Baseball For Dummies

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Play, watch, and understand America's favorite pastime

Baseball continues to be a popular game both as a spectator sport and as a pastime. Since the publication of Baseball For Dummies, 3rd Edition, baseball teams have changed, new MLB stadiums have been built, and rules have been updated. This updated 4th Edition brings you the latest information on the players, the places, and above all, the game.

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Play, watch, and understand America's favorite pastime

Baseball continues to be a popular game both as a spectator sport and as a pastime. Since the publication of Baseball For Dummies, 3rd Edition, baseball teams have changed, new MLB stadiums have been built, and rules have been updated. This updated 4th Edition brings you the latest information on the players, the places, and above all, the game.

Baseball For Dummies is for baseball fans at all levels, from players and coaches to spectators who love the game. Baseball Hall of Fame player Joe Morgan explains baseball with remarkable insight, using down-to-earth language so everyone from the casual observer to the die-hard fan can gain a fuller appreciation of the sport.

  • Improve your hitting, pitching, and fielding
  • Find a baseball team to play on, from Little League on up
  • Evaluate stats, players, and records
  • Coach baseball or umpire effectively
  • Get more out of a trip to the ballpark
  • The latest on baseball stats and sabermetrics

Complete with Morgan's personal lists of top-ten toughest pitchers, smartest players, and most strategic managers, Baseball For Dummies gives you all the inside tips, facts, and stats so you can have Major League fun!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Cooperstown alumnus and star analyst Joe Morgan shows how the game is played in Baseball for Dummies. The basics of pitching, hitting, fielding, and baserunning are covered, along with diagrams of appropriate player movements in different situations. Baseball for Dummies is a particularly useful guide for young players, baseball coaches, and fans who want to enhance their understanding of the game.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118510544
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/24/2014
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 217,009
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Morgan played on two Cincinnati Reds World Serieschampionship teams and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in1990. Richard Lally has written numerous popular books onbaseball and other subjects, including Bombers: An Oral Historyof the New York Yankees and Have Glove, Will Travel(which he co-authored with for Major League pitcher Bill Lee).

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started with Baseball 5

Chapter 1: The Lowdown on Baseball 7

Chapter 2: Suiting Up: Equipment 15

Chapter 3: Tackling the Rules of Baseball 31

Part II: Taking Your Swings — Playing Offense43

Chapter 4: Preparing to Swing the Lumber: Life in theBatter’s Box 45

Chapter 5: Hitting Like a Major Leaguer 61

Chapter 6: The Science of Baserunning 83

Part III: The Ball in Play — Playing Defense107

Chapter 7: Knowing the Players and Plays 109

Chapter 8: Winning the Arms’ Race: Pitching Like a MajorLeaguer 123

Chapter 9: Behind the Plate: The Catcher 145

Chapter 10: Playing Infield 159

Chapter 11: Playing the Outfield: Where Fly Balls Go to Die183

Part IV: From Little League to the Major Leagues —Organized Baseball 193

Chapter 12: T-Ball to College Baseball and Everything in Between195

Chapter 13: The Majors, the Minors, and Other Leagues 205

Chapter 14: The Rest of the Field: Managers and Coaches 223

Chapter 15: Identifying the Rest of the Cast of Characters inthe Ballpark 231

Chapter 16: Measuring Performance: Calculating Baseball’sStatistics 241

Chapter 17: Going All the Way: MLB Postseason Play and the WorldSeries 249

Part V: The View from the Stands — A Spectator’sGuide 255

Chapter 18: Following the Bouncing Baseball 257

Chapter 19: Tackling Baseball’s Steroid Controversy281

Chapter 20: Keeping Up Online, on the Air, and on the Newsstand289

Chapter 21: Playing Fantasy Baseball 301

Part VI: The Part of Tens 311

Chapter 22: Joe Morgan’s Top Ten Toughest Pitchers HeBatted Against 313

Chapter 23: Joe Morgan’s Ten Smartest Players 319

Appendix: Baseball Speak: A Glossary 325

Index 347

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First Chapter

Chapter 17
Keeping Up with the Show: Baseball Online, on the Air, and on the Newsstand

In This Chapter

  • Surfing for baseball on the World Wide Web
  • Finding baseball on TV
  • Reading about baseball

The enormous amount of media coverage baseball receives reflects the sport's enduring popularity. And the coverage doesn't end with the regular major league baseball season. You can be lounging in front of the fire in the dead of winter and still enjoy plenty of baseball action -- without even leaving the comforts of your living room.

Baseball in Cyberspace

Back in the "old" days, you had to travel to your nearest newsstand to get the latest scores and news. Now you can get scores, news, and a wealth of other information at the click of a mouse. Thousands of baseball Web sites abound on the Internet. This section highlights some of the more popular ones.


