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Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team (batting team) are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases - having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team (fielding team) is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate (the place where the player started as a batter). The team who scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner. OK, know that we know the sport, let's figure out the best type of shows for players to wear.
Cleats or studs are protrusions on the sole of a shoe, or on an external attachment to a shoe, that provide additional traction on a soft or slippery surface. They can be conical or blade-like in shape, and made of plastic, rubber or metal.
In baseball, the shoes generally worn are referred to as "cleats" or "spikes". The spikes are rectangular in shape, and can be made of rubber, plastic, or metal. Rubber cleats may feature grooves and smaller protrusions in the middle of the sole, while soft rubber spikes would be around the edges of the sole and at the heel. Plastic cleats are similar to rubber spikes. However, they have feature a hard bottom and thick hard plastic spikes, with few to no grooves at all, and instead of as the edge of the sole, the spikes compose the outsole of the shoe where the toes and ball of the foot would hit the ground during running, similar to track spikes and football cleats. Metal spikes are similar to plastic spikes, but instead of being thick pieces of plastic as spikes, they are thin pieces of metal to make it easier to dig into grass and sand, and thereby increase traction. Rubber and plastic cleats are used in youth baseball, with metal cleats typically prohibited. Metal spikes are almost exclusively used in the upper levels of the sport, including high school, college, and professional baseball. The use of metal spikes in American high school baseball was banned by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 1984 due to the risk of spike wounds, although some states received waivers nullifying the ban. The ban was lifted in 1989. There has also been increasing use of plastic spikes among professional players including those in Major League Baseball (MLB), due to the lighter weight of cleats and improved weight distribution leading to less wear and tear during the season.
Although conventional cleats can be used on turf surfaces, specialized baseball and softball turf shoes are also manufactured. These shoes typically have numerous rubber studs along the soles as opposed to spikes.
If you play for a local team make sure to check with your club to determine if a particular style of cleat is suggested, required, or banned. For example, they may not allow metal cleats.
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Here is a bit of trivia: The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was a women's professional baseball league founded by Philip K. Wrigley which existed from 1943 to 1954. Over 600 women played in the league. In 1948, league attendance peaked over 900,000 spectators in attendance. The Rockford Peaches won a league-best four championships while playing in the AAGPBL. For most of the league's history, manager Bill Allington coached different teams and led the league in career wins as a manager. The 1992 motion picture A League of Their Own tells a fictionalized account of the Rockford Peaches.
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