Do All Runs Count on a Walk-Off Home Run?

If a baseball game is about to end on a walk-off home run, it’s as thrilling as penalties in a soccer game. Do all runs count on a walk-off home run? This is a common question among baseball fans. In this article, I’ll walk you through what a walk-off home run and how it’s scored.

What is a Walk-Off Home Run?

A home run is scored when the batter reaches base safely with two outs. When a player on the basepaths reaches home plate, it’s known as a walk-off hit. However, if there are two outs in the inning and the batter reaches base on a walk, it’s known as a “walk-off double.” This isn’t counted as a normal double play because the runner is safe at second base. A “double” is supposed to be hit into the shallow left field so almost no one will score.

A walk-off home run is when the winning run is scored on a walk-off hit or error. The batter doesn’t have to reach on a walk to be considered a walk-off home run, just as long as it’s the last out of the game. If the batter reaches on an error, it’s still recorded as a “walk-off” home run.


How It’s Scored

There are several ways a batter can score a walk-off home run, including leading the league with them or being a long term holder. Most players have their own personal bests for how many they’ve hit, but there is no official list.

The most recent home run record for a single season is 26 by Mike Trout (2017).

This year, in baseball history, nine players have hit 30+ home runs. The most recent player to hit more than one walk off home run was Jose Canseco (1990). He’s now the owner of two. It took him a few years to collect them after hitting his first record-breaking homer in 1987.

All Runs Count on a Walk Off Home Run

As MLB’s rules, the play that scores a walk-off home run is considered the same play regardless of the outcome. The batter is out and the batter’s team loses the game just like any other out in a game. While it’s not technically an error, I’m including it here because there is no official rule saying it cannot be scored as one.

In general, running to the bases is a must on a walk-off home run. Some players bring men on and end their season. Others don’t touch the ball at all. It’s not that they don’t care, it’s just that there is about a 90% chance the runner will get to third base and there is only about a 10% chance he’ll score when he gets there.

Walk-Off Home Runs Are an Exception to The Rule For Ending Games

To end a baseball game, the following criteria must be met:

  • A team must score the winning run. A team cannot win a game by having one player walk and another player reach base on a hit/error. If this happens it’s officially a tie game.
  • The winning pitcher must complete his final pitch. A pitcher loses a game if he leaves the mound before completing his last pitch in the game. The players cannot win or lose their own games, they can only do it for their team.
  • The batter of the winning run should reach base safely.

Thus to win a game with a walk-off home run is exceptional as baserunners still need to touch all the bases.

What Happens if You Miss a Base on a Walk Off Home Run?

In this scenario the batter misses a base. The runner who scored on the hit will still be credited with a run. The batter will be credited with an extra base hit. If the batter scores on his own error he will not be credited as an extra base hit. He must get all of his bases in order to do so. The batter is officially called out if the umpire signals a strike three while he is on base. In this case, he will be credited with an extra base hit. The team will be credited with a run if they reach home plate during or after the play.

If the runner misses a base, stops at one, and then gets back to the previous base safely it does not count as an out. At this point in time, the runner is considered safe. If the runner misses a base and is tagged, he will be credited with an out.

If the runner catches the ball while running to a base, it can be seen as either depending on the situation. If he catches it while running to first base and throws it to second base then he’s considered safe. Also, if he’s standing in fair territory at home plate when someone from the opposing team makes it there before him then he’s considered safe.

Walk-Off Home Runs in the World Series

There’s usually a good amount of discussion about whether or not ‘walk-off’ home runs count in majors – can they or can’t they? MLB rules allow for all runs on a walk-off hit to be scored. This is in contrast to other sports rules like the NFL, where the clock stops on the play resulting in all yardage going unrecorded.

In the World Series, there were 16 games ending with walk-off home runs. The first of which was in 1912 by Honus Wagner, and most recently in 2016 with a solo shot by David Ortiz. The home runs were each two run shots that ended the game. This puts a player up to two bases and three runs scored for their efforts.

Has a Pitcher Ever Hit a Walk-Off Home Run?

We all know that pitchers aren’t good at hitting, but there were cases when a pitcher hit a walk-off home run in MLB. When Teddy Higuera hit a walk-off homer in the 1969 World Series, he did so on a pitch that was outside of the strike zone. Pitching is considered ‘in play’ if the batter does not swing and the pitcher does not hit it.

This is unusual as there are most likely dozens or hundreds of pitchers who have been hit by a baseball in their career and were never credited with an official home run.

batter hits abatter hits a home run to win home run to win

In the Last Inning, How Many Runs Can a Home Team Score After Walk-Off Home Run?

If a team hits a walk-off home run in the last inning of the game, they can only score one more run without taking any extra bases. In theory, this is because there are only five runs needed to win the game. This means that half of the runs must be scored on walks and other additional bases.

In general, most players hit for extra bases when their team scores a walk-off grand slam or homer.

Are Home Runs Called the Same Regardless of the Walk-Off Situation?

In a nutshell, yes they are. If the batter hits a home run to win or tie a game, it’s going to be scored as an RBI single and not an awesome walk-off. It would be cool if walk-off home runs were considered more like home runs but it’s not going to happen. So you might as well enjoy it when you see one.

What Is the Difference Between a Home Run and a Grand Slam?

There are many ways to score runs in baseball. The most common are on a single, double, triple, or walk-off home run. Many of the rules that apply to RBIs and runs don’t apply to walk-off grand slams and home runs. This also means these different types of home runs are scored differently.

Grand slam is when a batter gets four bases, or scores some runs on his own on one swing of the bat. This is sometimes referred to as the “Big O”. A walk-off home run is when a player hits a solo shot into the stands and the opposing team has no chance of winning. This is often scored as an RBI, but it can also be scored as four runs like a grand slam.

Final Words

Walk-off home runs are special moments in the history of American sports. They won’t be scored using the same rules as regular home runs. So, for those who like to keep track of statistics, and want to add fun facts to your next conversation, now you know when and how walk-off home runs should be scored.