For baseball fans: Quick -- name the seven ways to get on base without being credited with a base hit.

Allow me to add some personal blather to push the answer further down the page, so you won't see it accidentally (if you're trying to guess, that is):

Like the Seven Dwarfs, there’s always one you forget. But the first time I got this question posed to me, there was one that I absolutely couldn't think of. It's not that I forgot it per se, it's just that nowhere in my train of thinking did this possibility even come up. Worse, other people guess that one first sometimes, which makes me feel like a real dumbass.

Ready? Here we go:

  1. Receiving a base on balls
  2. Being hit by a pitch
  3. Reaching on a fielder's error
  4. Reaching on a fielder's choice
  5. At any time a catcher interferes with the batter, or a fielder interferes with or otherwise prevents a runner from running within the basepath (see below)
  6. The catcher drops strike three due to a wild pitch or passed ball that is nonetheless strike three and does not throw the runner out on first (a quirky rule akin to stealing first base)
    ... And the one that stumped me:
  7. Entering the game as a pinch runner

God, was I pissed off when they told me that last one. Says volumes about my capacity for lateral thinking.

On interference: If a runner is in the basepath and is blocked or hindered from running in any way, it counts as interference and the runner is automatically safe. This famously happened in 1992, when Doug Dascenzo of the Chicago Cubs hit a slow roller back to the mound, and the Cincinnati Reds' Rob Dibble hit Dascenzo in the back with the throw to first. Dascenzo was safe on the play because he was in the basepath when he was hit. (He'd have been called out if he had obstructed the throw while out of the basepath.)

I should mention, before more people downvote me :) ... this is a classic brain teaser, not something I made up on the spot. You'll hear baseball announcers run through it during slow games, every now and then.

Correction to 7 ways to reach base without a hit:

The author is correct that this is a classic brain-teaser, but traditionally the 7th answer is "Obstruction" (not "Pinch Runner").

Here's why:

1. (Why obstruction should be included) Obstruction is different from catcher interference (which you listed as #5). Catcher interference is when the ball is out of play and the catcher illegally interfere's with the batter's swing, whereas obstruction occurs AFTER the ball is in play and an umpire or fielder illegally blocks the base path of the runner. Obstruction is another way to reach first base without a hit.

2. (Why "Pinch Runner" should be excluded) Remember that we're talking about how to reach first base WITHOUT a hit. But to come in as a pinch runner, you're replacing somebody who already got a hit (or reached first base on one of the other seven methods we already mentioned).

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