Suppose a player needs a triple to complete the cycle. In the ninth inning, the player hits a solo home run. Suppose that the game is a blowout, has no postseason implications, and so on such that the extra run is irrelevant. The player would rather achieve the statistical accolade of hitting for the cycle than another home run.

Can the player just stop running the bases at third and take a triple? If a player didn't run all the way home after a home run, what happens? Is he out? Would he statistically be credited with a triple or a home run?

3 Answers 3


At the very least there is this comment on rule 3.01(e) of the official MLB rules that seems to indicate that the runner must cross home plate after hitting a home run, before play can resume.

Rule 3.01(e) Comment: The umpire shall not give an alternate ball to the pitcher until play has ended and the previously used ball is dead. After a thrown or batted ball goes out of the playing field, play shall not be resumed with an alternate ball until the runners have reached the bases to which they are entitled. After a home run is hit out of the playing grounds, the umpire shall not deliver a new ball to the pitcher or the catcher until the batter hitting the home run has crossed the plate.

(emphasis mine)

  • I looked through the whole rule book and only found this too. I was going to post it as an answer but couldn't find a rule to figure out what would happen if the batter just stopped at 3rd.
    – ACD
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 21:12
  • 3
    @ACD I could see it falling under the spirit of some other rules, like 7.08(a)(2) which uses language like "abandoning his effort to touch the next base". Although that specifically mentions leaving the base path. 7.08(i) also mentions that a player can be called out for running the bases in reverse order "for the purpose of confusing the defense or making a travesty of the game." But yes, nothing specifically about not completing a home run.
    – fromcanada
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 23:30

If I remember correctly, on May 26, 1959 in a game at County Stadium in Milwaukee pitting the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates against the Milwaukee Braves, this exact issue became a reality. Pitcher Harvey Haddix for Pittsburgh was outstanding. For 12 consecutive innings the Braves went 3 up, 3 down, for 36 consecutive outs. In the bottom of the 13th inning Felix Millan reached first base on an error by Don Hoak, Henry Aaron walked, and then Joe Adcock blasted what everyone thought was a 3-run walk off home run. However, after passing second base and watching Felix Millan score the winning by run, Henry Aaron just left the base path because the game was over. This ended up being scored as a double for Joe Adcock and he received credit for a RBI, Henry Aaron was determined to be out, and the Braves won the game 1-0 on this unearned run.

In summary, since precedent has been set in this regard, I would believe if the runner left third base for the dugout, he would receive credit for a triple to complete his cycle and then he would be called "out" for running out of the base path.

  • Welcome to SE.Sport. To give certainty to your answer you have to insert any official references or any link.
    – Ale
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 6:53
  • This is very similar to Robin Ventura's Grand Single for the Mets in game 5 of the 1999 NCLS against the Braves.
    – jerepierre
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 21:04

If there was a runner on, he could pass him and be declared out at the next base, only if the other team appealed it.

I don't know if there is any rule of baseball to cover the situation of a player refusing to run out a home run.

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