“If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying” is a mantra some people believe is the best way to compete. Baseball players have taken extreme measures to gain an edge against their opponents. 

These methods players use to cheat in a baseball game date back centuries, but some are still relevant in 2022. 

Pitchers Doctoring the Baseball

The most prevalent form of cheating is when pitchers doctor the baseball. There are numerous ways pitchers have altered baseballs throughout history, with some pitchers even making a Hall of Fame career out of doing it. 

Gaylord Perry had 315 wins in his 22-year career, earning a place in Cooperstown. But Perry is notorious for throwing a spitball. A spitball is a catch-all name for any pitcher who uses a foreign substance, which could include, but is not limited to, spit. 

With a foreign substance on a baseball, a pitcher can get more breaks on their pitches; hence, the reason why the shiny ears of Joe Musgrove upset Buck Showalter and the Mets in Game 3 of the NL Wild Card Series.

The opposite of a spitball is a scuffball. Pitchers have had nail files in their back pockets to mark up the baseball to get an unpredictable spin that can baffle hitters. 

These methods are why the game cracked down on Spider Tack, much to the dismay of Gerrit Cole. 

Hitters Corking Their Bats

Since pitchers were always trying to slip one under the rug, it only seems fair that the hitters followed their lead and defrauded the game. Corking a baseball bat is one technique hitters use to even the playing field. 

Over the decades, several players, including the 60-home run king Sammy Sosa, were guilty of corking their bat. Theoretically, a corked bat makes a baseball bat lighter, allowing the player to swing faster and harder. 

Corking happens in wood bats, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little more juice to aluminum bats. Shaving or rolling an aluminum bat helps hitters drive the ball further than ever, and it’s not necessarily cheating as some leagues allow it. 

Tipping Pitches 

While doctoring the ball and corking a bat is a form of cheating, they don’t get the blood boiling nearly as much as when a team goes out of their way to alert the hitter what pitch is coming. 

Tipping pitches have been a staple in baseball forever, as have stealing signs. But you’ll be a black eye on the game if you go beyond ordinary means.

Bobby Thompson’s “Shot Heard Around the World” may have happened because a scoreboard operator was tipping pitches at the Giants’ home games. 

The Houston Astros infamously had their World Series championship discredited because they banged on trash cans to call out pitches. 

The Astros weren’t content with just trash cans either since they allegedly used a transmitting device that could buzz a player. The means of cheating have changed over the years, but the practice remains the same. 


If there’s one thing that’s certain about the game, players have tried multiple methods to cheat in a baseball game. 

Some of it may seem harmless, but when the integrity of the game is in question, that’s when it becomes serious. 


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