There are seven ways to get to first base in baseball: hit, base on balls, hit pitch, error, fielder’s pick, third strike dropped, and catcher’s interference.
There are seven ways a batter can get to base safely in baseball:
1. Hit — A hit is the most common way to get on base. The batter hits the ball and gets to first base without being ejected. A hit can be anything from a single bunt; to a single infield; to a single, double, triple or home run.
2. Base on balls — The pitcher throws four balls before delivering a third strike and before the ball is put into play in fair territory. The batter is awarded first base.
3. Hit pitch — The batter is hit with a pitched ball and awarded first base.
4. Error — The batter hits a ball that should be fielded cleanly for an out, but a defensive error allows him to reach first base safely. An error may be committed by the person fielding the ball – either in the act of fielding or throwing to first base – or by the first baseman, if he misses a catchable throw.
5. Fielder’s Pick — A fielder’s pick occurs when a batter reaches first base only because the fielder attempted to put out another runner. This is most common when a ground ball is hit with a runner on first base. The defense throws to second base for a force out on the runner from first, but the batter gets to first before the double play can be completed. This does not count as a hit to the batter, even if the runner to second base makes it safely.
6. Third Strike Dropped — If, with first base open or with two out, the batter swings on strike three but the catcher does not catch the ball cleanly, the batter may attempt a run to first base. The catcher must catch or recover the ball and tag the batter or throw him out to first base to complete the strikeout. This counts as one out for the batter and strikeout, and a wild pitch or passed ball for the pitcher and defense.
7. Catcher’s interference — If the catcher makes contact in any way with the batter or his bat during the swing, catcher’s interference is called and the batter is awarded first base, and the catcher is credited with an error. The most common type of catcher’s interference occurs when the catcher sits too close to home plate and the batter hits his glove when he swings up the field.