Forfeit (baseball)

Last updated

In rare cases, baseball games are forfeited, usually when a team is no longer able to play. In the event of forfeiture, the score is recorded as 9-0, as stated in rule 2.00 of the Major League Baseball Rules Book. The same is true for Little League, per Rule 2.00, under the definition of "Forfeit", there is 1 run allocated per inning, so for Minors and Majors divisions, that would be score of 6-0, and for Intermediate and above divisions, that would be a score of 7-0. However, the actual game statistics are recorded as they stand at the time of the forfeit; the game is recorded as a loss in the standings for the forfeiting team and a win for the other team, even if the forfeiting team is ahead at that point. The 9-0 score equates to the number of innings in a regulation game. Sports with seven-inning games, such as high school baseball or softball, generally award a rule-based score of 7-0.

Baseball Sport

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

In various sports, a forfeit is a method in which a match automatically ends and the forfeiting team loses.


Although not uncommon in baseball's early days, forfeits are now rare. There have been only five forfeits in Major League Baseball since 1954; the last forfeit was in 1995 and prior to that the last one had been in 1979. Since 1914, there has only been one incident where a team deliberately made a decision to forfeit a game, in 1977.

In college baseball, the NCAA has the authority to retroactively forfeit games if the winning team is found to have violated NCAA rules.

College baseball is baseball that is played on the intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education. In comparison to football and basketball, college competition in the United States plays a smaller role in developing professional players, as baseball's professional minor leagues are more extensive, with a greater history of supplying players to the top professional league. Moving directly from high school to the professional level is more common in baseball than in football or basketball. However, if players do opt to enroll at a four-year college to play baseball, they must complete three years to regain professional eligibility, unless they reach age 21 before starting their third year of college. Players who enroll at junior colleges regain eligibility after one year at that level. In the most recently completed 2017 season, there were 298 NCAA Division I teams in the United States.

MLB forfeits before 1970

Forfeits were more common in the early days of Major League Baseball. In 1871, six games were forfeited in two months. There was at least one forfeit almost every year from 1882 until 1909. 1884 saw forfeits in the double digits, many because one team failed to appear for a game or refused to continue playing. Game 2 of the 1885 World Series was forfeited when St. Louis pulled its team from the field to protest the umpiring. There were five forfeits in the National League in 1886. The high rate of forfeits slowed after 1910, with one forfeit every few years. Game 7 of the 1934 World Series was in jeopardy of being forfeited when Detroit Tigers fans began showering the outfield with debris after St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Joe Medwick slid hard into Tigers third baseman Marv Owen; however, a potential black eye to the Series was averted when Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis ordered both Medwick and Owen replaced in the one-sided game.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

1885 World Series

The 1885 World Series was an end-of-the-year playoff series between the National League champion Chicago White Stockings and American Association champion St. Louis Browns. The Series was played in four cities. It ended in a disputed 3–3–1 tie.

In games that were played before the advent of stadium lighting (or had an enforced curfew), forfeits were also sometimes declared as a result of a team's stalling tactics. A baseball game is not official until 5 innings have been completed, or 4-1/2 innings if the home team is winning. Consequently, a team that was behind by a considerable number of runs before the end of the fifth inning might deliberately slow down the game, in the hopes that darkness or the curfew would come before the game was declared official. Note, however, that deliberate attempts to slow down play for this reason are subject to a forfeiture being declared. The last such incident took place in 1954. On July 18, the visiting Philadelphia Phillies were leading the hometown St. Louis Cardinals 8-1 in the fifth inning of the second game of a doubleheader. With darkness approaching and the game not yet official, Cardinals manager Eddie Stanky brought in three new pitchers in the inning. Umpire Babe Pinelli, citing an unnecessary delay of the game on the part of the Cardinals, forfeited the game to the Phillies.

Philadelphia Phillies Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

The Philadelphia Phillies are an American professional baseball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) East division. Since 2004, the team's home has been Citizens Bank Park, located in South Philadelphia.

St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball team in St. Louis, Missouri, United States

The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Busch Stadium has been their home ballpark since 2006. One of the most successful franchises in baseball history, the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, the second-most in Major League Baseball and the most in the National League. Their 19 National League pennants rank third in NL history. In addition, St. Louis has won 13 division titles in the East and Central divisions.

