A walk as good as a hit? Fact or Fiction?

During many years and countless hours watching softball, I’ve heard some things that just make me want to cry.

We’ve all have heard the old saying about there being no such thing as a stupid question. While some of these ballpark comments aren’t stupid…

A walk is as good as a hit!

I hate hearing this, especially when told to young players. For players just starting out to be told, over and over again that waiting for someone else to fail is the key to their success at the plate is heartbreaking to me!

I will concede that a walk is better than an out, most times, but a walk can’t have the same impact on the game as a base hit.

A base hit is more fun for everyone, including the pitcher who gave it up. A base hit can turn into a double or a triple or an inside-the-park home run. A knock puts much greater pressure on the defense to hold the hitter to whatever base her hit warrants. This extra pressure can lead to an assortment of other calamities for the defense, all of which add many more chances to make something happen on the bases.

I also think there are times when a walk may not really be better than an out. Crazy? Not always.

Imagine you have a really good hitter on your team. She has one of those ESPN instant classic at-bats where she battles the pitcher and earns a base on balls. But during the course of that battle, she didn’t swing at several pitches she usually hits well.

Your best hitter just gave up several chances to change the game to earn one base via a walk. Who really won this exchange? I’d much rather have my big gun taking her hacks because I believe she can change the game with one swing.