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Major League Baseball, or MLB, is one of the most popular and well-known sports leagues in the world. For more than 150 years, fans have been following their favorite teams and players as they hit home runs, make diving catches, and slide into home plate. From Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter, MLB has produced some of the greatest athletes of all time, and its impact on American culture is immeasurable.

History of MLB

The first professional baseball league in the United States was formed in 1871, and it eventually evolved into what is now known as the MLB. Since its inception, the league has gone through many changes, including the introduction of the American League in 1901, interleague play in 1997, and the addition of two new teams in the 21st century. Today, MLB consists of 30 teams, with 15 in each league (American and National).

Each season, the teams compete in a 162-game regular season that begins in late March or early April and ends in late September or early October. The top teams from each league then compete in a postseason tournament, culminating in the World Series, a best-of-seven series to determine the champion.

Teams and Divisions

MLB consists of 30 teams, divided into two leagues: the American League and the National League. Each league has three divisions: East, Central, and West. The 15 teams in each league are split evenly across the three divisions, with five teams in each.

American League:

East Division: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays

Central Division: Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins

West Division: Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers

National League:

East Division: Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals

Central Division: Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals

West Division: Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants

Basic Rules

The basic rules of baseball are simple: two teams take turns batting and fielding. The offensive team (also known as the away team) sends a player (known as the batter) to the plate, while the defensive team (the home team) has nine players on the field at once. The pitcher (one of the nine defensive players) stands on the pitcher’s mound and throws the ball to the batter, who tries to hit it with a wooden or metal bat.

If the batter hits the ball into fair territory (between the two foul lines), he or she runs counterclockwise around a series of four bases: first, second, third, and home plate. The defensive team tries to catch the ball and throw it to one of their teammates to get the batter out or force them back to a previous base. If the defensive team catches the ball before it hits the ground or on the first bounce, it’s called a “fly out.” If the ball is hit on the ground and a defensive player fields it and throws it to first base before the batter reaches the base, it’s a “ground out.”

If the batter hits the ball and it goes over the fence (either in the air or on the ground) without touching the ground or any defensive player, it’s a home run. The batter can then jog around the bases and touch home plate, and all other runners on base at the time are also allowed to score.

Players on both teams also take turns pitching, and the game continues for nine innings unless the score is tied. If the game is tied after nine innings, extra innings are played until a winner is determined.

Popular Players and Teams

Throughout MLB’s history, there have been countless memorable players and moments. From Babe Ruth’s home runs to Willie Mays’ catches to Derek Jeter’s clutch hits, there are too many to count. Some of the most popular modern-day players include Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, Aaron Judge, and Mookie Betts. Teams like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers have large followings due to their long histories of success and star players.

One of the reasons baseball is so beloved is because of its ability to bring people together. Fans from all walks of life can come together to cheer on their favorite team or player. The sounds of the game, like the crack of the bat or the roar of the crowd after a great play, are ingrained in American culture.

Conclusion

Major League Baseball has come a long way since its founding in the 19th century. It has been a source of entertainment and excitement for generations of fans, and its impact on American culture is undeniable. With its long regular season, exciting postseason, and rich history, MLB will continue to be a beloved institution for many years to come.