Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team (batting team) are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team (fielding team) is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate (the place where the player started as a batter). The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
The first objective of the batting team is to have a player reach first base safely. A player on the batting team who reaches first base without being called "out" can attempt to advance to subsequent bases as a runner, either immediately or during teammates' turns batting. The fielding team tries to prevent runs by getting batters or runners "out", which forces them out of the field of play. Both the pitcher and fielders have methods of getting the batting team's players out. The opposing teams switch back and forth between batting and fielding; the batting team's turn to bat is over once the fielding team records three outs. One turn batting for each team constitutes an inning. A game is usually composed of nine innings, and the team with the greater number of runs at the end of the game wins. If scores are tied at the end of nine innings, extra innings are usually played. Baseball has no game clock, although most games end in the ninth inning.
Baseball evolved from older bat-and-ball games already being played in England by the mid-18th century. This game was brought by immigrants to North America, where the modern version developed. By the late 19th century, baseball was widely recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball is popular in North America and parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and East Asia, particularly in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.
Seattle won the game by a score of 9–1, securing its first playoff berth in franchise history. The game matched two highly unlikely teams: The Angels had not been to the postseason since 1986, and had not finished above third place in the American League West since. On the other hand, the Mariners had never been to the postseason, and before 1995 only had two seasons with a record above .500.
With less than two months left in the 1995 regular season, the Angels held a comfortable lead in the AL West standings, 11 games ahead of the second-place Texas Rangers and 13 games ahead of the third-place Mariners. However, the Mariners mounted a late-season comeback, coupled with a late-season collapse by the Angels, to force the tie-breaker.
A shortstop tries to tag out a runner who is sliding headfirst, attempting to reach second base.
Defensive positions on a baseball field, with abbreviations and scorekeeper's position numbers (not uniform numbers)
Diagram of a baseball field (the term diamond may be used to refer to the square area defined by the four bases or to the entire playing field). The dimensions given are for professional and professional-style games. Children often play on smaller fields.
Osborne Earl "Ozzie" Smith (born December 26, 1954) is a retired American professional baseball player who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002. Nicknamed "The Wizard," Smith played shortstop for the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals in Major League Baseball, winning the National LeagueGold Glove Award for defensive play at shortstop for 13 consecutive seasons. A 15-time All-Star, Smith accumulated 2,460 hits and 580 stolen bases during his career, and won the National League Silver Slugger Award as the best hitter at shortstop in 1987. Smith was born in Mobile, Alabama, but his family moved to the Watts section of Los Angeles when he was six years old. Developing quick reflexes via childhood athletic activities, Smith played baseball in high school and college. Drafted as an amateur player by the San Diego Padres, Smith made his Major League Baseball debut in 1978. Smith quickly established himself as an outstanding defensive player, who later became known for performing backflips on special occasions while running out to the shortstop position. Smith won his first Gold Glove award in 1980 and made his firstAll Star Game appearance in 1981. When conflict with Padres' ownership developed, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for shortstop Garry Templeton in 1982. Upon joining the Cardinals, Smith helped the team win the 1982 World Series. Three years later his game-winning home run during Game 5 of the 1985 National League Championship Series prompted broadcaster Jack Buck's "Go crazy, folks!" play-by-play call. Despite a rotator cuff injury during the 1985 season, Smith posted career highs in multiple offensive categories in 1987. Smith continued to earn Gold Gloves and All Star appearances on an annual basis until 1993, and later missed nearly three months of the 1995 season after undergoing shoulder surgery. After tension between Smith and his new manager Tony La Russa developed in 1996, Smith decided to retire at season's end, and subsequently had his uniform number (# 1) retired by the Cardinals. Smith served as host of the television show This Week in Baseball from 1997 to 1999, and continues to be an entrepreneur in a variety of business ventures.