A walk (or base on balls) happens when a pitcher throws four pitches that are not in the strike zone and are not batted at by the batter. The hitter is granted first base after abstaining from swinging at four pitches outside of the strike zone. A stroll is marked in the scorebook by the letters BB.
There have been several instances where a pitcher has walked so many batters that he has been forced to leave the game. One such example was Charlie Robertson of the 1869 Washington Nationals. In an 11-inning game, Robertson walked 14 batters before leaving the field due to injury. The record for most walks in one game is 22, set by Bert Sugar in 1951 for the New York Yankees.
In addition to being removed from the game, managers often argue with umpires during games in an attempt to have certain players taken out of the lineup. In fact, there is even a name for this type of argument: pinch-hitting. Managers will often tell the umpire they want a player "pinch-hit" for another player who is sitting in the batting order. When a manager says this, he is asking that you substitute someone else for the player who is currently up.
Walks or Bases on Balls A ball is any pitch that is outside the strike zone and is not struck by the batter. If the hitter hits four balls in a row, he receives a free pass to first base. This means that anyone out can come up anytime during the game and get on base with no one out.
This happens when a pitcher walks a man, allows him to reach first base on an error, then throws him out while still having three balls left. It is important to note that this only applies if the batter does not hit a fair ball (i.e., a ball that is not caught on the fly). If he does hit a fair ball, the pitcher cannot be accused of giving away free passes.
The reason why this is important is because it gives the opponent men on base who can later score. For example, let's say you are up against a pitcher who always leaves runners on base. You could try walking people but if they ever get four balls, it would be easier to just give up and go to the next batter instead.
This has happened several times in MLB history. In 1884, John Clarkson of the Chicago White Stockings was given a free pass after he walked the first four batters he faced in a game against the Cincinnati Red Stockings.
If a hitter is hit by four balls, she is allowed to walk to first base. When a hitter hits a ball in fair territory and goes to first base, walks after four balls, or gets hit by a pitch, he or she becomes a runner. When she hits the ball, a runner may overrun first base as long as she turns out of bounds after passing the base. If a runner steps on a line marking the boundary between the basepaths when there if no player present, she will be called for trespassing. A batter who reaches first base on an error while there are men on base is awarded with two bases.
A batter can only be awarded one base on an error. If a batter is erroneously awarded two bases, this is called "hitting for the cycle".
Cycles were popular among players during the early days of baseball, but they are now extremely rare. The last known cycle occurred in 1884. The batter was Cy Seymour of the Philadelphia Quakers/Phillies team that year. He had four hits including a triple, double, and home run while being awarded eight bases on errors. This record has since been broken multiple times.
It is possible, though very unlikely, for a batter to hit for the cycle today. With so many games being played throughout the season, it is difficult for a player to have four hits including a triple, double, and homer while being awarded eight bases on errors every time he comes to the plate. However, something similar did happen back in 1888.