At a distance of 60 feet, 6 inches from the batter, the pitcher is standing on a raised clay mound. He throws a fastball that can reach speeds of more than 90 miles per hour, as well as a curveball, slider, sinker, change-up, screwball, and other pitches.
The batter has only a split second to read the situation and execute his strike. It’s no surprise that hitting a Major League pitch is considered the most challenging feat in sports.
If you’re going to a major league game, attempt to get a good view of the pitcher warming up before the game from behind home plate or out by the bullpen before the start. The way a baseball spins, leaps, and falls will have you convinced that it defies gravity. Watching a game on television will allow you to see the pitches even more clearly.
The heavy hitters are frequently equal to the task. Joe DiMaggio famously hit a home run in 56 consecutive games, setting a major league record that may never be surpassed. Baseball players’ reaction speeds are unbelievable.
Learn Baseball Strategy
Most likely, the two managers have participated in thousands of games and made thousands of strategic decisions depending on the situation and talents of players that were accessible to them at the time of the game.
For example, in a low-scoring game, a quick base runner would steal second base to score on a fly ball to left field. (Yes, it’s possible to steal bases in baseball—including home plate!)
If that situation arises, keep an eye out for the cat-and-mouse game between the pitcher and the runner as the runner extends his advantage.
A team may attempt a sacrifice bunt to move a runner. Alternatively, they try a hit and run.
Fielders are constantly moving in and out and back and forth, depending on which batter is at the plate. And if one team appears to be on the verge of scoring, the manager considers which of his bullpen pitchers might be able to calm the situation down a little bit. It’s possible to see a double play (two outs achieved at the same time) or a triple play whenever there are runners on base (three outs made).
One of the most exciting plays in baseball is when a runner is rounding third base and is waved on by the coach as a long throw from the outfield comes into the infield.
Will he be able to make it to home plate before the throw? He slides, the catcher tags him, and a cloud of dust rises from the ground. Is it safe to stay, or should he leave? You never know what’s going to happen next.
Appreciate the Special Moments
Baseball is also about history and stats. Major fans love to think about the good old days, and part of the fun is telling stories.
The most famous of all is Babe Ruth, the legendary baseball player, who could only have appeared during the Jazz Age. In 1927, he blasted a career-high 60 home runs, setting a record for decades. The Great Depression struck in 1929, just two years after Babe’s achievement, but was this a result of chance or design?