Can You Knock This Baseball Knowledge Quiz Out of the Park?

SPORTS

Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: Sam Edwards / OJO Images / Getty Images

About This Quiz

If you're a sports fan in America, you probably grew up playing or at least watching baseball. There's a reason that it's America's pastime, after all. The sport attracts thousands of fans to ballparks all around the country from the little leagues where kids play tee-ball to the majors where the best players in the world compete.

With such high interest in the game, it's probably not a bad idea to dive into the various aspects of the sport that are both interesting and necessary when it comes to understanding how it works. From the rules to field positions to areas of the field, there is so much baseball knowledge to be absorbed that many casual fans have a difficult time remembering it all. 

Which type of baseball fan are you? Do you have a deep understanding of the ins and outs of the game, an understanding that you carry with you as you coach your kid's baseball teams throughout their childhood? Maybe your knowledge is much more limited than that, and you're OK with just enjoying an afternoon at the ballpark. Either way, this quiz will allow you to find out which side of the spectrum you stand on. 

When you're ready, step up to the plate and see if you can run up the score.

Who is responsible for calling a game to make sure the rules are enforced?

For the first time in professional baseball, a robotic umpire called a game during a 2019 minor league All-Star bout. The decision to use the robotic umpire is part of baseball's desire to have a faster game to increase fan support.

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Can you remember what a pitcher who comes in to replace the starter in a game is called?

Mariano Rivera became a legend for the New York Yankees as a relief pitcher on a skilled roster that won five World Series. Nicknamed "Sandman," Rivera even won the World Series MVP in 1999 after obtaining a win and two saves.

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A batter is called out after how many strikes?

Reggie Jackson is a Hall of Fame player, but he also holds the MLB record for the most strikeouts by a batter. Finishing his career with a .262 batting average and 563 home runs, he was known as a player who truly swung for the fences.

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A typical MLB game has how many innings?

In 1919, the New York Yankees played the Philadelphia Phillies in the shortest nine-inning game ever played. The Yankees managed to walk away with the victory in a game that only lasted 51 minutes.

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Are you familiar with the number of outs a defense needs to get off the field?

A baseball pitcher completes an immaculate inning when they get three straight outs with every pitch resulting in a strike. The last player to achieve an immaculate inning was Stephen Strasburg on July 3, 2019, against the Miami Marlins.

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Are you familiar with how many points a run is worth?

The Hall of Fame slugger Hank Aaron holds the MLB record for the most runs batted in during a career. The 25-time All-Star finished his career with 2,297 runs batted in and also set the career home run record which has since been broken.

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When a pitcher throws the baseball outside of the strike zone, it's called what?

No player in the history of the game has given up more bases on balls than Nolan Ryan, who played from 1966 until 1993. Throughout that lengthy career, Ryan allowed 2,795 batters to reach base.

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Who comes into the game on offense to bat but doesn't play defense?

After joining the Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz eventually settled into the role of a designated hitter, becoming one of the greatest in the game. In this role, Ortiz set the Red Sox single-season home run record when he slammed 54 homers in the 2006 season.

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How many defensive players take the field for a team?

Each year, the best defensive players in both leagues at each of the nine positions on the field receiver a Gold Glove Award. Greg Maddux has the most Gold Glove Awards overall with 18. He won 13 of those awards consecutively.

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Do you know what it's called if the baseball is hit over the back fence?

The home run era started with Babe Ruth when he was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees. Ruth first eclipsed 50 home runs in the 1920 season and would go on doing it three more times in his career.

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If a fielder misses a ground ball that allows a runner to advance, the fielder has committed what?

A single error on a play is enough to get bad looks from fans and analysts, but when a team commits multiple errors on a play, it can look like a complete disaster. That's exactly what happened to the Los Angeles Dodgers when they committed three errors on one game in 2014 against the San Diego Padres.

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If you want to score a run in baseball, what point on the field do you have to reach?

The 1931 New York Yankees hold the MLB record for the most runs ever scored in a single season with 1,067 runs. That team included Hall of Fame players like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Earl Combs.

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Which position kneels behind a batter to receive a pitch?

Yogi Berra was a Hall of Fame catcher for the New York Yankees who helped the team win 10 World Series titles. Other accomplishments from the Yankees great include three AL MVPs and 18 All-Star appearances.

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Where does a pitcher who is about to come into the game go to warm up their arm?

The 1990 Cincinnati Reds had one of the best trios of bullpen pitchers the game has ever seen. Made up of Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers, they were called the "Nasty Boys," and they were just that, racking up 44 saves with 351 strikeouts.

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A runner has accomplished what if they make it from one base to another without the batter hitting the ball?

Rickey Henderson was by far the greatest player ever when it came to stealing bases, finishing his career with a total of 1,406 stolen bases. The next closest player is Lou Brock with 938.

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Where does a batter go if they're hit with the baseball?

It's not uncommon for a pitcher, particularly in a rivalry, to hit an opposing player with the baseball on purpose, often in revenge for a past argument. Of course, this often results in a brawl where benches from both teams run onto the field.

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Geared up and ready to go, where does an offensive player stand to bat?

Pete Rose was a master in the batter's box, where he would change his stance depending on the pitcher and where he wanted to place the ball. Throughout his career, Rose had 4,246 hits with a .303 batting average.

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Which position on the field stands between second and third base?

