Q:

Are there really seven ways to reach first base without a hit in baseball?

A:

Quick Answer

There are either eight or nine ways to reach first base without a hit in Major League Baseball. The number depends on whether or not a distinction is made between an intentional walk and an unintentional walk.

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Are there really seven ways to reach first base without a hit in baseball?
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Full Answer

The seven other means for a batter to reach first base without a hit are being hit by a pitch, making it to first on a dropped third strike before the catcher can throw the batter out, the catcher's equipment interfering with the batter's swing, the pitcher throwing four illegal pitches in an at-bat (though this can also be counted as an unintentional walk), a fielder's choice, an error, or a dropped sacrifice fly (in which case the batter takes first but is not awarded a hit).

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