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Why Is A Strikeout In Baseball Called A K?

Why Is A Strikeout In Baseball Called A K?

K is the 11th letter of the alphabet. It's also a popular letter for pitchers.

Do you know what a strikeout in baseball is called a 'K'? Our team is here to help inform you and knock this answer out of the park.

For those of you who don't know, a strikeout in baseball is called a K. It's called a backward K if you strike out looking. Here's why this practice started.

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The History of the Strikeout
  • The symbol "K" in baseball was developed by baseball pioneer Henry Chadwick who was the New York Herald’s first baseball editor in the 1860’s.
  • The scoring symbol “K” was first used in the scoring of an actual game in 1868.
  • One reason the letter “K” was used because “K” was the prominent letter of the word strike.
  • Another reason the letter "K" is used is that it is made with 3 strokes of the pencil, symbolizing the 3 strikes for the strikeout.
  • Chadwick also used a “backward K” when a batter strikes out looking or called out on the third strike because it isn’t as common as striking out swinging.
  • Back in the early stages of baseball stat-keeping was done entirely with letters and no numbers. When the strikeout became an official statistic, "K" in the word “strikeout” was the first letter not already being used. As single was S, triple was T, run was R, inning was I and then strikeout was K by default.
  • “K” is one of the only symbols that used in today’s score-keeping that was originated in the 19th century.

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Baseball Strikeout

Strikeout Fun Facts
  • If you strike out three times in one game it is called the “Hat Trick”
  • If you strike out four times in one game it is called the “Golden Sombrero”
  • If you strike out five times in one game it is called the “Platinum Sombrero” or the “Olympic Rings”
  • The player with the most strikeouts in MLB history is Reggie Jackson with 2,597
  • The player with the most strikeouts in a season in MLB history is Mark Reynolds with 223 in 2009.
  • Hall of Famer Babe Ruth had five seasons where he led the league in strikeouts and had a total of 1,330 in his career.
  • The pitcher with the most strikeouts in MLB history is Nolan Ryan with 5,714.
  • The player with the most platinum sombreros in a career is Sammy Sosa with four.

Strikeouts can be your best friend (for pitchers) but they can be your worst enemy (for hitters). But the reality of it all is that even the best hitters in baseball history strikeout more than what you would think. To put it into simple terms, baseball is hard!  Have you ever struck out multiple times in a game? Has any pitcher struck you out with a wicked curveball looking for a backward K? What strikeout of yours do you remember the most? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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