How it all began
What comes into your mind when you hear the word baseball? For those of you who have been in a real baseball event would it lead you to think of a huge stadium, an open field, the heat of the sun, the cheer of crowds, the cracking of the bat as it hits the ball, or the shout of the umpire of what decision he has for the teams? For those of you who in anyway have not experienced being in a baseball game but have seen it through sports channels or heard it on the radio or viewed it online, you might also have the same perception of the game. For those who are not into baseball but may have had the chance to observe a game or two, it might be obvious that the spectator watches two teams playing against each other, there is a presence of a pitcher, a batter, an umpire or referee and the people guarding the bases. If that spectator figures out the way of scoring then he might have probably learned the basics of the sport.
In the context of an in depth look at the sport itself, only a few people, minus the avid baseball fans and players would even care to understand who thought about it, where it came from and where it is most popular at as a sport…
Baseball, which can be classified as a game of bat and ball and which is also sometimes identified as hard ball to differentiate it from a similar game known as softball (a more compact version of the game) can be traced back to accounts of being an evolved version of the game called rounders, which was said to have originated in Great Britain and Ireland dating back to as early as the 17th century. There are similar accounts about the existence of the game but the pioneering full documentation of baseball in North America was by Dr. Adam Ford in his modern description of the game that took place on June 4, 1838 in Beachville, Ontario. It was on June 19, 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey that the first game of baseball in U.S. history was officially recorded with the New York Nine defeating the Knickerbockers in a 23-1 four innings game.
Today, Baseball is recognized as the national sport of the United States. The sport also has spread its popularity, is being patronized and played in most of the American regions, the Caribbean and East Asia.
As general as one can get in the definition of a ballpark it is that place usually a field where the game of baseball is played with the audience and all the other facilities included.
If you are quite familiar with the look of a baseball field, you might have noticed that it is with a large diamond shaped area having white plates where the players would race around to score. In the technical aspect of the ballpark, the area shaped in a diamond is called the infield containing the bases, a home plate and the area where the pitcher stands which is commonly known as the pitcher’s mound. Two white lines (also known as the foul lines) runs perpendicular along the sides connecting the plates. These lines determine what is in and out of play. Between the foul lines and beyond the infield is what you call the outfield. It is a large grassy field twice the depth of the infield. Beyond the area set by the outfield fences mark the end of play of the field. Fences can also be found in the foul territory, but it is considered to be lower than that around the foul area.
Nowadays baseball parks are surrounded by a multi seating structure, categorized as a grandstand. The seats usually end in fair territory leaving the view for the outfield fences usually giving the view of what is beyond the fence itself. This open area may contain add-ons like seats, bleachers, score boards and other gimmicks the designers may have or may think of in the future. There are different variations as to how the ballpark is designed but the basic structure of the field of play and maybe the seats is almost always the same throughout the rest of the ballparks. Variations are usually made by home teams to serve as an added attraction to the park and to the place itself.
There was a major addition to ballparks which was started in the Yankee Stadium in 1923, which is now present in all ballparks and that is a gravel area or rubberized track surface measuring up to 10 feet wide around the perimeter of the field called the warning track. The main purpose of this track is to warn the fielders (infielders and outfielders alike) of their approach to the boundary of the playing field. This has helped the fielders to minimize default moves in the game.