Cal Ripken Jr., who spent his entire 21-year career with the Baltimore Orioles, split time between shortstop and third base. Ripken was known for his durability, starting 2,632 straight games before finally taking himself out of the lineup in 1998.

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Where must a runner be if they don't want to get tagged out?

In the modern game, baseball bases are made of rubber, which is measured 15 inches by 15 inches. These bases are anchored into the ground by a metal tube that is attached to concrete inside the ground.

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A grand slam results in how many points?

In 2016, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series since 1908, which was the longest drought in MLB history at the time. Part of the reason they won was thanks to a grand slam hit by Addison Russell in Game 6, which the Cubs needed to extend the series to a seventh game.

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Are you familiar with what the top league in professional baseball is called?

Major League Baseball is comprised of 30 teams split between the American League and the National League. Twenty-nine of those teams are located in the United States, and one, the Toronto Blue Jays, is located in Canada.

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Which term describes a ball that is barely tapped by a batter to make fielding it difficult?

Ichiro Suzuki, who retired in 2019, was one of the best bunters during his time in the majors. His bunting ability is one of the reasons he finished his career with a .353 batting average and 1,278 hits.

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Do you know what happens if a game is tied after the ninth inning?

During a 1981 game in the minor leagues, the Pawtucket Red Sox played the Rochester Red Wings in a contest that lasted 33 innings. The game spanned three different days and finally ended with a score of 3-2.

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What do you call a pitch that looks like a fastball but is actually much slower?

Tom Glavine was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history, mostly thanks to his ability to throw a change-up. This pitch was a major reason he won at least 20 games in five different seasons.

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What's it called when a batter hits a ball with a level trajectory?

A line drive can be one of the most dangerous hits in baseball because they come unexpectedly in any direction at an extremely high speed. Line drives into the stands have become a concern in recent years, as they have resulted in several injuries to fans.

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The outside of the first base and third base mark which part of the field?

Two large polls mark foul lines on the back fence to help determine if a ball is still in play. That doesn't mean that there still aren't controversial calls, which have become a center of debate as video replay gets more popular.

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Where do players wait while their teammates are batting on offense?

Dugouts can be both a place for celebration and a place where feuds run high, resulting in arguments between teammates. In 2015, the Washington Nationals watched two of their players, Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon, go at it in the dugout after they were eliminated from the playoff race.

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Who comes into a game to replace a runner on base?

Herb Washington, a track star, was one of the first players whose only purpose on a team was to pinch run for players who reached base. Washington only played baseball for two seasons with the Oakland Athletics, but he did win a World Series in 1974.

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In a batting lineup, who bats first?

Leadoff hitters are responsible for setting the tone of the game, not by necessarily knocking a homer, but by getting on base. One of the best at this was Rickey Henderson, who reached base 40 percent of the time.

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An at bat has reached which mark when there are three balls and two strikes?

The best pitchers and batters will use the pitch count to determine how they will handle the next pitch that occurs. Batters, for example, may give up an early strike to gauge how the pitcher is going to attack them.

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What is it called when a batter wins the game on their last at bat?

The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates were the first team to win a World Series with a walk-off home run when they defeated the New York Yankees in seven games. The Yankees were heavily favored in the series, but the Pirates won four close games to clinch the win.

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A batter should never do what with the bat?

Baseball, more so than other sports, has a tradition of sportsmanship that players are supposed to follow. Aside from not throwing the bat, players are also not expected to showboat after they hit a home run unless they want to face the fury of the opposing team.

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How many hits does it take to complete a hit for the cycle?

On June 14, 2019, Jake Bauers became the 327th player and the most current batter to complete a hit for the cycle. He accomplished the feat against the Detroit Tigers in only his first full season in the majors.

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A pitcher has achieved what accomplishment if no batter reaches base throughout an entire game?

The first player in the modern era of baseball to throw a perfect game was Cy Young in 1904 against the Philadelphia Athletics. The game helped cement Young's place as one of the best pitchers of all time, which is why the Cy Young Award is named after him.

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When every base has a runner on it, it's called what?

Occasionally, power hitters are walked on purpose to load the bases in the hopes that the next batter won't fair as well. This play sometimes pays off until a batter hits a home run to give their team four points.

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Do you know which base on the field a runner is allowed to run past without being called out?

Few players defended first base quite as well as Lou Gehrig, who played for the New York Yankees during their early dynasty years. Gehrig wasn't just a great defender, though, as he proved to be one of the most lethal batters in New York's "Murderers' Row."

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The best pitcher on a team is often referred to by what name?

Randy Johnson spent his Hall of Fame career as an ace pitcher on six different teams across the league. His five Cy Young Awards and 10 All-Star appearances are evidence of just how great he was on the mound.

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Can you name the pitch where a ball rotates outside the strike zone before reentering it near the batter?

Sandy Koufax, who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, possessed one of the most lethal curveballs in MLB history. He used the pitch to throw a perfect game and four no-hitters during his career.

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A pitcher and a catcher make up what?

Beginning in 1925, Lefty Grove and Mickey Cochrane formed one of the best batteries that the baseball world has ever seen. The two players had Hall of Fame careers where they won two World Series together with the Philadelphia Athletics.

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Who is responsible for overseeing a baseball team in their on-field endeavors?

Currently, Bruce Bochy is the longest-tenured manager who has been with the same team in MLB. Bochy has managed the San Francisco Giants since 2006, leading the team to three World Series titles.

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