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Baseball is an American sport that involves players hitting a ball with a bat in order to circle a set of bases, tagging each one, in order to score points, known as runs. The sport is popular in the United States, and also in Canada, much of Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asian countries like South Korea and Japan. On the web, baseball has spawned many memes, most notably photoshop memes of various players.
Baseball is played on a diamond-shaped field, divided between the infield, which has a sand-covered track upon which the four bases are placed, and a grassy expanse called the outfield. A pitcher stands in the middle of the infield, and throws the ball to the batter, who is standing at the initial base known as home. His goal is to hit the ball with a wooden (or sometimes aluminum) bat. The batter has three chances to hit the ball; the pitcher has four chances to throw it accurately enough so that the pitcher can hit it. These two interchanges are known as "strikes" and "balls" respectively. If the batter is successful in hitting the ball, one of the other eight players, positioned around the field, must either catch it in midair or retrieve it, and throw it to the base where the batter is headed. If the ball beats the batter to the plate, the batter is out. If the batter is able to make it around the bases back to home without getting out, or he hits it out of the reach of any of the ballplayers on the field, he scores a run. Each team has three outs per inning, and nine innings are played. If the score is even at the end of nine innings, additional innings are played until one team has more runs than the other.
The sport was invented in the United States in 1839 in Cooperstown, New York. The game was inspired by the British sports of rounders and cricket. Sometime during the U.S. Civil War, baseball became professional and more popular in America, with the Cincinnati Redlegs becoming the first official professional team in 1869. In 1875, the National League was formed from the ashes of the defunct National Association. In 1901, the independent Western League was rebranded as the American League and declared war on the National League, with a truce merging the two leagues in 1903 into what is now known as the MLB. Also in 1903, the Boston Americans (now the Red Sox) defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series. While today's World Series is a best of seven affair, in the early days it could go eight or even nine games. During the early days of MLB, African Americans would play separately in the Negro League, until Jackie Robinson began the integration of MLB when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947; eventually, the Negro League was disbanded. Today, players from around the world join one of the 30 Major League teams to compete.
During the newsgroup era of online discussion, groups were formed for every Major League baseball team under alt.sports.baseball, as well as groups for individual country-based baseball fandoms, especially Japan, with jp.sports.baseball, Mexico with mex.deportes.baseball, Canada with cn.bbs.sports.baseball, and many more. Many of these groups are still active; Google groups reports recents posts in such newsgroups as alt.sports.baseball.bos-redsox and alt.sports.baseball.sf-giants.
Social Media Presence
The official website of Major League Baseball is MLB.com, and each major league team maintains and individual web presence.  MLB.com has an official Alexa rank of 86 in the United States, and 336 worldwide. Baseball has gained a huge following as of 2015, all across the web. The official Facebook page for MLB has 6.2 million likes and the official Twitter account for MLB has 5.1 million followers.
A subreddit for baseball, /r/baseball, has 141,000 subscribers, and many individual team subreddits have subscriber counts in the tens of thousands; some of the largest of these subreddits are /r/dodgers, /r/sfgiants and /r/torontobluejays.
Fantasy Baseball, also known as Rotisserie League Baseball, is a game where players create rosters of players and compete using those players' real playing statistics. It first spread in popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s; however, the game became increasingly popular online, as automated systems for collecting and displaying the statistics were invented on various web sites. Some of the most popular sites where fantasy baseball is played are Yahoo Sports, ESPN Fantasy, and MLB fantasy.
They Don't Think It Be Like It Is But It Do
"They Don't Think It Be Like It Is, But It Do" is a quote attributed to the former Major League Baseball player Oscar Gamble that is often mocked on various web forums and image boards for its indecipherable quality, similar to the questions "How is babby formed?" and "Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?"
Ceremonial First Pitches
Ceremonial First Pitches are a baseball tradition in which a guest of honor throws a baseball to a catcher to mark the beginning of the game. Since the arrival of online video-sharing platforms in the 2000s, a variety of video clips showing bizarre, impressive and poorly thrown pitches have gone viral online, especially during the baseball season in the summer and fall.
Phillies Tased Fan
Phillies Tased Fan is a photoshop meme based on a news photograph of a Phillies fan eluding a security officer and running across the outfield during a 2010 Major League Baseball match between St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies.
Complacent Reynolds is a photoshop meme based on an exploitable image of Baltimore Orioles’ player Mark Reynolds nonchalantly snacking on sunflower seeds from the bag.
Winnie The Pooh's Home Run Derby
Winnie The Pooh's Home Run Derby is a flash game produced by Disney in which the player takes control of the character Winnie the Pooh from the cartoon series of the same name. In the game, Winnie plays the batter while other notable characters from the series play the pitcher in rotation. In early 2012, the game became notable on the Japanese web for its unexpectedly high difficulty level; however, it didn’t gain momentum on the English-speaking web until early 2013 following its appearances on 4chan and Reddit.
Bartolo Colon at Bat
Bartolo Colón At Bat is a photoshop meme based on an image of the New York Mets pitcher in an awkward batting stance screen-captured during a season match against the Washington Nationals in April 2014.
Marlins Man is the nickname given to Miami Marlins fan Laurence Leavy who rose to viral fame after being repeatedly spotted in the front-row seat behind the batter’s box wearing the Miami baseball team’s bright-orange jersey and visor at various Major League Baseball (MLB) matches and other major sporting events in the United States.
Hunter Pence Signs
Hunter Pence Signs are a series of oversized posters featuring humorous insults specifically aimed at San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence. The taunting signs quickly became a trend among the fans of Major League Baseball after a a group of New York Mets fans were seen holding up the signs during their team’s games against San Francisco Giants in August 2014.
#FerrellTakesTheField is a charitable event in which comedian actor Will Ferrell aims to raise awareness of the cancer survivor scholarship Cancer For College by playing all nine different positions for 10 different Major League Baseball teams in a single day.