Baseball Basics

Understanding the Basics of Baseball will help you better appreciate the game. In this section you can find out how to throw a curve ball and how ballparks get that cool cross-hatching look after being mowed.

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How does a perfect game in baseball work?

Sixteen major league perfect games have been pitched in the entire history of baseball. What's a pitcher's definition of perfection?


What is the fourth out?

Baseball: It seems so deceptively simple. And then you try to explain it to someone who's not familiar with the game. And then you get even crazier and start ranting about the fourth out in a sport that's supposed to have only three.

Did Jackie Robinson really break baseball's color barrier?

Everyone knows Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier. But is that the whole story? Who are some of the unsung players who paved the way for Robinson's momentous breakthrough?

How many ways can a batter reach first base?

Who's on first? And how did he get there? Believe it or not, there are dozens of ways for baseball players to get to first base.

How Umpires Work

Baseball is a game of inches, and umpires hold the tape measure. Sometimes they succeed, other times not. When they don't, it's not hyperbole to say that umpires are perhaps the most vilified people in sports.

What’s the infield fly rule?

Don't feel frustrated if you find the infield fly rule tricky to figure out. Even umpires sometimes get confused by it. Here's why.

How Bunting Works

Sometimes in baseball you have to think beyond the blast. It's a game of tactics, and occasionally a bunt -- dropping the ball short and slow, right where it will give the infield fits and maybe score the runner on third -- wins games.

How to Break In a Baseball Glove

This is one of those rituals with a dozen different "surefire" recipes. We'll look at what really works – and what's only half-baked – when it comes to breaking in a baseball glove.

What causes the yips?

They may sound like a group of characters in a Dr. Seuss book, but the yips are actually a serious malady for many athletes. What's behind this bewildering problem?

How Spring Training Works

Spring training reminds fans of how baseball used to be – cozy ball fields, lower prices and players willing to sign autographs and chat a little. But spring training is also a multimillion dollar tourist attraction for Florida and Arizona.

How Baseball Bats Work

A well-known baseball poem celebrates "the sound of the crack of a bat." What makes baseball bats crack – and break? And how do you find the sweet spot?