Eddie Stanky Baseball player and coach

Edward Raymond Stanky was an American professional baseball second baseman, shortstop and manager. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Braves, New York Giants, and St. Louis Cardinals between 1943 and 1953. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Forfeits have become extremely rare in recent years. The advent of night baseball has eliminated the use of stalling tactics to beat the sunset. No major league city has been regularly subject to a general curfew in recent decades. In the sort of extraordinary circumstances that would warrant a temporary curfew in a city scheduled to host MLB games (such as the 1989 World Series earthquake), it is extremely unlikely Major League Baseball would allow the game(s) to be played. In such cases, MLB has invariably rescheduled the game(s), moved the game(s) to the opponents' stadium or a neutral venue and/or ordered the game(s) played without spectators (the latter scenario first occurring as a consequence of the 2015 Baltimore protests).

The term "Behind Closed Doors" is used in several sports, primarily association football, to describe matches played where spectators are not allowed in the stadium to watch. The reasons for this may include punishment for a team found guilty of a certain act in the past, stadium safety issues or to prevent potentially dangerous clashes between rival supporters. It is predicated by articles 7, 12 and 24 of FIFA's disciplinary code.

2015 White Sox–Orioles crowdless game Only such game in Major League Baseball history

On April 29, 2015, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Chicago White Sox 8–2 in the first crowdless game ever played by Major League Baseball teams. Due to civil unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, an African-American man who was critically injured while in police custody 10 days earlier, there were insufficient security resources available for the game. The previous two games in the teams' series had been postponed, but the remaining game could neither be moved to another venue on short notice nor made up later in the season, so the decision was made to play the game at Camden Yards without allowing any fans to attend. The scheduled evening start time was also moved up to the afternoon for security reasons.

2015 Baltimore protests

On April 12, 2015, Baltimore Police Department officers arrested Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American resident of Baltimore, Maryland. Gray sustained injuries to his neck and spine while in transport in a police vehicle. On April 18, 2015, after Gray's subsequent coma, the residents of Baltimore protested in front of the Western district police station. Gray died the following day, April 19, 2015, a week after the arrest.

Of the five forfeits that have occurred in the expansion era of baseball (post-1960), all but one have been the result of fans disrupting the game to a point where the stadium staff cannot control them, at which point the home team is forced to forfeit.

MLB forfeits since 1970

Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium multi-purpose stadium in Washington, D.C., United States

Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Washington, D.C. It is located about two miles (3 km) due east of the US Capitol building, near the west bank of the Anacostia River and near the D.C. Armory. It opened in 1961.

New York Yankees Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in the Bronx, New York, United States

The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of the Bronx. The Yankees compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City, the other being the New York Mets of the National League. In the 1901 season, the club began play in the AL as the Baltimore Orioles. Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchased the franchise and moved it to New York City, renaming the club the New York Highlanders. The Highlanders were officially renamed the Yankees in 1913.

Dallas City in Texas, United States

Dallas, officially the City of Dallas, is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,341,075, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. It is also the eighteenth most-populous city in North America as of 2015. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U.S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.3 million people as of 2017. The city's combined statistical area is the seventh-largest in the U.S. as of 2017, with 7,846,293 residents.

Related Research Articles

Earl Weaver American baseball player, coach and announcer

Earl Sidney Weaver was an American professional baseball player, Hall of Fame Major League manager, author, and television broadcaster. After playing in minor league baseball, he retired without playing in Major League Baseball (MLB). He became a minor league manager, and then managed in MLB for 17 years with the Baltimore Orioles. Weaver's style of managing was summed up in the quote: "pitching, defense, and the three-run homer." He did not believe in placing emphasis on "small ball" tactics such as stolen bases, hit and run plays, or sacrifice bunts. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.

Extra innings is the extension of a baseball or softball game in order to break a tie.

Ten Cent Beer Night was a promotion held by Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians during a game against the Texas Rangers at Cleveland Stadium on Tuesday, June 4, 1974.

Richard Raul Garcia is a former umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB) who worked in the American League (AL) from 1975 to 1999. Garcia wore uniform number 19 when the AL adopted numbers for its umpires in 1980.

