30 of Baseball’s Most Important Unwritten Rules

Brian McCann Carlos Gomez

Baseball has been America’s pastime for well over a century, and in that time it has collected millions upon millions of invaluable “unwritten rules” that ensure the game is always played and viewed with the right amount of respect.

You’ve likely heard of some of these unwritten rules throughout the years, but we’ve compiled 30 of the most vital ones that properly preserve the honor of the game. Familiarize yourself with the following unwritten rules, because it is your duty as a fan to publicly call out any player who dares to defy them:

  • #24: If an opposing player winks at you in a way you deem disrespectful, you have every right to kidnap his family and dangle them off the top of a building until he apologizes.
  • #17: When a player strikes out three times in a game he earns what’s known as the “golden sombrero.” This just means that he’ll have to wear a Mexican-style hat while the rest of his teammates pee on him.
  • #2: Hit a sleeping fan with a foul ball and you’ll get a quick fifty bucks waiting for you in your locker after the game.
  • #6: Show any sign of having fun while being paid millions of dollars to play a game you love and risk a ball being thrown at your head in your next at-bat.
  • #226: The longest-tenured player on any team holds the right of Prima Nocta in the event that any younger players get married during the season.
  • #420: Jersey number 420 is unofficially retired in remembrance of Dock Ellis’ 1978 ERA.
  • #976: As a pitcher, when you strike someone out at a crucial point, do not celebrate. Calmly walk back to the dugout and weep in appreciation of this holy game in which you play.
  • #87: Admiring your home run or flipping your bat will put you on an FBI watch list.
  • #69: Major League players must remain celibate until they’ve won the World Series.
  • #15: Don’t even think about high-fiving your teammates at the wrong arm angle.
  • #91: The first and third base coaches are not permitted to communicate in any way other than hand signs for the entirety of the sixth-month season.
  • #17: If you are ejected from a game for fighting, you are also permanently ejected from the secret MLB Fight Club, because there’s a time and place for fighting, and that’s in the backroom of the Ruby Tuesday’s by Wrigley Field every second Thursday of the month.
  • #3: If you witness another player disrespecting the game by enjoying an accomplishment on the field, you must take it upon yourself to confront him face-to-face and incite a bench-clearing brawl.
  • #32: If no baseball can be located at the time of the first pitch, an underripe avocado may be used until it has reached sufficient ripeness, at which point the game is to be put on hold until guacamole can be made.
  • #56: If you bet on baseball while managing the Cincinnati Reds, Major League Baseball is obligated to ban you from the game and then lead you on about reinstatement up to the moment of your death.
  • #683: Play for the Dodgers? Vin Scully gets to slash your tires during home games.
  • #259: If a team has ten or more consecutive losing seasons, it is allowed seek the assistance of angels, dogs or millionaire children.
  • #87: Rookies must undergo routine hazing rituals like jock strap inspections and putting aging stars out to pasture.
  • #42: All major leaguers are marked with a branding iron in the shape of Bartolo Colon’s face once they’ve made it to the Show.
  • #158: If an opposing teams player touches your bat, you owe him 2/3 of your land.
  • #79: In the event a game reaches 19 innings, the mascots are brought out and forced to fight each other to the death in order to liven up the crowd.
  • #44: The following methods of proceeding around the bases are permitted:
    • Walking, running, jogging, Vaughning (specially added to allow Mo Vaughn to run at a pace slower than walking, which has been adopted by David Ortiz), parading, hustling, sliding, meandering, tip-toeing, striding, pageant-walking, wandering, trotting
  • #45: The following methods of proceeding around the bases are strictly prohibited:
    • Gallivanting, skipping, running in that weird way Tom Cruise runs in movies, hopscotching, frolicking, OJ Simpsoning (which prohibits driving around the bases in a Ford Bronco while threatening to kill yourself; it’s only been enforced three times), Carltoning, stampeding, rolling, rolling dirty, rolling with your homies, rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, running while listening to Henry Rollins Band, jaunting

Red Sox Rays Fight

The rules don’t just stop with the play on the field. Fans must also adhere to strict unwritten rules to ensure the proper enjoyment of and respect for the game. Notable unwritten rules for fans include:

  • #12: Buying someone peanuts and Cracker Jacks is a legally binding transaction which grants you ownership of their souls for a period not exceeding three days.
  • #96: If a fan in the cheap seats makes it to the end of the game without dozing off, he or she automatically earns a one-year contract with a AAA farm team for his or her rare talent and dedication to the game.
  • #141: To keep costs down, any stadium’s urinal trough is fitted with an industrial-sized Brita filter, which then percolates directly back into the concession stands’ Coors Lite taps in an eternal, sustainable loop of swill.
  • #39: No child has an unalienable right to that foul ball. As an adult, you are bigger. You are stronger. Take what is yours.
  • #33: Fans are technically allowed to run on the field and distract opposing outfielders from catching fly balls.
  • #178: Any souvenir cups left behind in the stands at the end of a game are sent to impoverished third-world countries.
  • #476: Any non-Yankees fan taking in a game at Yankee Stadium must take extensive notes on the Yankees fans he/she sees and submit them to the U.S. Anthropological Society; these notes will be indexed as part of an ongoing study on the Neanderthal’s role in baseball culture.


The Robot Butt Staff

Author: The Robot Butt Staff

We're the Robot Butt staff, hired right after the experiment of typewriting monkeys went horribly wrong.

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