Batter Up!

Feb 02, 2009

RAY: This is from my wide world of sports series, this one being baseball, and it was sent in by Doug Miller.

There are five ways a player can reach first base without hitting the ball. Name them.

For example, if you were a Yankees fan years ago you might have heard something like this from Phil Rizzuto: Joe Pepitone takes his lead off first base. What are the five ways that Pep or any other player could wind up on first base without hitting the ball?
RAY: Here's the answer. To get on first base you can get hit by the ball. You can walk. The catcher could drop the third strike so you could run to first base.

TOM: That makes three possible ways to get to first. I'm stumped.

RAY: The catcher can also interfere. For example if you swing and miss the ball but in doing so the catcher's glove is in the way and your bat hits his glove. That's catcher interference and you're awarded first base in that situation.

And the last way is the manager puts you in as a pinch runner.

TOM: Ohh.

RAY: I said player not batter. So Pepitone could reach first base if the manager put him in to pinch run.

TOM: See now that's the one that nobody would guess. Very well done!

RAY: So who's our winner?

TOM: The winner this week is Joe Hotter of a place called Delanson, New York, and for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Joe's going to get a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at with which he can get a copy of our latest book, Ask Click and Clack.

RAY: Congratulations, Joe!

Get the Car Talk Newsletter