A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

What are 5 ways to get to 1st without hitting the ball?

August 20, 1976

Dear Cecil:

During a slow moment in our Regulation of Gene Expression class at school the other day, the prof posed the following question: "What are the five ways of reaching first base without hitting the ball?" Most of us being graduate students, we had no problem coming up with four — a walk, hit by pitch, dropped third strike, and catcher's interference — but the fifth, if indeed it exists, remains an unknown. Can you enlighten us?

Cecil replies:

The Straight Dope, always willing to go that extra mile, not only gives you number five, but throws in number six, too, at absolutely no extra charge.

According to Official Rule 7.05 (h), the batter and base runners get one base "if a ball, pitched to the batter or thrown by the pitcher from his position on the pitcher's plate to a base to catch a runner, goes into a stand, or player's bench, or over or through a field fence or backstop, or is touched by a spectator."

Alternately, according to 7.05 (i), "on ball four or strike three, when the pitch misses the catcher and lodges in the umpire's mask or paraphernalia," the batter and runners are entitled to advance one base. That is, if they can stop laughing long enough.

Click here for an update of this column.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Additions:

A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff Ken,
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff Doug, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff Chronos, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff Doug, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff ScottInLA, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff Jillgat, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope! Your direct line to thou- sands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope? Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.