In rare cases, baseball games are forfeited, usually when a team is no longer able to play. In the event of forfeiture, the score is recorded as 9-0, as stated in rule 2.00 of the Major League Baseball Rules Book. However, the actual game statistics are recorded as they stand at the time of the forfeit, and recorded as a loss in the standings for the forfeiting team, and a win for the other team, even if the forfeiting team is ahead at that point. The 9-0 score equates to the number of innings in a regulation game. Sports with seven-inning games, such as softball and Little League baseball, generally award a rule-based score of 7-0.
Forfeits were more common in the early days of Major League Baseball. There were five forfeits in the National League in 1886. Game 2 of the 1885 World Series was forfeited when St. Louis pulled its team from the field to protest the umpiring. Game 7 of the 1934 World Series was in jeopardy of being forfeited when Detroit Tigers fans began showering the outfield with debris after St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Joe Medwick slid hard into Tigers third baseman Marv Owen. However, a potential black eye to the Series was averted by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis ordering both Medwick and Owen replaced in the one-sided game.
In games that were played before the advent of stadium lighting (or had an enforced curfew), forfeits were also sometimes declared as a result of a team's stalling tactics. A baseball game is not official until 5 innings have been completed, or 4-1/2 innings, if the home team is winning. Consequently, a team that was behind by a considerable number of runs before the end of the fifth inning might deliberately slow down the game, in the hopes that darkness (or the curfew) would come before the game was declared official. Note, however, that deliberate attempts to slow down play for this reason are subject to a forfeiture being declared. The last such incident took place in 1954. On July 18, the visiting Phillies were leading the hometown St. Louis Cardinals 8-1 in the fifth inning of the second game of a doubleheader. With darkness approaching and the game not yet official, Cardinals manager Eddie Stanky brought in three new pitchers in the inning. Umpire Babe Pinelli, citing an unnecessary delay of the game on the part of the Cardinals, forfeited the game to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Forfeits have become extremely rare in recent years. The advent of night baseball has eliminated the use of stalling tactics to beat the sunset, and in the expansion era of baseball (post-1960), forfeits generally occur only when fans disrupt the game to a point where the stadium staff cannot control them, at which point the home team is forced to forfeit. There have been only five forfeits since 1954, and since 1914, there has only been one incident where a team deliberately made a decision to forfeit a game. (This occurred in 1977 -- details below.) As well, there have been no forfeits in Major League Baseball since 1995; prior to that the last forfeit had been in 1979.
MLB forfeits since 1970
- At the Washington Senators' final game at RFK Stadium against the New York Yankees on September 30, 1971, with the home team leading 7-5 and two outs in the top of the ninth inning, fans angered by the team's impending move to Dallas-Fort Worth, where the Senators were to become the Texas Rangers in 1972, stormed the field and vandalized the stadium. One fan grabbed first base and ran off with it. With no prospect of order being restored (the security guards had simply walked out during the game), the umpires forfeited the game to the Yankees.
- Ten Cent Beer Night: A promotion held by the Cleveland Indians on June 4, 1974 backfired when intoxicated Cleveland fans jumped onto the field and attacked Texas Rangers outfielder Jeff Burroughs with the score tied 5-5 in the ninth inning. This led to a riot in which the drunken and rowdy fans—armed with an array of debris including chunks of the stadium seating – brawled with players from both teams as well as with staff members. The umpires forfeited the game to Texas.
- During the September 15, 1977 game between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays at Exhibition Stadium, Orioles manager Earl Weaver claimed a tarp being used on the bullpen mound endangered his players. After arguing with umpire Marty Springstead, Weaver was ejected and he responded by pulling his team from the field, forfeiting the game to the Blue Jays. This marked the first (and to date only) time since 1914 that a Major League baseball team deliberately decided to forfeit a game.
- Disco Demolition Night: On July 12, 1979, the Chicago White Sox held a game in which Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl came onto the field to blow up a box full of disco records between games of a doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers. Rowdy and intoxicated fans, who had packed Comiskey Park beyond capacity, immediately stormed the field, engaged in various acts of vandalism and theft, and did not leave the field until the arrival of Chicago Police in full riot gear. The field was so badly torn up that the umpires decided the second game couldn't be played. American League President Lee MacPhail later forfeited the second game to Detroit.
- On August 10, 1995, the Los Angeles Dodgers gave out baseballs to paying customers as they entered the Dodger Stadium gates for a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. However, fans interrupted the game in the seventh inning when they threw these baseballs onto the field. The Cardinals were leading the game 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning. The first batter, Raúl Mondesí, was called out on strikes and promptly ejected by home plate umpire Jim Quick for arguing, as was Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda moments later. Dodger fans, fueled by a series of close calls and a few rounds of alcohol, immediately began throwing baseballs onto the field. The Cardinals left the field due to safety concerns. However, when they returned to the field, a ball sailed out of the center field bleachers. The umpires immediately forfeited the game to St. Louis. 
- Leventhal, Josh (2000). Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. ISBN 1-57912-112-8.
- The New York Times. October 1, 1971. p. 49.
- McPherson, Myra; Huth, Tom (October 1, 1971). "Rowdy Fans Hand Senators Final Loss". The Washington Post.
- Kalinsky, George; Shannon, Bill (1975). The Ballparks. New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc.
- The New York Times. June 5, 1974. p. 35.
- The New York Times. September 16, 1977. p. 93.
- The New York Times. July 13, 1979. p. A16.
- The Washington Post. July 14, 1979. p. C2.
- "Rowdy Fans Cause Dodgers to Forfeit Game". The New York Times. August 11, 1995. p. B9. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
- Baker, Chris (1995-08-11). "Three Strikes and Dodgers forfeit". Los Angeles Times.