Friday, June 17, 2011

You make the call

This question caused quiet a bit of discussion the other day. Let's see how you would rule.

No runners on. The batter hits a sharp groundball to the first basemen. The first basemen makes the play but them falls over as running to first. He see's he won't have time to get up but he also can't reach the bag so he takes his hat off and touches the base with his hat before the runner touches first. What's the call?

By the way, this happened on a game earlier this year. I wasn't on it but I was watching. Interesting conversation after this ruling.


  1. Safe? I believe if he has the ball in his glove or hand (secure possession, etc.), then the runner is out as long as he touches the base with any part of his BODY. Typically this is the foot, but can also be a hand (with or without the ball), or anything else. However, I don't think the hat is deemed to be part of the body. Maybe I'm wrong... I've had a couple of humbling experiences lately.

  2. I would have to say safe. It would be deemed as detached equipment, and like Rulebook said, he just has to touch the base with his body. I don't have a rulebook in front of me to confirm that, but that is an interesting situation.

  3. Bill's got it. You can't use detached equipment to tag the base.

  4. When the play originally happened my first thought was out. But as time went on and I actually thought about it, I started leaning toward safe. You can not use detacted equipment. The ruling is safe.

  5. From rule 2:
    "A TAG is the action of a fielder in touching a base with his body while holding the
    ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove"