Baseball Brainteasers

Baseball's rules can be quite quirky and difficult to figure out. So, with the help of Hal Lebovitz's awesome book "Ask Hal," we put together ten brainteasers based on baseball's confusing rules. Get all ten right and you might actually be able to say that you could call the game better than the ump.

1 of 10
With a man on first, the batter lines a grounder to second. The second-baseman fields the ball with his bare hand and, without transferring the ball to the glove, tags the bag, then tosses it wide to first. The first-baseman gets the ball with his bare hand, then tags the runner with his glove (still holding the ball in his bare hand). What’s the call?
Double play
The runner at second is out, the runner at first is safe
The runner at second is safe, the runner at first is out
Both runners are safe
2 of 10
There’s a man on first with one out. The batter hits a grounder to first, but the runner freezes and doesn’t move off of first base. What does the first baseman have to do to get a double play?
Touch the base, then tag the runner
Tag the runner, then touch the base
Tag both the runner and the batter
Just tag the base; the runner is automatically out
3 of 10
True or false: A pitcher can get called for a balk when the bases are empty?
True
False
4 of 10
A runner is on first with no outs. The batter hits a line drive that accidentally hits the runner, still standing on first, in the leg. The ball rolls to the first-baseman, who tags the bag. What’s the call?
The runner is safe, the batter is out
The runner is out, the batter is safe
Both the runner and batter are out
Both the runner and batter are safe
5 of 10
A pitcher throws nine shutout inning, but his team also fails to score and he gets pulled in the 10th for a reliever. The reliever allows a run in the 10th and the team loses. What does the first pitcher get credit for?
A complete game
A completel game shutout
A loss
Nothing
6 of 10
There are men on second and third with two outs and the batter hits the ball out of the park. The runner on third accidentally misses home plate, but all of the other runners touch all of the bases. How many runs should score?
Zero
1
2
3
7 of 10
True or false: It’s possible for a pitcher to give up a grand slam, but not be charged for any earned runs.
True
False
8 of 10
According to a comprehensive list in ESPN Magazine, how many ways are there for a player to reach first base?
8
12
18
23
9 of 10
Which of the following would not be a home run?
A ball that hits the foul pole and bounces into the stands
A ball that bounces off a players head and into the stands
A ball that bounces off a player’s glove above the yellow line and into the stands
A ball that bounces off a player’s glove in foul territory, then into the stands in fair territory
10 of 10
In the first game of the season, a pitcher gives up two runs in the first five innings. In the sixth, he puts two runners on, then strikes the next two batters out. He gets pulled for a reliever, who promptly gives up a double that scores one run. He gets the next batter out, ending the inning. What is the starter’s ERA?
3.0
4.5
4.76
6.0