15 Weirdest Unwritten Rules in Baseball

1 of 16

15 Weirdest Unwritten Rules in Baseball

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The unwritten rules of baseball, or of any sport for that matter, are very peculiar. Some of them are weird, some of them make sense and some are just plain superstitious. A majority of players and managers fully understand the unwritten rules of baseball, but it’s those times that when people don’t abide by them that things get out of hand.

It seems that more often than not baseball players care more about the unwritten rules of baseball than the actual rules of the sport. That is exactly what happened between Milwaukee Brewers Gold Glove Award winner Carlos Gomez and Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann towards the end of the 2013 regular season.

Gomez broke the unwritten rule in which a batter must never stare too long at a home run, which apparently Gomez did even though it certainly didn’t look like it. Nonetheless, while Gomez was rounding the bases the Braves’ players began yelling at him. McCann then broke the actual rule in baseball, which is a catcher must allow a batter to cross home plate after a homer. Of course, a brawl broke out as it usually does when an unwritten rule is broken and Gomez never got to officially score his run, even though the umpires counted it anyways.

There have been so many incidents over the past few decades in which unwritten rules are cared about too much or not enough, which I guess is one of the reasons baseball is so great. Make sure to click through the slideshow to see the 15 weirdest unwritten rules in baseball.

2 of 16

15. No talking About No-Hitter During a No-Hitter

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t matter if you are a player in the dugout, a spectator in the stands or a fan watching at home. The same rule will always apply and that is to never speak of a no-hitter during a no-hitter.

3 of 16

14. No Bunting to Break Up a No-Hitter

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

I have seen this unwritten rule broken before and it’s a big no-no. Late in the game when a pitcher is on the verge of a no-hitter, batters must swing away instead of trying to bunt for a hit.

4 of 16

13. Don’t Show Up Opponent

Show Up
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This goes for the pitcher and the batter. Pitchers should never over celebrate when recording an out, unless of course it’s the final out in the World Series. Along with that, batters should never stare too long after just crushing a home run or jump up and down after a big hit, unless of course it’s the final run in the World Series.

5 of 16

12. Don’t Walk in Front of Catcher or Umpire When Entering Batter’s Box

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Did you ever wonder why batters always walk behind the catcher and umpire when entering a batter’s box from the other side? Yep, it’s another unwritten rule. This one is more out of respect for the game than anything else.

6 of 16

11. Pitchers Never Stare Down Fielders

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

How many times does a pitcher work really hard to get that fly popup only to watch his outfielder drop it on a boneheaded error? Most of us would lose our minds if we saw that, but it’s imperative that the pitcher remain calm and never stare down his fielders.

7 of 16

10. Take a Strike When Behind in a Game

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

There are so many instances when a batter walks up to the plate and everyone in the ballpark and watching at home knows he’s going to take the first strike. When behind in a game it is customary to avoid swinging at the first pitch, which is kind of weird because there is always the possibility that a good hitter could get a bat on the first pitch he sees.

8 of 16

9. Pick Right Time to Steal a Base

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently, there is a right and wrong time to steal a base. Don’t steal when your team has a solid lead, don’t steal when the other team is well ahead, don’t steal third with two outs and never make the final out on the base paths are all rules to abide by.

9 of 16

8. Don’t Swing at First Pitch After Back-to-Back Home Runs

Home Runs
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Another unwritten rule that is mostly out of respect for the game. After a team hits back-to-back home runs, it’s always good for the third batter up to take the first pitch, even if it’s right down the middle.

10 of 16

7. Play for a Tie at Home, a Win on the Road

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This unwritten rule makes sense but I still think it’s kind of weird. When at home, it’s important to always play for a tie in the ninth inning. The reason for that is to allow the momentum of the fan base to carry into the extra innings. Meanwhile, always go for the win on the road because nobody wants to stick around an opponent’s ballpark longer than necessary.

11 of 16

6. Only Pitchers Step On Pitcher’s Mound

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For those who were unaware of this unwritten rule, it was made perfectly clear by starting pitcher Dallas Braden in a game a couple of years ago. After going from first to third on a foul ball, Alex Rodriguez decided the most convenient way back to first base was by running over the pitcher’s mound. This was a huge mistake and Braden let him know it by yelling at Rodriguez, who acted as if he had no idea, an act that baseball fans are far to accustomed to seeing.

12 of 16

5. Retaliation is a Must

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

This is one unwritten rule a majority of fans are aware of, but it’s weird nonetheless and I’ll explain why. If a pitcher hits an opposing batter with a baseball, that team’s pitcher must then do the same the next chance he gets, preferably against a top-notch hitter. That means teams will be going back and forth beaming each other because the unwritten rule says so. Fans got a big dose of that in 2013, which led to some intense brawls. Of course, umpires have decided to take more control over the years by instantly warning both dugouts when they sense something about to happen.

13 of 16

4. Score Shouldn’t Influence the Way One Manages

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t matter if your team is up, down or the game is close, the score should never influence the way one manages a baseball game. Of course, this unwritten rule gets broken all of the time, especially because it coincides with other unwritten rules. For that reason, it’s one of the weirder unwritten rules out there.

14 of 16

3. Everyone Must Be In On Fight

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

A teammate decides to storm the mound after clearly getting hit unintentionally. It doesn’t matter if the reason is stupid for him to take on the pitcher because everyone must be out on the field getting his back. Coaches, pitchers and the bullpen must all be in on the fight, even if that means just grabbing onto an opponent in order to make it look like something is happening. That’s why relievers kind of just grab each other on the jersey.

15 of 16

2. Don’t Rub Spot Where Pitch Hit

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I never actually knew this was an unwritten rule prior to compiling this slideshow. Whether it’s the hitter trying to intimidate the pitcher or simply just trying to show that only strong men play baseball, a batter must never rub the spot where he was hit.

16 of 16

1. Relievers Must Throw Fastball Strike When Facing Reliever

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

This unwritten rule really only applies in the National League, unless there is some bizarre circumstance in the American League. Every now and then a reliever who needs to pitch another inning will have to take an at-bat late in a game. The unwritten rule is that if there is a reliever on the mound pitching then he must throw fastballs for strikes. Basically, make it as easy as possible without throwing up a floater.