This short article was created by Paul Hertz

This short article was released in the feather 2014 Baseball study Journal

A usual trivia question among baseball pan is: How plenty of ways space there for a batter come reach very first base? The prize is seven: hit, walk, error, fielders’ choice, fight by pitch, dropped third strike, and defensive interference. A natural question is: has actually this ever happened in a major league game?

A common trivia question amongst baseball fans is, “How plenty of ways are there because that a batter to reach an initial base?” according to inquiry 5 in the individual primary round of the trivia dispute at the 2009 civicpride-kusatsu.net 39 nationwide Convention in Washington DC, there space eight various ways. The Wiki Answers net site lists 23. Over there is even a book called *23 methods to acquire to very first Base: The ESPN Uncyclopedia*. In my family, the price is seven, and my youngsters are required to recognize them all: hit, walk, error, fielders’ choice, hit by pitch, dropped 3rd strike, and also defensive interference.

You are watching: 23 ways to get to first base*23 ways to get to first Base: The ESPN Uncyclopedia* (ESPN Publishing, 2007).

For simplicity of referral in this paper, each of the seven means that a batter have the right to reach an initial base will be described as a means (capitalization intentional.)

On June 16, 2007, ns attended a boy league video game at Prince George’s Stadium between the hometown Bowie just Sox and the visiting new Britain Rock cats (Class AA eastern League) and kept a scorecard transparent the game. Throughout the 6th inning, a batter reached an initial base early out to protective interference by the catcher, also known together catcher’s interference. Ns did no know how to score catcher’s interference; this to be the very first time I had seen the happen during a game. In the saturday inning, a batter got to on a dropped third strike. Because there had currently been a struggle by pitch in the 2nd inning, a fielders’ choice in the second inning and also one in the sixth, two walks (fourth and seventh innings), and 14 hits throughout the game, the was six of the seven Ways emerging in the same game. When a batter reached an initial base because of an error by the very first baseman in the top of the ninth inning, the collection was complete: batters had actually reached first base by every seven methods in the exact same game.

A herbal question is, “Has this ever happened in a major league game?”

**METHODOLOGY**

I made use of Retrosheet, whose database in ~ the time had every occasion in (almost) every major league game from 1945 through the 2012 season.

I queried the database using the Perl scripting language.

The Perl manuscript that i wrote review each line of the database. If the line shown an event, climate it was parsed to identify whether the batter reached an initial base, and also if so, whereby Way. A finish list of Retrosheet occasion codes was built to ensure the each key appearance was assigned to the correct outcome (batter reaches first base, batter does not reach first base) follow to the occasion code. Table 2 gives the Retrosheet occasion codes that indicated each of the seven means for a batter to reach first base. Table 2 additionally includes a perform of every one of the Retrosheet occasion codes that correspond come the batter no reaching an initial base.

**STATISTICS**

I counted the variety of times each means occurred in every of the 124,146 gamings examined, and also I count the number of games in which each method occurred. The many common way is a hit. Over there is at the very least one struggle in 100 percent of every games. (There has never been a video game where no team gained a hit, despite it is theoretically possible.

**Figure 1: The frequency of different numbers that Ways arising in the very same game, taken from Table 4, room displayed. (a) The diamonds/dashed line show the probability specifically N different Ways arising in the very same game, whereby N varieties from 1 to 7. (b) The squares/solid line show the probability of at least N different Ways arising in the very same game, whereby N varieties from 1to7.**

Assuming the probability the one means occurring in a game is independent of the probability that a different way occurring in the same game, I have the right to use Table 3 to estimate the probability of assorted combinations occurring. Indigenous Table 3, the predicted probability the no method occurring in a video game other than a fight is ~0.01 percent.

Defensive interference is the the very least common way for a batter come reach very first base, emerging in fewer than one out of every one hundreds games. At that rate, 2 or an ext batters need to reach very first base through protective interference in the exact same game about once every ten thousand games. This prediction is in pretty great agreement v the observed incident of 15 games out the 124,146 gamings where two (or more) batters reached an initial through defensive interference.

For those who divide defensive interference right into catcher’s interference and also fielder’s interference, such as the judges of the civicpride-kusatsu.net 39 trivia contest, the 1,073 events of defensive interference in Table 3 contained 1,059 cases of catcher’s interference and also 14 events of fielder’s interference (by the pitcher or the first baseman). The only video game in which both catcher’s interference and also fielder’s interference arisen was the august 1, 2008, game in between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers. If catcher’s interference and also fielder’s interference space counted as different Ways, climate batters reached an initial base by 7 (out of 8) different Ways in this video game (hit, walk, fielder’s choice, error, hit by pitch, catcher’s interference, fielder’s interference); there was no batter reaching first by method of a dropped 3rd strike. In no other video game would the variety of Ways change if catcher’s interference and also fielder’s interference were considered separate Ways.

