The Ole Ball Game

Why is this not a hit

by Debbie Worthen
(Thousand Oaks, CA)

Debbie asked: A Dodger was walked (I think it was the 8th inning).

So he is on first base.

The next batter, hit the ball.

The shortstop threw the ball to 2nd base to get the runner, but did not throw to first base because he bobbled it.

So the hitter made it to first base.

Why was that not called a “hit”? Was it a sacrifice???

Rick answered: Debbie, thank you for your question.

Neither a hit, or a sacrifice. What you have in that situation is a fielder's choice, to account for how the batter-runner reached first base safely.

A fielder's choice is the act of a fielder who handles a fair grounder and, instead of throwing to first base to put out the batter-runner, throws to another base in an attempt to put out a preceding runner.

A sacrifice is given when the batter is put out in a situation where he advanced a base runner on the play, either with a fly ball where the runner from third base scored after the catch, or by advancing the runner with a bunt, which resulted in the batter-runner being put out at first.

Yours in baseball,


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