You will read about the game of baseball. The lesson includes a reading, comprehension check, vocabulary review, and discussion questions. You will also hear the traditional baseball song “Take me out to the Ball Game".
- Do you play or have you ever played baseball?
- Do you know how many players are on a baseball team?
- Do you know where baseball originated?
- Do you know what a baseball is made of?
- Is baseball popular in your country?
- roster: a list of people in an organization
- pitcher: the player who throws the ball
- batter: the player who tries to hit the ball with a bat
- pitching mound: the small hill where the pitcher is positioned
- home plate: where the batter stands to hit the ball, where the runner tries to return to in order to score a point
- base: a designated spot where a player is safe between plays
- tag: to touch a player and cause him/her to be out of play
- inning: a period of play in which both teams have a turn as offense/defense
- strategy: a well-thought-out plan for achieving a goal
- tee: a stick that you can position a ball on for hitting
- statistics: numerical records covering a period of time
- legend: a person who is so well-known that his/her name lives on long after death.
Practice these new vocabulary words here: Baseball
- Baseball is a popular team sport that evolved from several “bat and ball” games in Europe. It is played on a baseball diamond with two teams. Nine players from a roster of about 25 play on each side at one time. The teams take turns playing offense and defense. To become a skilled baseball player, athletes must learn to throw, catch, and hit a baseball. It also helps to be a strong runner. Basic equipment includes a ball, a bat, gloves, and bases.
- The two main opponents in baseball are the pitcher and the batter. The pitcher (defense) throws the ball from the pitching mound. The batter (offense) hits the ball from home plate. After a batter hits the ball, he or she has to run around the bases without getting tagged by a fielder or catcher on the other team. Runners get a point for their team if they make it back to home plate before the team is out. Unlike many other team sports, baseball does not use a clock. Each game has nine innings. An offensive team gets three outs in each inning before switching to the position of defense.
- Baseball is a game of skill and strategy. Professional pitchers study batters closely and adjust their pitching style to strike them out. Strategic runners steal bases to get home faster. The manager also relies on strategy to help his team win. Players watch managers and catchers closely for signs about how to make each play.
- Baseball is known as America’s pastime, but it is also popular in Canada, Mexico, Cuba, and Japan. Talented players worldwide are brought to America to play in the Major League. American Minor League baseball also has a huge fan base. Millions of children play in youth leagues as well. Very young kids play a variation called T-ball. This introduction to baseball allows players to hit the ball off a tee.
- Baseball fans love to study baseball statistics. They keep track of the records of individual players and teams. Fans are interested in batting averages and the number of home runs, errors, and strikeouts. Collecting baseball cards with these statistics became popular in the early 1900s. Cards featuring legends like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Mickey Mantle are the most valuable. Baseball cards must be rare and in good condition to be worth money to collectors.
Post Reading Questions
- Is baseball a popular sport in your native country? Why or why not?
- What aspect of baseball do you enjoy most: throwing, hitting, running, managing, or watching?
- How does baseball differ from other team sports?
- The team “fan” comes from the word “fanatic” meaning “filled with extreme enthusiasm.” Why are some people so fanatic about baseball?
- Baseball players are some of the highest paid players in professional sports. Do baseball players deserve multi-million-dollar contracts?