In baseball, the squeeze play is a maneuver consisting of a sacrifice bunt with a runner on third base.[1] The batter bunts the ball, expecting to be thrown out at first base, but providing the runner on third base an opportunity to score. A bunt can be attempted with two outs but it is uncommon because there is a significant chance that the batter would be thrown out at first base, ending the inning or because a bunt attempt that is fouled off is an automatic third strike. The squeeze play is said to have been invented on the baseball field at Yale by George B. Case, who later went on to found the US Wall Street law firm White & Case.[2]

In a safety squeeze, the runner at third does not take off until the batter makes contact bunting, waiting for more certainty that the ball will go to a location from which it will be difficult for the fielding team to make an out at home plate.

In a suicide squeeze, the runner takes off as soon as the pitcher begins to throw the pitch, before releasing the ball. If properly executed, a play at homeplate is extremely unlikely. However, if the batter fails to make contact with the pitch, the runner is likely to be put out at homeplate (hence, "suicide"). Therefore, the suicide squeeze usually requires a skilled bunter who can make contact consistently, even on difficult pitches.

These plays are often used in the late innings of a close game in order to score an insurance, winning or tying run.


  1. Baseball Rules: Definition of Terms
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