Phil Cuzzi baseball umpire from the United States

Philip Cuzzi is an American professional baseball umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB). He worked as a reserve umpire in the National League (NL) from 1991 to 1993 and returned to the NL in 1999. Since 2000, he has worked in both major leagues. Cuzzi wore number 99 when his career started; he now wears number 10.

The 1985 Kansas City Royals season ended with the Royals' first world championship win over their intrastate rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Royals won the Western Division of the American League for the second consecutive season and the sixth time in ten years. The team improved its record to 91–71 on the strength of its pitching, led by Bret Saberhagen's Cy Young Award-winning performance.

The 1996 Major League Baseball season was the final season of play before the beginning of Interleague play the following season. It ended with the New York Yankees defeating the defending champion Atlanta Braves in six games for the World Series title, the Yankees first championship since 1978. The record for most home runs hit in an MLB regular season, set at 4,458 in 1987, was broken, as the AL and NL combined to hit 4,962 home runs. Only 196 shutouts were recorded in the 2,266 MLB regular-season games.

The 1977 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing second in the American League East with a record of 97 wins and 64 losses.

Martin John Springstead was an umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the American League from 1966 to 1985 and had since worked as an umpire supervisor. He was the youngest umpire ever to serve as crew chief in the World Series, heading the staff for the 1973 Series at the age of 36 years and 3 months.

The 1989 Major League Baseball season saw the Oakland Athletics win their first World Series title since 1974.

The 1979 Major League Baseball season. None of the post-season teams of 1977 or 1978, returned to this year's postseason. In a re-match of the 1971 World Series, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Baltimore Orioles in seven games in the 1979 World Series.

The 1978 Major League Baseball season saw the New York Yankees defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers to win their second consecutive World Series, and 22nd overall, in a rematch of the prior season's Fall Classic. The Yankees overcame clubhouse turmoil, a mid-season managerial change, and a 14-game mid-July deficit in the American League East en route to the championship. All four teams that made the playoffs in 1977 returned for this postseason; none of the four would return to the postseason in 1979.

The 1977 Major League Baseball season. The American League had its third expansion as the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays began play. However, the National League did not expand, thus they remained at twelve teams, to the AL's fourteen, until the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins joined in 1993.

2011 World Series 107th edition of Major League Baseballs championship series

The 2011 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2011 season. The 107th edition of World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff played between the American League (AL) champion Texas Rangers and the National League (NL) champion St. Louis Cardinals; the Cardinals defeated the Rangers in seven games to win their 11th World Series championship and their first since 2006.

The 1946 National League tie-breaker series was a best-of-three playoff series at the conclusion of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1946 regular season to decide the winner of the National League (NL) pennant. The games were played on October 1 and October 3, 1946, between the St. Louis Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers. It was necessary after both teams finished the season with identical win–loss records of 96–58. This was the first ever tie-breaker series in MLB history. The Cardinals won the regular reason series, 16-8.


  1. Leventhal, Josh (2000). Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present. New York City: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. ISBN   1-57912-112-8.
  2. "Yankees Win Finale on a Forfeit, 9-0" (PDF). The New York Times. October 1, 1971. p. 49.
  3. McPherson, Myra; Huth, Tom (October 1, 1971). "Rowdy Fans Hand Senators Final Loss". The Washington Post.
  4. Kalinsky, George; Shannon, Bill (1975). The Ballparks. New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc.
  5. "Riot by Indians' Fans in 9th Forfeits Game to Rangers" (PDF). The New York Times. June 5, 1974. p. 35.
  6. "Orioles Lose by a Forfeit In Bull-Pen Mound Dispute" (PDF). The New York Times. September 16, 1977. p. 93.
  7. "Anti-Disco Rally Halts White Sox" (PDF). The New York Times. July 13, 1979. p. A16.
  8. The Washington Post. July 14, 1979. p. C2.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. "Rowdy Fans Cause Dodgers to Forfeit Game". The New York Times. August 11, 1995. p. B9. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
  10. Baker, Chris (1995-08-11). "Three Strikes and Dodgers Forfeit: Baseball Game is called after fans throw balls on the field with one out in the ninth. Nomo overshadowed". Los Angeles Times .