Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball
Baseball is an international sport played by young and old, amateurs and professionals. After Team USA failed to win the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics, Barry Bloom wrote in March 2009, “And now it can't be ignored: The U.S. is no longer the undisputed leader of the game that was invented on its own soil.” (Bloom, 2009) The World Baseball Classic, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation and supported by professional baseball leagues from around the world, is the first international baseball tournament to feature players from major leagues around the world (International Baseball Federation, 2010). The inaugural World Baseball Classic was played in 2006. The second was held in 2009, with tournaments to be held every four years (International Baseball Federation, 2010). Team Japan, Nippon Professional Baseball, won the first two World Baseball Classics while Team USA, Major League Baseball, finished sixth in 2006 and fourth in 2009. The basic objective in baseball is to win by scoring more runs than your opponent. Rule 1.01 of Official Baseball Rules states, “Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or more umpires.” (Major League Baseball, 2010, p.1). The infield is a 90 foot square and the pitchers mound is 60’6” from home plate. The ball is round and “formed by yarn wound around a small core of cork, rubber or similar material, covered with white horsehide or cowhide, tightly stitched together.” (Major League Baseball, 2010, p.6). The bat, one piece of solid wood, is a “smooth, round stick not more than 2.61 inches in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches in length.” (Major League Baseball, 2010, p.6). While the rules and objectives are generally the same, just what differences exist between Major League Baseball and...
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