A sacrifice fly, abbreviated SF, is a fly ball out that scores a baserunner. While typically a long fly ball to the outfield, a sacrifice fly can be recorded on any fly ball, whether fair or foul. The runner usually scores from third base, but there have been cases of runners scoring from second or even first base on a sacrifice fly; it is also possible for more than one runner to score on the play. The batter is charged with a plate appearance but not with an at bat, and is credited with an RBI for each run scored as a result. No sacrifice fly is credited if a baserunner advances one or more bases as a result of a fly ball that is caught but does not score.
The sacrifice fly has existed since 1954 in its present form, although it has always been possible for a runner to advance after a fly ball is caught for an out. It was first counted in 1908, although not separated from sacrifice bunts, and was credited in the mid-1920s if it allowed any runner to advance from one base to another, regardless of scoring. It was eliminated in 1931, reinstated (in its original form) in 1939, eliminated again in 1940, and then reinstated in its present form in 1954.
For purposes of consecutive-game hitting streaks, a batter getting no at-bats in a game will not have his streak interrupted if his plate appearances consist only of bases on balls, hit by pitches, or sacrifice bunts, but a sacrifice fly would cause the streak to end.
|All Time Leaders|
- Herm Krabbenhoft: "Impact of the Varying Sac-Fly Rules on Batting Champs, 1931-2019", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 50, Number 2 (Fall 2021), pp. 59-64.
- Tim Kurkjian: I'm Fascinated by Sacrifice Flies: Inside the Game We All Love, St. Martin's Press, New York, NY, 2016. ISBN 978-1250077936