In 1995, baseball became the first major league sport to go on the Internet (and the Seattle Mariners were the first team to have its own Web site). You can access the big league site, MLB@Bat, at Then get ready to dive into a treasure trove of baseball delights. During a recent tour of the Web site, we discovered a live conference call between all 30 major league managers, the latest results from the Arizona Fall League, trivia contests, the complete records for the 1997 season, and a bevy of highlight films. During the regular season, you can summon up the latest standings, league leaders, plays of the week, and live broadcasts of games you can't see anywhere else.

The Negro Baseball Leagues

James A. Riley, director of research for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, is the editor of this Web site at The site is an archival resource that acquaints you with the rich history of the various Negro leagues, their players, managers, owners, and teams. This site also serves as a clearinghouse for Negro League books (sold through a discount bookstore) and memorabilia, such as jackets, caps, and autographs.

The Baseball Server

Although it is chock-full of major league information, the Baseball Server at is also the site to visit if you want find out what is happening in the minor leagues, from AAA ball to the independents. The Baseball Server features standings, stats, records, players of the week, and new highlights.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

The National Baseball Hall of Fame on the Web at cannot give you the same thrills as an actual visit to Cooperstown, but it's the next best thing. This site offers users an online tour of the Hall of Fame, its museum, and its library. The Fall Classic page presents the history of the World Series as told through audio and video clips.

Total Baseball Online

Who holds the record for home runs by a National League switch-hitter? How many games did Babe Ruth win as a pitcher? The best place to find out is this Web site (, which is affiliated with Total Baseball, the official encyclopedia of the major leagues. You can download all the material found in that volume, including its illuminating articles on various aspects of baseball history. (By the way, the answers to our trivia questions are: Howard Johnson, who hit most of those homers as a third baseman with the New York Mets, and 96 pitching wins for Babe Ruth.)

Ballparks by Munsey & Suppes

Are you a ballpark buff? Does just a glimpse of Wrigley Field's near mythic ivy-covered walls set you to swooning? Have we got a Web site for you! Ballparks by Munsey & Suppes ( ) has all the information you could ever possibly want about major league ballparks present, past, and future -- including seating plans, field dimensions, interior and exterior photos, turf type (which tells you, for example, that the Orioles play on Maryland Bluegrass in Baltimore's Camden Yards), and historical summaries.

The Sports Network

This Canadian network's Web site at is one of the most creative in all sports. Besides the usual stats, standings, and records, it has featured interactive games, such as Diamondball, which allows the fans to perform as virtual managers. The Couch Master, fast becoming a Canadian Internet legend, runs a rollicking Chat Room. During the 1997 World Series, fans of this site had the opportunity to engage in lively chats with Blue Jays ace Roger Clemens and future Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.

Major league team sites

Many of major league baseball's 30 franchises now boast Web sites so you can keep up with your favorite team's latest doings with the click of a mouse (see Table 17-1).

Table 17-1 Major League Team Web Sites



Arizona Diamondbacks

Atlanta Braves

Baltimore Orioles

Boston Red Sox

Chicago Cubs

Chicago White Sox

Cincinnati Reds

Cleveland Indians

Detroit Tigers

Florida Marlins

Houston Astros

Kansas City Royals

Los Angeles Dodgers

Milwaukee Brewers

Minnesota Twins

Montreal Expos

New York Yankees

Oakland Athletics

Philadelphia Phillies

Pittsburgh Pirates

San Diego Padres

San Francisco Giants

Seattle Mariners

St. Louis Cardinals

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Texas Rangers

Toronto Blue Jays

As we went to press, three teams still lacked official Web sites: The Anaheim Angels, Colorado Rockies, and New York Mets.

Baseball on the Tube

Who said that baseball on television was boring? This is your chance to prove them wrong. This section is a guide to get you pointed in the right direction -- toward baseball on the tube.


This cable network, based in Bristol, Connecticut, begins its regular-season baseball coverage on Opening Day. ESPN broadcasts Sunday night games as well as two games each Wednesday for a total of 75+ regular-season exposures. It also carries divisional playoff games during the postseason. Fans can get the latest scores and game gossip on Baseball Tonight, which airs every evening throughout the baseball season.

ESPN also affords baseball-wide coverage all year round on its flagship news program, Sportscenter. The show appears at regular intervals throughout each day. ESPN2, the little brother of ESPN, does not offer live coverage of baseball. However, the ESPN2 sports ticker, which runs during its broadcasts of other sports, offers you up-to-the-minute game scores, transactions, and additional bits of news. ESPN2 also covers some off-field baseball events, such as the 1997 expansion draft and the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Both stations broadcast college baseball games. Consult your schedule to find out who plays and when.

