America's favorite pastime

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team (batting team) are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team (fielding team) is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate (the place where the player started as a batter). The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.


Barry and the Babe, by Thomas Sowell, 16 Oct 2001
Explains what is a slugging average, the significance of it being over .800 and compares the records of Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth and others
"Barry Bonds is the first batter in the entire history of the National League — going back into the 19th century — to have a slugging average over .800. The only other player in the history of baseball to slug over .800 was Babe Ruth, who did it two seasons in a row. In other words, a slugging average of .800 is rarer than a batting average of .400. The last player to hit .400 — Ted Williams — did it 60 years ago. But Ruth slugged .800 twenty years before that — and nobody else has done it again until this year. Slugging averages tell you more than either batting averages or home run totals."
Congress Strong-Arming Baseball? That's Foul, by Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, The Washington Post, 20 Jan 2008
Discusses the latest congressional hearings on steroids
"First, Major League Baseball, along with other sports leagues and private-sector ventures, simply should not be required to submit their business plans -- much less blood and urine samples -- to Congress or any other government body. (The flip-side of this, of course, is that MLB and other sports leagues should not be allowed to extract extortionate contracts for stadiums and services from all-too-pliant state and local governments.)"
Do New Major League Ballparks Pay for Themselves?, by Lawrence Hadley, Marc Poitras, 2004
Joe DiMaggio — icon of an era, by Thomas Sowell, 10 Mar 1999
In memoriam for "Joltin' Joe" DiMaggio, reviewing many of his accomplishments and being grateful that "the fine qualities he represented as a man have not all 'left and gone away'" (as in The Sound of Silence)
"n DiMaggio's time, Ted Williams had a higher batting average and Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg hit more homers. But no one put it all together in his own special package like the man they called Joltin' Joe and the Yankee Clipper. From his first season in baseball ... people marvelled at his combination of great hitting, brilliant fielding, powerful throwing arm and swift, heady base-running. ... He never struck out 40 times in a season, although many other sluggers struck out four times as often as that. ... he was voted Most Valuable Player three times, tying a record that still stands."
McGwire, Maris and the Babe, by Thomas Sowell, 21 Oct 1998
Compares Mark McGwire to Roger Maris and Babe Ruth and concludes that the latter was "the greatest ballplayer that ever lived"
"Now that Big Mac is the new home-run king, how does he compare with Roger Maris and with Babe Ruth before him? Maris was a fine, all-around ballplayer who was voted Most Valuable Player the year before he broke Ruth's home-run record. ... Ruth first broke the home-run record with 29 round-trippers in 1919. It was Ruth who put the home run on the map and revolutionized the way baseball would be played ever since. ... Ruth was historic in yet another sense. He was, quite simply, the greatest ballplayer that ever lived -- and that record has never been seriously challenged."
Pete vs. Joe, by Thomas Sowell, 17 Mar 2003
Counters the argument of those in favor of admitting Pete Rose to the Baseball Hall of Fame by relating the story of Shoeless Joe Jackson and discussing the results of permissiveness
"The argument is: What have Pete's personal shortcomings got to do with the fact that he had a great career on the field? ... then the time is long overdue to induct Shoeless Joe Jackson into the Baseball Hall of Fame. ... Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned from baseball for life because of the 1919 'Black Sox' scandal, where the Chicago White Sox deliberately lost the World Series, so that a big-time gambler who was paying them off could make a killing betting against them. ... Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned ... because he knew that the World Series was fixed but did not report his teammates to the authorities."
Related Topic: Children
Restoring Parental Responsibility for Education, by Marshall Fritz, The Freeman, Jul 1996
Diffferentiates between "public" and "private" schools, arguing against calls for adding "market dynamics" to the former and pointing out lack of parental responsibility as the culprit for the lack of success in tax-funded schools
"Like investors and entrepreneurs, those who 'sacrifice' defer gratification. The original meaning, to make holy by offering to a deity, grew into a parallel secular meaning, 'to give up something you value now for something that you value more later.' For instance, in baseball, intentionally flying out in order to score or advance a base runner is called a 'sacrifice fly' because, before 1894, it counted against the batter's average. The batter sacrificed something he valued, his batting average, for something that he valued more–an improved chance for his team to win the game."

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Baseball" as of 22 Nov 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.