Glove and Bat

Untangling the Mystery of Baseball’s BB and Intentional Walks

Understanding the Term “BB” in Baseball

Baseball is a game that has been played for over a century. It is a sport that is filled with an almost endless number of statistics and terminology specific to the game.

One of the most commonly used terms in baseball is “BB.”

When a batter faces a pitcher, there are three possible outcomes: a base hit, a strikeout, or a walk. A base hit is achieved when a hitter hits the ball into the field of play and safely reaches one of the bases before the ball is fielded.

A strikeout is recorded when a pitcher throws three strikes to a hitter, and the hitter fails to make contact with the ball. A walk is defined as being awarded a base after four pitches have been thrown by the pitcher that have failed to be a strike, and the batter doesn’t swing.

BB is an abbreviation for Base on Balls, which is a term used to describe a walk in baseball. This term is rather interesting because a walk typically doesn’t involve the ball touching the bat, but rather the pitcher throwing four balls in a row outside of the strike zone.

So, how did a pitcher throwing four balls in a row outside the strike zone come to be called a walk in baseball? The term walk is believed to be a slang term that has been in use in baseball since the early days of the game.

On an official stats sheet, a walk is typically recorded as a “BB.”

Walks are an essential part of baseball, and they can have a significant impact on the outcome of a game. When a batter walks, he becomes a baserunner and has the potential to score a run.

For the pitching team, walks can be detrimental as it gives the opposing team an opportunity to score.

Intentional Walks in Baseball

In baseball, an intentional walk is a decision made by a team’s manager to have the pitcher intentionally throw four balls outside of the strike zone, resulting in the batter being awarded first base. Intentional walks are often a strategic move when the opposing hitter is on a hot streak or during a critical situation in the game.

There are several reasons why a manager may decide to issue an intentional walk. One reason is to avoid facing a batter that has been hitting particularly well.

By intentionally walking him, the manager hopes to take away the hitter’s chance to do any damage to their team’s chances of winning. Intentional walks are also issued with the aim of setting up a double play.

For example, if there are runners on first and second base and less than two outs, the manager may elect to walk the batter intentionally to load the bases. This decision can force the following batter to hit into a double play or a force out, which can help end the inning and prevent the opposing team from scoring.

Unlike the traditional walk, there is no limit to the number of intentional walks that can be issued in a game. It is up to the manager to decide how many times he wants to use them in a game to try and gain an advantage over the opposing team.


Baseball is a complex sport filled with unique terminology and strategic moves. Understanding the term “BB” and intentional walks can help baseball fans better understand the game and appreciate the decisions made by the managers and players during the game.

Walks, both intentional and non-intentional, can play a crucial role in determining the outcome of a game, and appreciating their significance is essential to being a knowledgeable fan of the sport. Baseball is a sport that can be confusing for casual fans.

There are terms that are unique to baseball, and some of these terms can be difficult to understand for those who are not familiar with the sport. Walks are one of these terms, and they can be particularly confusing for new fans.

This article will aim to answer some of the frequently asked questions about walks in baseball.

Hitter Refusing a Walk

It is possible for a batter to refuse a walk, even an intentional walk. However, it is a rare occurrence in baseball.

There are several reasons why a batter may refuse a walk. One reason could be that the batter may feel that they have a better chance of hitting the ball if they swing, rather than taking their chances on the four pitches.

Another reason may be a matter of personal pride. A batter may feel that it is disrespectful to be intentionally walked, and may refuse a walk to show that they can hit the ball regardless.

Effect on Batter’s Statistics

Walks are recorded on a batter’s stat sheet, but they do not count as an official at-bat. This means that while a walk is recorded as a plate appearance, it will not affect the batter’s batting average.

A batter’s batting average is determined by dividing the number of hits they have by the number of at-bats they have recorded.

Rules on Intentional Walks per Game

There is no limit to the number of intentional walks that can be issued in a game. A team can issue as many intentional walks as they want, provided they are willing to take the risk of giving up an extra baserunner.

This means the game can be strategized in any way, and the number of intentional walks can vary depending on the circumstances of the game.

Walks and Batting Average

As already stated, walks do not affect a batter’s batting average. Statistically, a walk is neither recorded as an out nor a hit.

It merely records the fact that the batter was awarded first base based on the pitcher’s four balls.

Balls Before a Walk

To be awarded a walk, the batter must be thrown four balls that are not in the strike zone. A pitch that is thrown in the strike zone, even if it misses the catcher’s glove, is a strike.

However, if the batter swings and misses a pitch, it will be recorded as a strike, even if it is outside the strike zone.

Walking a Batter Without Pitching

It is possible for a manager to walk a batter without the pitcher throwing any pitches. In this scenario, the manager can make the decision to have the pitcher intentionally walk the batter without making any pitches.

This decision is made when the manager wants to avoid a specific batter or set up a strategic play.

Runner Stealing a Base on a Walk

When a batter is awarded a walk, the ball is considered to be dead until the pitcher makes the next pitch. This means that runners on base cannot advance on a walk until after the pitcher has thrown the next pitch.

However, if a runner tries to steal a base during a walk, they can advance as the ball is considered to be dead after the walk. This opportunity can only be taken advantage of if the pitcher makes a late pitch or if the catcher is unable to properly field the ball.

In summary, walks in baseball are an essential aspect of the game. They are recorded on a batter’s stat sheet and can impact a team’s chances of scoring.

There is no limit to the number of intentional walks that can be issued in a game, and a batter can refuse a walk if they so choose. A walk does not affect a batter’s batting average, and a batter can only be awarded a walk after four balls have been pitched outside the strike zone.

It is also possible for a manager to walk a batter without the pitcher throwing any pitches. Finally, a runner can steal a base during a walk, taking the opportunity provided by the dead ball.

In conclusion, this article covered the frequently asked questions regarding walks in baseball. It highlighted that a batter can refuse a walk, and while the batter’s walk is recorded, it does not count as an official at-bat, and therefore does not affect the batting average.

There is no limit to the number of intentional walks per game, and a team can walk a batter even without the pitcher making any pitch, while a runner can only steal during a walk. By understanding these key points, baseball fans can gain a better appreciation of the game.

FAQs on Baseball Walks:

1. Can a batter refuse a walk?

Yes, a batter can refuse a walk. 2.

Do walks affect a batter’s statistics? Walks are recorded as a plate appearance but not counted as official at-bats.

3. What are the rules regarding intentional walks per game?

There is no limit to the number of intentional walks that can be issued per game. 4.

Why do teams issue intentional walks? Teams issue intentional walks to avoid a potent hitter or set up strategic plays like a double play.

5. Can a runner steal a base on a walk?

Yes, a runner can steal a base during a walk.

Popular Posts