ESPN Sports Radio -- a network with 375 affiliates around the country -- broadcasts all postseason games (including the World Series), the All-Star Game, and a selection of regular season contests. Its All-Star coverage includes two events that take place the day before the game: the popular Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game Gala.

Fox Broadcasting

Ruppert Murdoch's Fox Network brings you 18 regular-season Saturday games starting in late May. Fox/Liberty, the network's cable arm, divides 52 national exposures between its Fox Sports Network and FX. As explained in the next section, Fox alternates its postseason coverage with NBC.


The network that made television history with Baseball's Game of the Week does not broadcast regular-season games under the current TV contract (which runs until the year 2000). However, it does alternate coverage with Fox Network for the All-Star Game, the League Championship Series, and World Series. In 1998, NBC covers the All-Star Game and the American League Championship Series, while Fox covers the World Series and National League Championship Series. The two networks will switch assignments in 1999 and trade back once more in 2000. ESPN also covers some League Championship Series games as part of this postseason trio.

The Sports Network

The Sports Network (TSN) is an independent cable network in Canada. In 1997, a typical broadcast year, TSN featured 80 Toronto Blue Jays games, 25 Montreal Expos games, assorted games from the Fox Network, and full coverage of the postseason.

The Classic Sports Network

Yes, the snow is piled up to your rooftop, but you can still watch baseball. Tuning in to the Classic Sports Network is like stepping into a time machine. The cable station doesn't carry any live baseball telecasts, but it does bring you some of the greatest games ever played in their entirety. You'll see the Brooklyn Dodgers win their first and only world championship, Nolan Ryan pitch a no-hitter, the storied sixth game of the 1975 World Series between the Red Sox and Reds, and much more. Check your cable listings to see if your carrier provides the station.

Caribbean League telecasts

Many Spanish-speaking networks carry baseball from the Caribbean leagues during the winter months. You can watch players like Juan Gonzalez, Bernie Williams, and Ivan Rodriguez strut their stuff while you wrap Christmas presents. Consult your local TV listings for times and schedules.

Baseball in Print

If you don't want to play or watch baseball (or look for it on the Web), why not read about it? This section describes some great starting points for you.

  • USA Today (1-800-USA-0001) provides fans with excellent national baseball coverage daily. Unlike many local papers, it rarely brings a hometown slant to a game or story. USA Today Baseball Weekly is the best source of week-to-week coverage, particularly during the off-season.
  • The Sporting News (800-777-6785) is an excellent weekly magazine/newspaper that covers all the major league teams throughout the year as well as other sports.
  • For comprehensive coverage of a particular baseball news story or event, read Sports Illustrated (800-992-0196).
  • Baseball America (800-845-2726) has a fortnightly publishing schedule; therefore, many of its major league stories are old news by the time a copy reaches your hands. However, no publication can surpass its coverage of minor league and college baseball. If you are in a fantasy league and want to chart the progress of an up-and-coming prospect, a subscription to this magazine is a shrewd investment. (See Chapter 18 for more information on fantasy leagues.)

Other publications for your baseball reading pleasure include

  • Baseball Digest (800-877-5893). A monthly compendium of baseball articles written by leading sportswriters from around the country.
  • Street & Smith's Baseball (212-880-8698). The most respected of the preseason baseball annuals.
  • Who's Who In Baseball The complete records, minor and major league, of nearly every current major league player. It is updated annually.
  • Beckett's Baseball Card Monthly (972-991-6657). A guide to the fluctuating baseball card market -- the Dow Jones often exhibits less volatility -- by the leaders in the industry.
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    The Nook version is not complete....

    This review is for the digital Nook version.

    I downloaded the sample of the Nook version and the diagrams and figures being referenced in the text were missing. Their captions were there but not the figures themselves. Because of this I decided to not buy the digital verson. Buyer beware - stick with the print version in this case!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    Joe Morgan a baseball hero

    You couldn't get a better book to learn the game of baseball. Joe knows anytthing and everything about the sport and leaves nothing out of his book. The perfect read because you can go to the chapters that pertain to you and learn what you WANT to be reading. Great for everybody, the novice, or the pro. I promise whatever caliber of baseball you play you will learn something from this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011


    How could anybody pass on the opot

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012


    Bostan loses to white sox 7-5

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Brilliant and well written with all the facts you need to know about baseball

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012



    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    Im a player..

    I play baseball and have been for seven years. Does this help me in my training and/or practice?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2015

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    Posted March 30, 2011

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