Sports

Sports are an integral part of our culture and give many of us a reason to cheer and jeer. Learn about the history of sports and how your favorite sports really 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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

Some combos make sense to us. There's Homer and Marge. Bagels and cream cheese. Vasectomies and March Madness. Wait, what?

The Negro Leagues may have been borne out of discrimination, but for generations of African-American ballplayers, they offered a real chance at fame and autonomy. How did the leagues start, and how was the color line finally broken?

Their athletic feats are the stuff of legend. Their dedication and fortitude boggle the minds of mere mortals. See the photos and learn the stories of 16 competitors who rose to the podium as they represented their countries in global competition.

From the start of professional sports, there have been scandals, but some remain in the public consciousness more than others. Here are 10 we can't forget.

It's just a piece of cardboard with a picture of a baseball player on it, right? If you look at some of the price tags on these rare mementos, along with some of the history behind them, you'd think twice.

Baseball's biggest stage, the World Series, takes place in the fall between the American League and National League champions. How do you get to the October Classic?

Baseball is known as the great American pastime. Learn about some of baseball's most famous -- and infamous -- players and teams.

Major League Baseball is made up of two different leagues: the American League and the National League. How did the National League get its start, and how has it thrived to this day?

Most baseball fans know about the existence of Major League Baseball and the two leagues that comprise it. But do most fans know about the one major difference between them?

Baseball has a lot of fans, but how many of them know exactly what a player does once he takes the field? Do they know what they use to do their jobs? Here's a primer.

Without the obstruction rule, Major League Baseball would be more of a contact sport -- or even resemble the NFL. But what exactly is off limits?

It's probably one of the most confusing rules in baseball -- the balk. So what is it and why is it so hard to understand?

It's hard to truly gun it for first if you're worried about screeching to a halt once you get there. What are the rules regarding overrunning first base?

What determines whether a ball is fair or foul? And who determines it?

For those who find baseball as exciting as watching paint dry, knowing a little something about the sport just might increase your interest level. Let's start off with a basic explanation of the nine positions.

A double play is any combination of two outs in one single play. So how do the fielders make that happen?

The strike zone is one of the most subjective and disputed elements in the game of baseball. Why is that?

Anything called an error can't be good. But if it doesn't directly affect the score of a game, then why does it even exist? And how do you make one?