“Numbers Game,” by Richard Armour

This piece was originally published in 1972 in All in Sport, one of many poetry collections written by Richard Armour.  This one is a fun little baseball logic puzzle, which I think I’ve been able to work out, though as I read it over again and think about it further, it seems there are multiple answers to this one.


One runner’s safe, one runner’s out,
Or so the ump has beckoned.
The one who’s safe touched second first,
The one who’s out, first second.




2 thoughts on ““Numbers Game,” by Richard Armour

  1. Runner on first attempts to steal, batter hits a ground ball to third. Runner beats the throw to second base, but second baseman continues on to first to nab the batter. That was my interpretation, what did you come up with, Precious?

    1. Pretty close to what you just said — essentially a botched double play. 🙂 Another option I thought of was that somehow two runners ended up on second in the midst of a play, and so the trailing runner tried to return to first but got caught on the way.

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