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Lesson Transcript

Braden: ​​Top 5 Most Important Things to Know about Baseball
Ann: In this lesson, we'll introduce you to baseball by talking about the top five most important things to know about baseball. We’ll start of with some guidelines on how to play, and how baseball is a team game.
Braden: ​​Then we’ll exame the difference between in-field and out-field and learn what the RBI is.
Ann: Lastly, you’ll learn about a famed Home Run and why it has so much fame.
Braden: ​​These aren't the only things that you need to know but our Top 5 list will help you talk about baseball in English with your friends and understand it better.
Ann: The first thing we are going to talk about is "how to play." Baseball is a "ball game" or a game that's played with a ball. What's unique about baseball is that you also play with a bat.
Braden: ​​A bat is the large wooden club used to hit the ball in baseball.
Ann: Exactly. Along those line, you've probably heard the phrase "at bat" before.
Braden: ​​That’s right. "At bat" means that it’s a person or team’s turn to use the bat. Only the team that is "at bat" can score and that’s important.
Ann: The second thing to understand is that baseball is a team game. More specifically that there are two teams that play against each other.
Braden: ​​That’s right. This is an unique aspect about baseball. The teams take turns trying to score, and only one team can try to score at a time.
Ann: For those of you who are familiar with other sports, you could think of it as offense and defense. The defense is the team on the field and the offense is the team "at bat."
Braden: ​​That’s right. So when a team is on the field, they can't score but when a team is "at bat" they can score.
Ann: Next we'll look at our third topic, which is the phrases "in field" and "out field." These terms only applies to the team that is on the field, or at defense, if that helps.
Braden: ​​That’s right. A baseball field is divided into two parts - the "in-field" and the "out-field." The "in-field" is marked by first, second, and third bases and the home plate.
Ann: There are a total of 6 players in the "in-field"—the first baseman, the second baseman, the third baseman, the shortstop (who is between second and third base), the pitcher, and the catcher.
Braden: In the "out-field," there is the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder. There are a total of 9 players on field in baseball.
Ann: Each position on the field has specific responsibilities but they all have the same goal, which is to get back "at bat." To do that, the team that is on the field has to get three "outs."
Braden: An "out" is when someone from the team "at bat" has one of their scoring opportunities blocked. For example, someone "at bat" has three chances to swing and hit the ball.
Ann: If they swing three times but don't hit the ball then their chance is over and they are "out."
Braden: For the teams to change position from on field to off field, (or offense to defense,) or on field to at bat, there’re many ways to say it, they have to get the team that is currently "at bat" "out" three times.
Ann: That is just one example, there’s many ways to get someone "out" in baseball, and frankly, going throught all of them is way beyond the scope of this lesson.
Braden: ​​That’s right. And speaking of things that are beyond the scope of this lesson, one of those things is baseball acronyms, which is going to be our #4 topic.
Ann: ​​That’s for sure. One of the difficult parts of understanding people when they talk about baseball is the acronyms they use. They are so unique that it’s difficult even for a native English speaker to figure out what they mean unless they know baseball.
Braden: ​​Exactly, and there sure are a lot of them. If you don’t know the acronyms, it can be hard to know what people are talking about.
Ann: ​​One of the most important acronyms is "RBI," which stands for "Runs Batted In." This is one way that baseball fans say "points scored." They do this because the scoring system in baseball is not as simple as it is in basketball or football.
Braden: ​​For example, a player could be at bat with three other players already on the bases.
Ann: ​​Then, he hits the ball and gets to first base and the person who was on third base gets to home plate and scores a point.
Braden: The batter himself, didn't make it to home plate, so by normal calculations, he didn't score. However, a point was scored because of his hit.
Ann: ​​In baseball, that point is attributed to that hitter even though he didn't actually cross the plate.
Braden: ​​That’s right. The only time a hit will directly reflect a point scored is when a "home run" is hit.
Ann: Which brings us to our last topic—the most famous part of baseball—the home run.
Braden: The home run is the dream of most baseball players, and fans love to see it too.
Ann: A home run is when a batter hits the ball so hard and so far that the batter gets to run around all the bases and score a point. Most often, this happens when the batter hits the ball beyond the outfield into the stands.
Braden: This is both great fun to do and great fun to watch. But beyond the fun of things, home runs can also be very useful strategically.
Ann: Let’s explain how. For example, if the first person who bats hits a home run, then one point is scored.
Braden: However, if the fourth person at bat hits a home run and the "bases are loaded," which means that the previous players are on the bases, then the home run scores four points. By the way, this is usually called the Grand Slam.
Ann: That is very important because in a normal Major League Baseball game, each team typically only makes 4 or 5 points so one home run could determine who wins the game.
Braden: And baseball coaches often put their players at bat in a strategic order so that a situation like this can happen. They’ll have batters who will get on to base, who consistently can get on to base, and then the 4th guy has a tendency of being a home run hitter, so that they can make this kind of big score in points. So that just about does it for today. Thanks for listening!
Ann: Have a great day!