This article was written by Paul Hertz

This article was published in the feather 2014 Baseball research study Journal

A common trivia question amongst baseball pan is: How numerous ways room there for a batter to reach very first base? The prize is seven: hit, walk, error, fielders’ choice, hit by pitch, dropped 3rd strike, and defensive interference. A natural question is: has actually this ever happened in a major league game?

A common trivia question among baseball pan is, “How many ways are there because that a batter come reach an initial base?” according to inquiry 5 in the individual primary round that the trivia challenge at the 2009 historicsweetsballroom.com 39 national Convention in Washington DC, there room eight different ways. The Wiki Answers net site list 23. There is even a publication called *23 ways to obtain to very first Base: The ESPN Uncyclopedia*. In mine family, the prize is seven, and also my kids are compelled to know them all: hit, walk, error, fielders’ choice, struggle by pitch, dropped third strike, and defensive interference.

You are watching: 7 ways to get on base*23 ways to get to an initial Base: The ESPN Uncyclopedia* (ESPN Publishing, 2007).

For simplicity of recommendation in this paper, every of the seven methods that a batter can reach very first base will certainly be referred to as a way (capitalization intentional.)

On June 16, 2007, i attended a boy league game at Prince George’s Stadium in between the hometown Bowie bay Sox and also the visiting new Britain Rock cat (Class AA eastern League) and also kept a scorecard throughout the game. During the 6th inning, a batter reached very first base early to protective interference through the catcher, also known together catcher’s interference. I did not know exactly how to score catcher’s interference; this to be the very first time I had seen it happen throughout a game. In the seventh inning, a batter got to on a dropped third strike. Because there had currently been a hit by key in the 2nd inning, a fielders’ choice in the 2nd inning and also one in the sixth, two walks (fourth and seventh innings), and 14 hits during the game, that was six of the seven Ways developing in the very same game. When a batter reached very first base as result of an error through the first baseman in the optimal of the nine inning, the set was complete: batters had actually reached an initial base by all seven means in the same game.

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

**METHODOLOGY**

I made use of Retrosheet, who database at the time had every event in (almost) every significant league video game from 1945 with the 2012 season.

I queried the database making use of the Perl scripting language.

The Perl manuscript that i wrote read each heat of the database. If the line shown an event, climate it was parsed to recognize whether the batter reached very first base, and if so, whereby Way. A finish list of Retrosheet event codes was constructed to ensure that each key appearance was assigned to the correct outcome (batter reaches an initial base, batter does not reach very first base) according to the occasion code. Table 2 offers the Retrosheet occasion codes that indicated each of the seven methods for a batter come reach an initial base. Table 2 also includes a list of every one of the Retrosheet occasion codes that correspond to the batter not reaching first base.

**STATISTICS**

I counting the number of times each means occurred in every of the 124,146 games examined, and I counting the number of games in which each way occurred. The many common method is a hit. Over there is at the very least one hit in 100 percent of every games. (There has actually never to be a game where no team gained a hit, though it is about theory possible.

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

Assuming the probability the one way occurring in a video game is live independence of the probability of a different way occurring in the same game, I can use Table 3 to estimate the probability of various combinations occurring. From Table 3, the guess probability of no method occurring in a game other 보다 a hit is ~0.01 percent.

Defensive interference is the the very least common means for a batter to reach first base, occurring in fewer 보다 one the end of every one hundreds games. At that rate, 2 or an ext batters have to reach first base through protective interference in the very same game around once every ten thousand games. This prediction is in pretty good agreement with the observed occurrence of 15 gamings out of 124,146 games where 2 (or more) batters reached very first through protective interference.

For those that divide protective interference right into catcher’s interference and also fielder’s interference, such together the judges that the historicsweetsballroom.com 39 trivia contest, the 1,073 cases of defensive interference in Table 3 had 1,059 cases of catcher’s interference and also 14 events of fielder’s interference (by the pitcher or the an initial baseman). The only video game in i beg your pardon both catcher’s interference and also fielder’s interference developed 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 separate Ways, then batters reached first base through 7 (out that 8) different Ways in this video game (hit, walk, fielder’s choice, error, struggle by pitch, catcher’s interference, fielder’s interference); there was no batter reaching very first by method of a dropped 3rd strike. In no other video game would the number of Ways readjust if catcher’s interference and also fielder’s interference were thought about separate Ways.

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

In fact, that is terrific prediction.

**THE SEVEN way GAMES**

There have actually been six significant league games (from 1945 come 2012) whereby batters reached an initial base by all 7 Ways.

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

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

**May 1, 1988: Montreal Expos in ~ Houston Astros**This game was winner 7–3 through 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 third strike, and 1 protective interference. Expos batters reached first base five different Ways (no fielder’s choice, no struggle by pitch) and Astros batters reached first base five different Ways (no dropped third strike, no defensive interference). After ripe innings that this game, batters had actually reached first base in six various Ways; the seventh Way, dropped third strike, did not occur until the height of the 10th inning.

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

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

**June 28, 2000: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox**This game was won 8–7 by the visiting Orioles in 11 innings. 20 various batters reached first on a complete of 27 hits, 11 walks, 4 fielder’s choice, 2 errors, 1 fight by pitch, 1 dropped third strike, and also 1 defensive interference. Orioles batters reached base all 7 Ways, and Red Sox batters got to base four different Ways (no fight by pitch, no dropped 3rd strike, no defensive interference). After ripe innings the this game, batters had actually reached an initial base in six various Ways; the seventh Way, defensive interference, go not occur until the optimal of the 11th inning.

There have actually been six gamings (since 1945) where both teams together reached first base in all seven ways, yet this has actually been accomplished in 9 innings just three times. Only one time has a single team reached first base in all seven methods in the same video game (the Baltimore Orioles ~ above June 28, 2000), however it take it them 11 innings to carry out it. These results are summary in Table 5.

There has actually not been a ripe inning major league video game (since 1945) in i m sorry batters from one team reached an initial base using all seven Ways.

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I’ll keep watching.

**PAUL HERTZ** has actually been a historicsweetsballroom.com member because 2000. He holds a Ph.D in astronomy and is right now the director of the Astrophysics department at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He has actually been a pan of the neighborhood team where he has actually lived, which has been (in order): the Atlanta Braves, the Boston Red Sox, the Baltimore Orioles, and he is currently a season ticket holder that the Washington Nationals. This is his very first contribution come the “Baseball study Journal.”

**Acknowledgments**