In baseball, there are six ways a batter can get on base without hitting the ball.
Most people know about walking after being pitched four balls or being hit by a ball.
But, according to the official rule book, you also get an automatic ticket to first base if the catcher drops the third strike;
if the catcher interferes while you are trying to bat;
if a pitched ball or one thrown in order to catch a man on base “goes into a stand or a bench, or over or through a field fence or back-stop”;
or if, on what would have been either ball four or strike three, a pitch “passes the catcher and lodges in the umpire’s mask or paraphernalia.”