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United States is credited with developing several popular sports, including some (such as baseball, gridiron football, and basketball) that have large fan bases and, to varying degrees, have been adopted internationally.

But baseball, despite the spread of the game throughout the globe and the growing influence of Asian and Latin American leagues and players, is the sport that Americans still recognize as their “national pastime.” The game has long been woven into the fabric of American life and identity.

Novelists and filmmakers frequently have turned to baseball motifs.

Yet, for Americans, the opening of the baseball training season signaled the arrival of spring, regular-season play meant summer, and the World Series marked the arrival of fall.

Because baseball was the national game, its racial integration was of enormous symbolic importance in the United States; indeed, it preceded the U. Supreme Court’s decision ending racial segregation in the schools (in 1954 in ) and helped to usher in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s.

Moreover, in the 1980s and ’90s a huge influx of Hispanics into professional baseball reflected the country’s changing ethnic composition.women were playing baseball as early as the 1860s, their involvement in the sport was confined for the most part to the role of spectator.

players each on a field with four white bases laid out in a diamond (i.e., a square oriented so that its diagonal line is vertical).

Teams alternate positions as batters (offense) and fielders (defense), exchanging places when three members of the batting team are “put out.” As batters, players try to hit the ball out of the reach of the fielding team and make a complete circuit around the bases for a “run.” The team that scores the most runs in nine innings (times at bat) wins the game.

American colleges and universities even began to offer courses on baseball literature, and baseball films likewise proliferated.

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