It is hard to like something if you don't understand it. Millions of people like baseball and have a working understanding of the game. Many millions more know little, if anything, about baseball, and it is for them that I wrote this book. My intention is to provide a plain, simple, and straightforward explanation of the game of professional baseball, so that the people who know little or nothing can understand the game, and maybe even come to like it. This is a "what you're going to see" book, not a "how to" book. My aim is to enable you to go to a big league ballpark, or tune in a game on television, and understand and enjoy what you are seeing and hearing. A while back, I did a field test with two of my wife's Swiss friends who came to visit us in Los Angeles. All they knew about baseball is that folks dress up in costumes, hit a ball with a wooden club, and then run around a field, while other folks in different costumes chase the hit ball around the field and then throw it at each other. (Oh, and they knew that they were supposed to eat hotdogs ) We took them to a game at Dodger Stadium. I talked them through what they were watching, and about the beginning of the fourth inning they pretty much had a grasp. My point: If I can make baseball understandable to a man and woman who speak English as a second language and were born and raised in the Alps, I should be able to explain it to most people. For the next few hours, I'd like you to sit back, prop your feet up, and let me bring you the game as I understand it.