
Changing the Rules Chronology of Changes to Major League Baseball Official Rules Table 10: Changes to Rule 10 
Table 10. Changes to Rule 10 (The Official Scorer)  
DATE  RULE CHANGE  Rule 
1865  The first sliding steal of a base, by Eddie Cuthbert of the Philadelphia Keystones  10.08 
1865  The first batting averages are computed.  10.22 
1877  A time at bat is not charged to a batter who walks.  10.16 
1883  An error is charged to the pitcher for a base on balls, wild pitch, hit batter, and balk.  10.13 
1885  The pitcher is credited with an assist on a strikeout  10.11 
1886  A hit batsman is not charged with a time at bat.  10.02 
1886  No stolen base is credited to a runner for bases advanced by his own volition.  10.08 
1887  No error is charged to the pitcher for a base on balls, wild pitch, hit batter, and balk.  10.13 
1887  A base on balls is scored as a hit and counted as a time at bat. This rule lasted one season only.  10.16 
1888  A base on balls is not counted as a hit and not charged as a time at bat.  10.16 
1888  If a runner is hit by a batted ball, the batter is credited with a hit  10.05 
1888  An error is charged to the pitcher for a base on balls, wild pitch, hit batter, and balk.  10.13 
1888  A batter is credited with a hit when his batted ball hits a base runner.  10.05 
1889  No error is charged to the pitcher for a base on balls, wild pitch, hit batter, and balk. A pitcher is not credited with an assist on a strikeout.  10.13 
1889  The sacrifice bunt is statistically recognized, but the batter is charged with a time at bat.  10.09 
1893  A batter credited with a sacrifice is not charged with a time at bat.  10.09 
1898  A stolen base is credited to the base runner when he reaches a base he attempts to steal without the aid of batting or fielding errors or a hit by the batter.  10.08 
1900  A pitcher must win at least fifteen games to qualify as the league leader in the category of Winning Percentage. (The earlier rule stated that a pitcher must appear in twentyfive games.)  10.23 
1908  The sacrifice fly rule is adopted, exempting the batter from an atbat when a run scores after a catch.  10.09 
1909  The pitcher or catcher is charged with an error if a batter reaches first base on a wild pitch or passed ball.  10.13 
1909  A bunt on a third strike is a strikeout. The catcher is credited with the putout.  10.17 
1909  If a runner is thrown out on an attempted doublesteal, neither runner shall be credited with a stolen base.  10.08 
1912  Earned runs are charged to a pitcher when a player scores by means of safe hits, sacrifice hits, bases on balls, hit batters, wild pitches, and balks.  10.18 
1917  Earned runs are also charged to a pitcher when a player scores by means of a stolen base.  10.18 
1920  A player must appear in at least one hundred games to qualify as the league leader in Batting Average and Slugging Average. Before this there was no official rule, but it was generally accepted that a man had to play in sixty percent of the scheduled games to qualify.  10.23 
1920  The category of RBI is added to scoring.  10.04 
1920  No stolen base is to be credited when the defense makes no attempt to get the runner out.  10.08 
1926  Pitchers are not credited with a strikeout if a batter reaches first base because of a wild pitch on the third strike  10.17 
1926  The sacrifice fly rule is amended to exempt a batter from an atbat when a runner advances from first to second or second to third as well as on scoring.  10.09 
1931  The sacrifice fly is eliminated.  10.09 
1939  A batter is credited with a sacrifice fly and not charged with a time at bat if he hits a fly ball that is caught and a runner scores on the catch. This rule lasted only a year.  10.09 
1940  A batter is no longer credited with a sacrifice fly.  10.09 
1945  A player must have at least four hundred atbats to qualify as the league leader in Batting Average or Slugging Average  10.23 
1950  A player must play in at least twothirds of his team's scheduled games to qualify as the league leader in Batting Average or Slugging Average.  10.23 
1951  A pitcher must pitch a total of at least one inning for every scheduled game to qualify as the league leader in the categories of Earned Run Average or Fielding Average. (Before this, he had to pitch at least ten complete games and at least one hundred innings.)  10.23 
1951  A player must have at least four hundred atbats to qualify as the league leader in Batting Average or Slugging Average. However, if there is any player with fewer than the required number of times at bat whose average would be the highest if he were charged with this required atbat total, then he shall be recognized as the league leader.  10.23 
1954  A batter is credited with a sacrifice fly and not charged with a time at bat if he hits a fly ball and the runner scores on the catch  10.09 
1955  The 1951 rule is repealed. A player must have at least four hundred atbats, period, to qualify as the league leader in Batting Average or Slugging Average.  10.23 
1958  A player must have a total of at least 3.1 plate appearances for every scheduled game to qualify as the league leader in Batting Average or Slugging Average.  10.23 
1967  A player must have a total of at least 3.1 plate appearances for every scheduled game to qualify as the league leader in Batting Average or Slugging Average. However, if there is any player with fewer than the required number of plate appearances whose average would be highest if he were charged with this required number of appearances, then the player shall be recognized as the league leader in Batting or Slugging Average  10.23 
1969  Runs are earned by a relief pitcher who enters the game in the middle of an inning as if he entered the game at the beginning of the inning.  10.18 
1969  The category of Saves is added to baseball statistics  10.2 
1973  A reliever is credited with a save for "protecting" a lead.  10.2 
1974  The save rule is amended slightly; no save is to be credited to a pitcher unless the tying run was on base or at the plate or unless he pitched three effective innings. (Before this a reliever was given a save if he maintained the lead, no matter what the score when he arrived.)  10.2 
1975  The save is refined once more: if the tying run is on deck, a pitcher is credited with a save.  10.2 
1978  A pitcher's ERA is to be calculated henceforth with fractions of innings pitched rather than with full innings.  10.22 
1983  A pitcher who pitches only a third of an inning in a season will not have his ERA rounded off. His total for innings pitched will be carried as one third.  10.22 
1989  The "gamewinning RBI" (previously credited to a batter who gave his club "the lead it never relinquished") is eliminated as an official statistic.  10.04(e) 
2776