Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport, played on a field with bases arranged in a diamond. After batters hit a thrown ball, they and any teammates on a base can try to advance to another base, scoring a run when they return to the home base. The batting team hits against the pitcher of the fielding team, which tries to get players out (off the field), usually by striking them out, catching a hit ball, throwing to a base that players have to run to, or tagging them with the ball between bases. After three outs, the teams trade places, and after three more, the next inning begins. Professional games last at least into the ninth inning. Evolving from older bat-and-ball games, an early form of baseball was being played in England by the mid-eighteenth 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 nineteenth century, baseball was widely recognized as the national spo
rt of the United States. Baseball has become popular in North America and parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and East Asia, particularly Japan.
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