My 6-year-old son is playing baseball. I'm delighted. I didn't push him into it. Honest. I'm trying hard not to be one of those fathers. I even stood out of sight at his first T-ball practice, so he wouldn't see me and feel pressure. (It was harder to hide the film crew.) But I'd be cruel not to play with him, right? So I roll him grounders and teach him how to squash the bug.
Like all first-time players, he's fuzzy on the rules. He hits the ball and runs with the bat. (In these troubling times, who'd blame him?) When I explain the rules, I can't get them out fast enough to hold his attention. Or I'm just not a talented explainer: "I was listening," he said, jumping from home plate to second on the imaginary field we'd created on the bed. "It's that I don't understand you."
So, a Slate contest of precision and brevity and sport: Explain the game of baseball in 150 words or less (the precise length of the previous two paragraphs). The best effort will win the thanks of a grateful father and his son. Use the form below to submit your definition. Please send it by 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22. Slate will publish the winning entry—and some of the most valiant attempts—in a follow-up article. Play ball!
This contest is now closed.
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