For true baseball fans, the rules of the game will be forever etched into their brain. Even the more advanced rules are generally considered common knowledge for every baseball fanatic.
However, when it comes to the game, there’s also a ton of unwritten rules that everyone seems to know about – but will never admit exist. Fight club rules, and all that.
From those that have been passed down through countless baseball generations, to those that’ll have steam coming out of your ears if they aren’t followed, here are 10 unwritten rules every true baseball fan knows by heart.
1. Only hit the ball where it’s pitched
This might seem like common sense, but we can count on our hands the number of hitters who still don’t seem to get this. If it’s low, try to hit it through the gaps. If it’s high, go for the bloop single. Never try to overextend yourself because it’ll never work.
2. Win on the road, tie at home
This one’s especially good if you want to place some mlb bets before watching a game. With home fans behind you, there’s more momentum to take risks on home turf. However, if you risk a sacrifice hit away, there’s a small chance that fans will cancel out any momentum.
3. If a no-hitter’s in progress – don’t talk about it
We don’t need to explain the rules of Fight Club to you. The same goes for a no-hitter. You really don’t want to be the one who jinxes it.
4. The pitcher’s mound is a no-go
Every player has a special spot on the field. And the pitcher’s place is the mound. If people are walking on it between innings, it’ll throw everything off – and the pitcher’s got enough on their plate as it is.
5. Take a strike when behind
If you’re down by a few runs, the worst thing you could do is swing at the first pitch; they’re clearly in control of the game. Take a strike instead.
6. Never show up your fielders
If the team is struggling on the field, never let them know. In the same way that fielders never glare daggers at pitchers when they give up a home run, don’t show up your fielders in front of everyone. Please.
7. Avoid helping the opposition make a play
Bit of a no-brainer, really. If someone’s trying to run into your dugout and grab a foul ball, don’t let him hop the fence. You need to keep him from getting the ball.
8. The umpire’s code is everything
Even the world’s best baseball teams follow the umpire’s code. Of course, you can disagree and complain to umpires, but just like us, they’ve got their own set of unwritten rules they need to follow. There’s a big difference between a bad call and a bad umpire – and we’ve seen it in action.
9. Let the center fielder get the ball
One of the toughest things to witness in baseball is when two outfielders run into each other while trying to get a ball. In this instance, the center fielder gets priority. Why? They tend to be faster and have more room to cover. Simple, really.
10. If you’re playing for one run – that’s it
Last but not least, if you play for one run, that’s all you get. An example? If you’re playing against tough defensive players or a tough pitcher, you might be tempted to go for a run. But if you think like that, the game’s already over… this mentality shows that you’re clearly not ready to go on a hitting spree.
These 10 baseball rules are truly unique. And the conversations from these unwritten rules help shape baseball in its current moment. They alter its conventions, its standards of practice and its place in the world of sport and competition. In other words, you certainly won’t find any of them in the rule book.
Well, unless you write your own…