take me out to the ball game

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OK, you Hispanic English as a second language students, welcome to today’s lesson.

My name is Ed and I want to share (compartir) with you an interest (interés) of mine.

Here’s a musical hint (indicación) of what it is:

Take me out to the ball game

Take me out with the crowd

Buy me some peanuts and Crackerjack

I don’t care if I never never get back

Let me root, root root for the home team

If they don’t win It’s a shame

For it’s one, two, Three strikes you’re out

At the old ball game!

You got it, I am a fan of baseball.

Baseball is an odd game with odd rules. It’s hard to understand. It’s difficult to understand. It’s slow and fast, boring and dramatic. There are long periods of time where nothing seems to happen.

A player can play an entire game and never touch the ball.

The clock doesn’t matter in baseball. A game can go on for what feels like forever.

In baseball, teams of 9 players compete to score the most runs (carreras) in a 9-inning (entrada) game. They alternate (take turns) between offense (at bat (turno al bate) and defense/defensivo––in the field.

Understand? 9 players on a team. One team at bat, one in the field. All are wearing baseball caps (gorras), and uniforms with numbers on their backs.

A run (carrera) is baseball’s term for points. A run is a circuit of four bases that are placed on a field shaped like a diamond (diamante). The bases have names: 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base and home plate.

The offense uses a bat to hit a white ball; the defense wears gloves (guantes) to catch it.

The part of the field closest to the bases is called the infield (cuadro interior), beyond the infield is the outfield, beyond the outfield is a fence, and beyond the fence is usually the parking lot.

Long white lines connect first and third base to home plate and beyond, all the way to the fence.

The infielders are the first baseman, the second baseman, the third baseman, and the shortstop (he plays between second and third base). Behind the infielders are three outfielders: Left fielder, center fielder and right fielder. The pitcher throws the ball in the direction of the catcher who wears a glove the size of a small pillow (it’s called a mit). The batter tries to hit the ball; when he does hit it, and nobody catches it, he runs from base to base, and returns to home plate, hopefully without being tagged out.

The pitcher tries to make the hitter miss the ball. That’s called a strike. 3 strikes and the batter is out (furera/retiró). The pitcher allows (permite) the batter to go to first base by throwing 4 pitches that are ruled as erratic. Those are called balls (base por bolas, plancha). 3 outs and the team returns back to the field, to play defense.

Each team bats once per inning (entrada). The game is finished when 9 innings have been played (and one team is ahead/arriba/adelante in the score)

An official (árbitro/juez de campo) stands behind the catcher and applies the rules, calling pitches strikes and balls, runners safe or out. He’s called the umpire. Nobody likes him. Every decision he makes is criticized (andaba criticando) by someone.

When no runs are scored, baseball can get boring. But when a batter hits the ball over the outfield fence it’s excting (to him, especially). That’s called a home run (honrón; bateo fuera de la parke). The batter runs and touches all four bases (with his foot), smiling and acting proud. When he returns to the dugout, his teammates shake his hand, pat him on the back and butt. Then he sits back down on the bench (sentar en el banco), tired from the exercise.

Outs can be made on fly balls and ground balls. (globito y arrastrada)

A double play will wake up the sleepiest fan.

Stealing … is good.

The challenge (desafío) for the batter: to hit a round ball with a round bat, squarely.

A fair ball and a foul ball are very different. (en territorio bueno y malo)

The pitcher throws curveballs and fastballs (curva o serpentina y bolas rapidas o recta)

Getting to first base can also mean something else.

At least once every game, after three outs are made, the fan of baseball goes to the concession stand, where he buys a one hot dog, a bag of peanuts (cacahuates, a fun word to say in Spanish) and a beer (providing the fan is 21 years old). As I said before, there are many rules in baseball.

Before the game starts, everyone stands and sings el himo nacional (de los eeuu). It’s during the 7th inning that tradition that everyone watching stand up an sing that Take Me Out to the Ball Game song.

How many players on a baseball team?

How many outs?

How many balls allow (permite) the batter to go to first base?

Which team is on the offense––the team at bat or the one in the field?

How many players on each team?

How many bases are there?

Where does the umpire stand?

What shape is the ball?

How many outfielders are there?

How many strikes to record an out?

How many balls to receive a walk?

Where does the shortstop play?

What’s the English word for the player who throws the ball to the catcher?

And the catcher’s glove is called a what? And how big is it?

Repeat after me: A walk, a balk and a bunt

OK, your homework for today is to memorize this short song.

Get a piece of paper and write down the words.

OK, do you have the paper and a pen or a pencil to write with?