An illegal act made by the pitcher to deceive the runners on base. When a balk is called, the ball is dead, and all runners get to advance one base. Ways in which a balk can occur:

  • The pitcher steps off the rubber without breaking his hands
  • The pitcher throws from the set position without coming to a complete stop before throwing
  • The pitcher throws to a base before stepping in the direction of that base first
  • The pitcher throws a pitch while the catcher is not in the catcher's box.
  • The pitcher fakes a throw to first base while standing on the rubber.
  • The pitcher goes into his natural pitching motion and fails to throw the ball to the plate
  • The pitcher pitches the ball before the batter is reasonably settled in the batter's box
  • The pitcher goes into a pitching motion while not on the rubber
  • The pitcher drops the ball while on the rubber
  • The pitcher steps on the rubber without the ball
  • Any unnecessary delay of the game

Balk (?), n. [AS. balca beam, ridge; akin to Icel. balkr partition, bjalki beam, OS. balko, G. balken; cf. Gael. balc ridge of earth between two furrows. Cf. Balcony, Balk, v. i., 3d Bulk.]

1.

A ridge of land left unplowed between furrows, or at the end of a field; a piece missed by the plow slipping aside.

Bad plowmen made balks of such ground. Fuller.

2.

A great beam, rafter, or timber; esp., the tie-beam of a house. The loft above was called "the balks."

Tubs hanging in the balks. Chaucer.

3. Mil.

One of the beams connecting the successive supports of a trestle bridge or bateau bridge.

4.

A hindrance or disappointment; a check.

A balk to the confidence of the bold undertaker. South.

5.

A sudden and obstinate stop; a failure.

6. Baseball

A deceptive gesture of the pitcher, as if to deliver the ball.

Balk line Billiards, a line across a billiard table near one end, marking a limit within which the cue balls are placed in beginning a game; also, a line around the table, parallel to the sides, used in playing a particular game, called the balk line game.

 

© Webster 1913.


Balk, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Balked (); p. pr. & vb. n. Balking.] [From Balk a beam; orig. to put a balk or beam in one's way, in order to stop or hinder. Cf., for sense 2, AS. on balcan legan to lay in heaps.]

1.

To leave or make balks in.

[Obs.]

Gower.

2.

To leave heaped up; to heap up in piles.

[Obs.]

Ten thousand bold Scots, two and twenty knights, Balk'd in their own blood did Sir Walter see. Shak.

3.

To omit, miss, or overlook by chance.

[Obs.]

4.

To miss intentionally; to avoid; to shun; to refuse; to let go by; to shirk.

[Obs. or Obsolescent]

By reason of the contagion then in London, we balked the nns. Evelyn.

Sick he is, and keeps his bed, and balks his meat. Bp. Hall.

Nor doth he any creature balk, But lays on all he meeteth. Drayton.

5.

To disappoint; to frustrate; to foil; to baffle; to thwart; as, to balk expectation.

They shall not balk my entrance. Byron.

 

© Webster 1913.


Balk, v. i.

1.

To engage in contradiction; to be in opposition.

[Obs.]

In strifeful terms with him to balk. Spenser.

2.

To stop abruptly and stand still obstinately; to jib; to stop short; to swerve; as, the horse balks.

⇒ This has been regarded as an Americanism, but it occurs in Spenser's "Faërie Queene," Book IV., 10, xxv.

Ne ever ought but of their true loves talkt, Ne ever for rebuke or blame of any balkt.

 

© Webster 1913.


Balk, v. i. [Prob. from D. balken to bray, bawl.]

To indicate to fishermen, by shouts or signals from shore, the direction taken by the shoals of herring.

 

© Webster 1913.

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