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Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The goal is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot square, or diamond. Players on one team (the batting team) take turns hitting against the pitcher of the other team (the fielding team), which tries to stop them from scoring runs by getting hitters out in any of several ways. A player on the batting team can stop at any of the bases and later advance via a teammate's hit or other means. The teams switch between batting and fielding whenever the fielding team records three outs. One turn at bat for each team constitutes an inning; nine innings make up a professional game. The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins.

Evolving from older bat-and-ball games, an early form of baseball was being played in England by the mid 18th century. This game and the related rounders were brought by British and Irish immigrants to North America, where the modern version of baseball developed. By the late 19th century, baseball was widely recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball on the professional, amateur, and youth levels is now popular in North America, parts of Central and South America and the Caribbean, and parts of East Asia.

Literary comment[]

There is a common misconception that U.S. Army officer Abner Doubleday invented baseball in the mid 19th century. This urban legend has been thoroughly discredited, but many of Harry Turtledove's characters believe it, and assert it from time to time.

Baseball in "Batboy"[]

Baseball players Rip and Laszlo Kovacs of the St. Louis Browns were on a road trip when they realized that the team's batboy, Zoltan Nagy, who claimed to be the son of newspaper reporter Gyula Nagy, was a vampire.

The Browns played in Boston, New York City, and Detroit over the course of the year.

Baseball in The Disunited States of America[]

In one alternate, the sport of rounders, which was similar to the home timeline's baseball, was popular in the east coast of North America. Rounders was less important than soccer in the western and Mexican states. One of that history's most famous rounders players was George Herman, who hit for the Highlanders in the early 20th century.

Baseball in The Guns of the South[]

In 1864, shortly before the Battle of the Wilderness, soldiers of the 47th North Carolina played an impromptu game of baseball. Iverson Longmire proved to be a star player.[1]

Baseball in The House of Daniel[]

Even after the Big Bubble burst in 1929, baseball remained a crucial piece of American culture. This included both major league teams and semi-pros like the House of Daniel.

Baseball in "The House That George Built"[]

Minor league baseball player George Ruth was never able to become a big-league sensation. In his later years, he became convinced that if he'd been discovered by a major league team while he was in his prime, he could have become another Buzz Arlett, arguably the greatest player the game had ever seen.

Baseball in Southern Victory[]

Baseball was a sport known throughout the United States and the Confederate States but popular only in the New England region of the US. In every other region of both countries, football was a far more popular sport, and was played throughout the U.S. and the C.S.

Baseball in "Under Coogan's Bluff"[]

In the first half of the 21st century, professional baseball teams began traveling back in time to play against legendary teams of the past. For example, the 2040 line-up of the Los Angeles Angels traveled to 1905 to play the New York Giants.[2]

Baseball in Worldwar[]

Baseball was a sport most popular in the United States, but it was also played in Japan and several territories ruled by the Race. Sam Yeager began his career as a baseball player and was playing for the Decatur Commodores when the Race invaded Earth in 1942. Later, as guard for Lizard POWs Ullhass and Ristin, he taught his two charges to play baseball.

Ullhass and Ristin were not the only members of the Race to play baseball; it became fairly popular among the Race's expatriate community in the US. Lizards' skittering walking motion made them talented middle infielders, and being smaller than humans, their strike zones were correspondingly small and thus difficult to pitch into. However, the Race's musculature prevented its members from becoming power hitters.

Great baseball players include Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees and Mickey Mantle of the Kansas City Blues.