One can likewise see from Table 4 that batters reach very first base in 4 or fewer methods in about 78 percent that games. Again assuming the probability the one means occurring in a video game is elevation of the probability that a different method occurring in the same game (which ns have already shown to it is in a questionable assumption), I have the right to use Table 3 to calculation the probability that all 7 Ways developing in the very same game; that predicted probability is 5.5×10-5, or about once every 18,000 games. So it need to happen around six or 7 times in the 124,146 gamings that were examined.

In fact, the is fantastic prediction.

**THE SEVEN way GAMES**

There have actually been six major league gamings (from 1945 to 2012) wherein batters reached first base through all 7 Ways.

**May 13, 1976: Texas ranger at California Angels**This video game was winner 7–5 by the residence team Angels. 16 various batters reached very first on a complete of 16 hits, 5 walks, 2 fielder’s choice, 3 errors, 2 hit by pitch, 1 dropped 3rd strike, and 1 defensive interference. Ranger batters reached first base six various Ways (no fielder’s choice) and Angels batters reached very first base five different Ways (no dropped 3rd strike, no defensive interference).

**July 9, 1979: Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves**This game was winner 7–4 by the visiting Cubs. 22 various batters reached an initial on a complete of 23 hits, 8 walks, 5 fielder’s choice, 1 error, 2 hit by pitch, 1 dropped 3rd strike, and also 1 protective interference. Cubs batters reached very first base five different Ways (no error, no defensive interference) and also Braves batters reached very first base six different Ways (no dropped third strike).

**May 1, 1988: Montreal Expos in ~ Houston Astros**This game was winner 7–3 by the visiting Expos in 14 innings. 19 various batters reached first on a full of 25 hits, 10 walks, 1 fielder’s choice, 4 errors, 1 struggle by pitch, 1 dropped 3rd strike, and 1 protective interference. Expos batters reached very first base five different Ways (no fielder’s choice, no fight by pitch) and Astros batters reached very first base five various Ways (no dropped 3rd strike, no defensive interference). After nine innings of this game, batters had reached very first base in six various Ways; the seventh Way, dropped third strike, walk not take place until the top of the 10th inning.

**July 23, 1996: san Diego Padres at Houston Astros**This video game was won 7–4 by the visiting Padres. 17 various batters reached an initial on a total of 18 hits, 8 walks, 1 fielder’s choice, 1 error, 2 struggle by pitch, 2 dropped 3rd strike, and also 1 defensive interference. Padres batters reached very first base six various Ways (no error) and Astros batters reached an initial base four different Ways (no fielder’s choice, no hit by pitch, no defensive interference).

**May 23, 1999: Anaheim Angels in ~ Tampa Bay adversary Rays**This video game was won 4–0 by the visiting Angels in 10 innings. 16 different batters reached an initial on a total of 7 hits, 5 walks, 1 fielder’s choice, 2 errors, 1 struggle by pitch, 1 dropped third strike, and 1 defensive interference. Angels batters got to base six different Ways (no dropped third strike), and also Devil beam batters reached base four various Ways (no fielder’s choice, no fight by pitch, no protective interference). After ripe innings the this game, batters had reached very first base in five various Ways; the sixth and seventh Ways, fielder’s selection and defensive interference, go not occur until the top of the 10th inning.

**June 28, 2000: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox**This game was winner 8–7 by the visiting Orioles in 11 innings. 20 different batters reached very first on a complete of 27 hits, 11 walks, 4 fielder’s choice, 2 errors, 1 hit by pitch, 1 dropped third strike, and 1 protective interference. Orioles batters reached base all 7 Ways, and also Red Sox batters got to base four different Ways (no hit by pitch, no dropped 3rd strike, no defensive interference). After nine innings that this game, batters had reached very first base in six various Ways; the saturday Way, protective interference, walk not take place until the peak of the 11th inning.

There have actually been six gamings (since 1945) where both teams together reached an initial base in all 7 ways, but this has been completed in 9 innings just three times. Just one time has a single team reached first base in all seven ways in the same video game (the Baltimore Orioles top top June 28, 2000), however it take it them 11 innings to carry out it. These outcomes are summarized in Table 5.

There has not to be a nine inning major league game (since 1945) in i beg your pardon batters native one team reached first base making use of all 7 Ways.

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I’ll store watching.

**PAUL HERTZ** has actually been a civicpride-kusatsu.net member since 2000. He holds a Ph.D in astronomy and also is currently the manager of the Astrophysics division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He has been a fan of the regional team where he has lived, which has actually been (in order): the Atlanta Braves, the Boston Red Sox, the Baltimore Orioles, and he is at this time a season ticket holder that the Washington Nationals. This is his an initial contribution to the “Baseball study Journal.”

**Acknowledgments**