Year by Year Leaders for Bases on Balls
A base-on-balls is an officially recognized statistic that counts the number of times a batter reaches first base after accepting four pitches outside the strike zone. Prior to 1889, the rule regarding the walk statistic was different and used the following rules of the day: 1876-1879 nine balls, 1880-1882 eight balls, 1882-1884 seven balls, 1884-1885 six balls, 1886 seven balls, 1887-1888 five balls and from 1889 forward it has, and still remains four balls.
Baseball Almanac is pleased to present a year-by-year leaderboard in Major League base on balls for every season since 1876. Note: A bold faced entry denotes that the player was active during the previous Major League season.