What is a Pickle Play in Baseball and Softball? 

Sometimes baseball and softball unlock rare plays that are unique and thus they get a name and stat. Just like other rare plays baseball has introduced pickle play. In Pickle Play or Rundown baserunners tend to move forward from one base to the other. This usually happens in the case when the runner doesn’t realize where the ball will lead so he tries to advance but as soon as he comes to know that he can be tagged he goes back to the previous base.

Why is a Run Down Called a Pickle in Baseball / Softball?

When a baserunner has a chance to get caught and tagged, he is in a very critical situation because he has to choose between moving forward or going back to the base. In both cases, he is in danger. Why is a Run Down called a Pickle in Baseball / Softball? The term Pickle originated in England where anyone in dilemma is considered to be in a pickle. Just like that pickle is used for a baserunner who has to make a tough choice at the moment.

What is an example of a Pickle in Baseball?

Baseball gets interesting when a pickle situation happens in the game. There are multiple examples in baseball from simple to difficult situations where baserunners become frozen being indecisive. What is an example of a pickle in baseball? During a throw, a runner sees he can lead off towards the first base but unluckily he gets caught and he is tagged and touched before he could reach the first base.

Another example would be a runner who is trying to steal second base but he gets tagged. This can be the most difficult situation for the runner and his team as the runner would be considered bad luck and the team will most likely lose the game as the baserunner will automatically go back to the first base.

How Do You Get out of a Pickle in Baseball and Softball?

It can be quite tricking for the defensive team how a baserunner gets out of a critical situation. How do you get out of a Pickle in baseball and softball? One can get out by choosing a different base that is expected by the defensive team.

 For example, if the baserunner was trying to reach the home plate from the third base he must choose between first or second base if he is in a pickle situation. This is tricky because the defensive team would know that the baserunner has only two choices between the home plate and the third base.

Baserunners have to maintain their running position within the diamond of the baseball field rather than going into the infield.

Do Baserunners Purposely Get into a Pickle on Plays?

As we know baseball is a game of strategies. Some baseball fans wonder whether a pickle is a trick by the offensive team to score a run or not. Do baserunners purposely get into a pickle on plays? Baseball fans will get astonished to hear that one can get into trouble for their team to score. Sometimes baseball players use this technique to distract the defensive team from seeing other baserunners in the game. For example, if a baserunner is on first base and he tries to advance to second. Now the defensive team puts him in the pickle position. In this situation, the baserunner on the third base has a chance to score a run by running towards the home plate.

How Should the Fielders Defend against a Pickle in Baseball and Softball?

The defensive team also has to be prepared to serve during a pickle situation. They must work on some strategy to achieve perfect pickles in baseball. How should the fielders defend against a pickle in Baseball and Softball? Baseball defenders should keep command of the following strategies.

  • There must be a baserunner present near the bases where there is a chance that baserunner can advance the base.
  • One trick that the thrower can do is to fake a throw in this way he would know where the baserunner is leading. 
  • The defensive team must keep an eye on the baserunner on third base because there is a chance, he can advance towards the home plate and score a run.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you play pickle baseball?

Pickle baseball is played by placing students in between two bases where the game is played. When the third throw hits, the students have to run through the bases towards the one. Eventually, the throwers try to tag them.

What is Pickle Baseball called?

The pickle baseball is known to be a run down or the hot box where the baserunner is known as man’s land.

How do you practice a Run down?

Baseball fans might not know that Run downs are practiced by the baserunners and there are multiple strategies used by the offensive team to escape a pickle.

The Bottom Line on Pickle Play in Baseball and Softball

Overall, baseball has produced many rare plays throughout history. One of the rare plays is the Pickle Play. Baseball becomes interesting during this play as the baseball fans are questioning whether the baserunner would get tagged or save himself. They also wonder if this is a trick from the offensive team.

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