What is a Single in Baseball? – Baseball Rules for Beginners

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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what is a single in baseball

Baseball can surely get overwhelming because it has unique terminologies with particular meanings. If you want to expand your know-how in baseball, this article is for you.

What is a single in baseball? A single refers to instances when batters hit the baseball into play, and the hit, then, reaches first base—all these without having a fielder put him out.

In computations, any baseball play can be scored as a single by hitting a bunt or infield dribbler.

Defining Singles in Baseball + Sample Scenarios


In baseball, singles are prevalent. To explain what a single mean in baseball, it is what happens when batters hit a ball and then reach first base. Indeed, he has to be free of intervening errors or help from others when getting to first base.

1B is another word for single, and you might encounter this when watching or playing baseball games. The synonym is 1B because the ball only goes past first base.

Singles happen in different situations.

  • Other than hitting a ball and reaching first base, batters beating a bunt or infield dribbler is still a single
  • In some instances, the batter’s team may have a score credited to them if they reach the second, third, or home plate.

If an error occurred, the single will still be scored if the batter could have reached the second plate if the error did not happen. This is under the judgment of the official scorer.

  • Then, batters hitting a baseball out to the outfield but still held at their first base would still be a single. In this case, the batter’s team can get credited as long as he reaches first base but was out when he tried to run to their second base.

Looking at singles from a runner’s perspective, it would not be called a single anymore if the runner went past first base safely.

Why Utilize Singles in Baseball?


The singles definition shows the technicalities of baseball games. Runners on second or third base often score on a single hit to the outfield. Occasionally, the runner from the first base can advance to the third base.

Depending on the location the ball was hit, a skilled outfielder can make a quick recovery to prevent their opponent from advancing. Similarly, the outfielder can make a play on the runner.

Single hit baseball is not a new thing. Players like Ty Cobb, Ichiro Suzuki, and Pete Rose are known to be contact hitter which get as many singles as they can when they play!

The most singles in a season were made by Suzuki, with 225 singles statistics recorded under his plays.

1. Classifications of Singles

Singles have also been grouped into three types based on how they occurred. Here are the classifications of singles:

  • Infield single happens when the ball is safe on the infield, with the batter safe as well.
  • A bloop single occurs when the single lands between the infielder and outfielder.
  • A bunt single occurs when the single is due to a drag bunt instead of a sacrifice bunt.

2. Computing Singles: The Sluggish Percentage

Since singles are still crucial in baseball statistics, we will also talk about how to calculate singles in baseball.

Singles are closely related to the computed sluggish percentage. The slugging percentage is from the value obtained by dividing the total hits over total at-bats. Singles are part of the computation of the total hits of the player.

A sluggish percentage is an excellent dater for judging the player’s power. So, players with computation of .450 are within the good range.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What are some differences between singles and fielder’s choice?

We have already defined singled out previously. On the other hand, the fielder’s choice is about the successful move of a defensive player to put out their opponent. Here, there is no credit for a single.

The fielder’s choice would be called when the hitter safely arrives at the second base before the second baseman throws the ball.

2. What are some differences between singles and walks?

In singles and walks, both need to have a hitter advancing a single base. However, singles must have the batter hit the ball and advance without errors.

On the other hand, walks only allow the batters to advance one base. This forces the next runners to advance along.

3. Are singles and single-A baseball teams related?

Singles and single-A baseball teams are quite different topics. Single-A is the fourth-highest level of play in baseball. Despite being at this level, it is noted that the single-A baseball salary, like most minor leagues, remains relatively low, at less than $10,000 per season.


We really cannot stop learning about baseball! Now, new terminology is added to your knowledge bank and will be helpful in future games you will play or watch.

The question “what is a single in baseball?” was answered here, along with descriptions of scenarios on how they happen. You also learned a new baseball term: the sluggish percentage!

Hopefully, you also have a clearer vision of singles and their commonly associated terms. So now, the next time you see “1B” flashing on the big screen, you know exactly what it means.

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