING CATCH: a catch made by a running fielder just before the ball hits the ground.

SKIPPER: refers to a team’s manager.

SWING AWAY: when a batter is given the green light to take full swings, as opposed to bunting when men are on base.

TOP OF THE ORDER: the top of the lineup.

TWIN KILLING: double play (that sounds painful).

UNCLE CHARLIE: another name for a curve ball.

WALK OFF: when a hit ends the game.

WHIFF: for a pitcher to strike out a batter.

 

Well! There ya have it, your ultimate guide to summer baseball AKA how to sound super informed at tailgates and happy hours (heh).

Enjoy games this summer (they basically happen every single day) and if you happen to be in Fenway…grab some DELISH vegan eats before or after the game at our newest location! Lastly, while we have you here and while we’re talking baseball…check out some of these Vegan Ballpark Recipes! They are a GRAND SLAM (sorry, we had to)!