In the sphere of baseball, a run holds crucial value. It is the ultimate goal of every batter stepping up to the plate, and every runner darting around the bases. But what exactly is a run, and how does it contribute to the overall scoring in the game of baseball? This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of a ‘run’ in baseball, explaining its significance and how it affects the dynamics of this beloved sport.
What is a run in baseball?
In baseball, a ‘run’ happens when a player goes around all the bases and reaches home plate before getting three outs. It can be a result of a home run or strategic moves that put a player on the bases. The goal of the game is to score more runs than the other team.
According to the Official Baseball Rules, the type of out that happens determines if a run counts. If there’s a force out before a player reaches home plate, the run doesn’t count. But if a tag out happens after the player reaches home plate, the run counts. Two important stats in baseball are runs scored (R) and runs batted in (RBIs). Sabermetrics gives a more detailed view of a player’s contributions.
For pitchers, earned runs are the ones they are responsible for, while unearned runs are because of fielding errors. The Official Scorer carefully calculates earned runs by recreating innings. Interestingly, even if a pitcher is replaced, they still get credit for a run if a baserunner allowed scores before they left the game.
How to score a run
Scoring a run in baseball involves a combination of skill, strategy, and sometimes a bit of luck. Firstly, a player must safely reach base, which can be done in several ways such as hitting the ball without it being caught (a “base hit”), drawing a walk, or being hit by a pitch. Once on base, the player must then advance through the bases either as a result of a teammate’s hit, a steal, or a fielding error. The run is scored when the player successfully reaches home plate without being tagged out.
Interestingly, a player can score a run without ever hitting the ball, for example, by drawing a walk, stealing bases, and then being brought home by a teammate’s hit.
All-time scoring records of MLB players
Career Record for Most Runs:
Rickey Henderson holds the career record for the most runs scored in baseball history, with a total of 2,295 runs. He achieved this remarkable feat from 1979 to 2003, spanning an impressive career.
Season Record for Most Runs:
In 1894, Billy Hamilton, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies, set the record for the most runs scored in a single season with 198 runs. This outstanding record still stands after more than a century.
Most Seasons Leading in Runs:
Babe Ruth, a legendary player in baseball history, holds the record for leading the league in runs scored for the most seasons. In the American League, Ruth achieved this remarkable feat for eight seasons, specifically in 1919–1921, 1923, 1924, and 1926–1928.
Consecutive Games with at least One Run Scored:
Two players share the record for the most consecutive games with at least one run scored, with a remarkable streak of 18 games each. Red Rolfe accomplished this feat while playing for the New York Yankees from August 9 to August 25, 1939. Kenny Lofton, a player for the Cleveland Indians, achieved the same record from August 15 to September 3, 2000.
Most Runs Scored in a Single Game:
Guy Hecker of the Louisville Colonels set the record for the most runs scored by an individual player in a single game. On August 15, 1886, he scored an incredible 7 runs. In the modern era, fourteen players, including Mel Ott (1934, 1944) and Shawn Green (2002), share the record for the most runs scored in a single game, with 6 runs each.
Team Records – Single Season:
The Boston Beaneaters, now known as the Atlanta Braves, set the team record for the most runs scored in a single season. In 1894, they scored an impressive total of 1,212 runs. However, the modern-day record is held by the New York Yankees, who scored 1,067 runs in the 1931 season.
Team Record for Consecutive Games with at least One Run Scored:
The New York Yankees hold the team record for the most consecutive games with at least one run scored. They achieved this remarkable feat by scoring in 308 consecutive games between August 3, 1931, and August 2, 1933.
Most Runs Scored by a Team in a Single Game:
The Chicago Colts, now known as the Chicago Cubs, set the record for the most runs scored by a team in a single game. On June 29, 1897, they scored an astonishing 36 runs against the Louisville Colonels. In the modern era, the Texas Rangers achieved a remarkable feat by scoring 30 runs on August 22, 2007.
Highest Combined Score in a Game:
On August 25, 1922, a game between the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies produced the highest combined score in baseball history. A total of 49 runs were scored, with the Chicago Cubs emerging victorious with a 26–23 win.
Most Runs Scored by a Team in a Single Inning:
The Chicago White Stockings, now known as the Chicago Cubs, set the record for the most runs scored by a team in a single inning. On September 6, 1883, they scored an incredible 18 runs against the Detroit Wolverines. In the modern era, the Boston Red Sox achieved a similar feat by scoring 17 runs in a single inning against the Detroit Tigers on June 18, 1953.