Getting Outs

   Getting Outs

Maybe the most fundamental action in baseball is getting outs (that and getting hits). While most put-outs are pretty obvious, the issue does beg the question: How many ways are there to get a put-out?

While preparing this article I did a bit of web browsing and found several sites that answer the question. Oddly, though, few of them agreed. Answers ranged from 18 on the low side to 136. The first is clearly wrong, and the second is just plain silly. So let's work through the rule book and see what we come up with.

I came up with 33 ways to get an out. That said, in some cases interpretations come into play, so I could be off by a few, depending on how you parse the rule. Let This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. know if you come up with something different (and be sure to include rules reference).

Batter's out

  1. Batted ball caught on the fly. Fly out [ 5.09(a)(1) ]
  2. Strike out; third strike legally caught [ 5.09(a)(2) ]
  3. Batter swings at strike three and is touched by the ball [ 5.09(a)(6) ]
  4. Batter-runner thrown out at first base (ground out) [ 5.09(a)(10) ]
  5. Runner is tagged out beyond first base [ 5.09(b)(4) ]
  6. Runner commits running-lane violation on the way to first base [ 5.09(a)(11) ]
  7. There is an illegally batted ball [ 6.03(a)(1) ]
  8. Bat hits batted ball a second time in fair territory [ 5.09(a)(8) ]
  9. Batter bunts foul with two strikes [ 5.09(a)(4) ]
  10. Batter steps into the batter's box with an illegal bat [ 6.03(a)(4) ]
  11. An infield fly is declared [ 5.09(a)(5) ]
  12. A fielder intentionally drops a fly ball [ 5.09(a)(12) ]
  13. A fielder (likely the catcher) commits batter's interference [ 6.03(a)(3) ]
  14. A spectator commits spectator interference [ 6.01(e) ]
  15. A team member on offense commits offensive interference [ 5.09(a)(15), 6.01(b) ]
  16. Batter intentionally deflects batted ball in foul territory [ 5.09(a)(9) ]
  17. Batter is touched by his own batted ball outside the batter's box [ 5.09(a)(7) ]
  18. Batter steps from one batter's box to the other as pitcher is ready to deliver pitch [ 6.03(a)(2) ]
  19. A preceding base runner interferes with an opportunity for a double play [ 5.09(a)(13) ]
  20. Batter-runner fails to return immediately to first base after overrunning and is tagged [ 5.09(b)(11), 5.09(c)(3) ]

Runner's out

  1. Base runner forced out on infield hit (e.g., fielder's choice) [ 5.09(b)(6) ]
  2. Runner is tagged out while not on base [ 5.09(b)(4) ]
  3. Runner is out of the base path to avoid a tag [ 5.09(b)(1) ]
  4. A runner passes a preceding runner [ 5.09(b)(9) ]
  5. Runner commits offensive interference [ 6.01(a) ]
  6. Base coach commits coach's interference [ 6.01(a)(8) ]
  7. A runner runs the bases in reverse to make a travesty of the game [ 5.09(b)(10) ]
  8. Runner fails to touch home and makes no attempt to touch [ 5.09(b-12), 5.09(c)(4) ]
  9. Runner abandons a base [ 5.09(b)(2) ]
  10. Runner misses a base while advancing or retreating (appeal) [ 5.09(c)(2) ]
  11. Runner fails to tag up on caught fly ball (appeal) [ 5.09(b)(5), 5.09(c)(1) ]

Administrative outs

  1. There is a batting-out-of-order infraction (appeal) [ 6.03(b) ]
  2. There is an illegal substitution [ 5.10(a, d) ]