It is important for you to understand the basic structure of a baseball game. In this tutorial, we will learn about the start of a baseball game and what you can expect to see as a spectator or player.
Each team has a manager who acts as a head coach. He makes important strategic decisions before and during the game, such the batting order (the order in which batters in the game will bat) and which defensive position each player will have for the game. Before the game, he creates a lineup card, which lists the batting order and the defensive position for each player. He then presents it to viewers and the umpire.
Umpires officiate the game; they are unbiased observers who make official decisions that determine the outcome of the game. They perform many duties before the game as well, such as checking players' equipment, the lines on the field, and the condition and number of baseballs available for play. While the manager is responsible for producing two (2) copies of their lineup card, the umpire ensures that both copies are identical. For reference, each team gets a copy of the other team's lineup card.
While the grounds crew is getting the field ready for the game, the players of each team arrive to their respective dugouts. In professional games, there is usually a ceremonial first pitch. The ceremonial first pitch is thrown by a guest of honor, sometimes a celebrity or the winner of a contest. They throw a pitch from the pitcher's mound to a player from the home team who acts as a catcher.
The home team is always on defense first, and they will take their positions as the starting pitcher throws his warm-up pitches. Once the first batter is in the batter's box, the umpire calls, Play! and the game begins.