Only in Baseball: The Quirks of America's Pastime
ceremonial 1st pitch
Baseball has a decorated history and the most tradition of any sport in America.
It also has the most quirks and oddities.
Ever wonder why each MLB ballpark has different dimensions? There are so many aspects of baseball that you just will not see in any other sport. Here is a list of unique characteristics that help make baseball the most interesting and best game in all of sports.
Unlike other sports, it is not required to move or carry the baseball into a designated area of the field to score. There is no net, end zone or target that the ball must reach. Yes, you can score by hitting the ball over the outfield wall, but it is not necessary.
All the scoring is worth the same value, one run.
Baseball is the only team sport where the playing field has different dimensions, as nearly all 30 big league ballparks have different outfield depths, configurations and ground rules.
Centerfield at Houston’s Minute Maid Park is a whopping 436 feet away from home plate, and surprisingly includes a hill and flagpole to challenge the outfielders.
Of course, you also have Fenway’s 37-foot high Green Monster in left, catwalks in play at Tampa’s Tropicana Field and the short porch at Yankee Stadium.
Not to mention varying amounts of foul territory at each park. Its called foul territory, but the ball is playable. Both outs and runs can actually be recorded from a play in foul ground. By far, the Oakland Coliseum has the most foul ground, which contributes to many more foul outs versus all other parks.
No Harm, No Foul
There are no fouls or penalties against a player in baseball. However, there are errors.
Baseball is the only sport where the defense can attempt to make plays in the stands.
Fans can keep the ball if they catch it in the stands. Fans can even interfere with the defender if the player reaches into the seats.
We all remember Steve Bartman and Jeffrey Maier.
Who Has the Ball ?
The offense does not have possession of the baseball. The pitcher initiates and dictates the play and the defense has possession of the ball.
Pick a Glove
Different equipment is used depending on what position one plays. Many different bats, gloves, pads and helmets are all in the mix during each game.
For better or worse, the manager wears a uniform, beer belly and all. And he is called a manager, not a coach.
What's the Sign ?
Two coaches are allowed on the field and can help instruct their players.
Hit the Showers
There is no re-entry into the game once a player is removed for another. Can you imagine a point guard or quarterback not being able to come back into a game?
At the Old Ballgame
Baseball has it's own song. "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is sung at every game.
Forget the Clock
There is no time limit or clock, just a set number of innings to be played.
Baseball teams plays a game nearly every day. And the team plays the same opponent two, three or four days in a row.