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Old Mon Mar 03, 2008, 11:59am
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2nd Base tagged with glove while hole ball in hand

Hello All

I had a very strange play happen to me yesterday in a 12u baseball scrimmage game. I have been trying to locate a rule interpretation on this play all morning.

Here is the play: Runner takes off from 1st base too steal 2nd base the batter hits a hard shot to the right side of the 2nd basemen it hits his glove and deflects down to the ground. The 2nd basemen then picks up the ball in his right hand and with the glove on his left hand tags the base without the ball in the glove while holding up the ball.

I mean you could hear a pin drop because everyone was as confused as too what had just happened as I was. I signaled “safe”. To my surprise neither coach said a word.

Did I make the right call?

I have used this site before and it has some very knowledgeable umpires here, so thanks for any information you can offer me.
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Old Mon Mar 03, 2008, 12:10pm
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If it is a force play, the base may be tagged with any part of the body or equipment. In this case, the tag of the empty glove is the same as a foot on the base. Out is the correct call.
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Old Mon Mar 03, 2008, 12:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretMan
Tim, I think you're confused on a couple of points. On the play you describe (R1 stealing second), the runner would be safe because the fielder must tag the RUNNER not the BASE. So, which hand held the ball or touched the base is of absolutely no relevence here.

No wonder nobody said a peep- some coaches are dumb, but they aren't usually that dumb!
The batter hit the ball. This is a force unless the ball was caught for an out, then the force is off.
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Old Mon Mar 03, 2008, 12:27pm
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with the ball in hand...the defensive player could touch 2B with their hand, foot, head, ear, knee, hip, shoulder, whatever...chalk it up to experience, you missed it...they probaby didn't say anything for 1. They don't know the rules either or 2. The kids are 12
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Old Mon Mar 03, 2008, 12:30pm
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Did the fielder touch the base before the runner did? You didn't give us that little detail and it's kind of relevent!

A tag of a base has a different criteria than a tag of a runner.

When tagging a base, the fielder may touch the base with any part of his body, or properly worn equipment, while securely holding the ball. So, catching the ball in the glove while the foot is on the bag, or touching the base with the glove while holding the ball in the bare hand are both legal tags of a base.

Tagging a runner requires actually touching the runner with the ball held securely in the hand or glove doing the touching.

As described in your sample play, the fielder has made a legal tag of the base. If he did it before the runner got there, you should have called the runner out, not safe.
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Old Mon Mar 03, 2008, 12:34pm
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Hey Gaff,

You quoted me before I noticed that this was a batted ball- I just saw "steal" when I quickly read through it. About two minutes later I caught that, deleted my incorrect answer and posted a proper reply.

You must have jumped on my mistake in that two minute window...thanks...
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Old Mon Mar 03, 2008, 12:38pm
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Coach: Blue, how do you have him safe on that play?
Blue: Coach, he didn't have the ball in his glove when the glove tagged the base.
Coach: So now you want my 1st baseman to tag the base with the ball instead of his foot?

I think you get my drift!!
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Old Mon Mar 03, 2008, 12:42pm
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Thanks Guys

I really blew that one, well I learned from it and it will not happen again

Thanks All
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Old Fri Mar 07, 2008, 07:58pm
BigGuy
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Rule 2-24-1 posted below for reference.

ART. 1... A force-out is a putout during which a runner who is being forced to advance is tagged out, or is put out by a fielder who holds the ball while touching the base toward which the forced runner is advancing (9-1-1 for special case.)

I blew one similar to this last year except the play was at first. F3 touched the base with his glove but the ball was in his hand.
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Old Sun Mar 09, 2008, 10:37pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGuy
Rule 2-24-1 posted below for reference.

ART. 1... A force-out is a putout during which a runner who is being forced to advance is tagged out, or is put out by a fielder who holds the ball while touching the base toward which the forced runner is advancing (9-1-1 for special case.)

I blew one similar to this last year except the play was at first. F3 touched the base with his glove but the ball was in his hand.

Hey BigGuy,

I had the following play last year in a tournament game in which I was BU. Bases were empty and batter hits a hard ground ball to 3rd. The throw to 1st was misplayed, bounced off his chest and it was slowly rolling toward the pitchers mound. F3 was able to keep his foot on the base while he stretched way out to grab the ball. (actually he ended up laying on the ground). Then, just before the runner got to the base, F3 lifted the ball up about a inch with his hand while his arm was still streched out flat on the ground. I called the runner out then one of the coaches said the ball was still on the ground so he should be safe. I told him F3 lifted the ball off the ground a split second before the batter-runner got to the bag. The first-base coach told him that he saw the ball lifted off the ground and I made the correct call.

This was a play I've never seen before and the two coaches seemed convinced that even if F3 had the ball in his grasp the ball must be lifted from touching the ground or it would not count as being in his possession. Later in the game I asked the PU if F3 didn't lift the ball off the ground on that play would the runner had been safe or out? He said out because the ball was held in his hand and it didn't matter if it was touching the ground. Who was right...? The two coaches or the PU? Thanks,
...Al
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Old Sun Mar 09, 2008, 10:43pm
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Cool

Al,

The PU was right.

For the tag of the base to be legal, the fielder must have "secure possession" of the ball while touching the base.

I believe it is FED that has a case play that supports the position that it is possible for the fielder to have "secure possession", even though a portion of the ball may also be touching the ground.

Now if I'm umpiring the game, I damn sure am going to make him "lift it clean" before I rule on the play. If he does, the runner is out. If he doesn't, the runner is safe.

JM
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Old Sun Mar 09, 2008, 10:50pm
DG DG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UmpJM (nee CoachJM)
Now if I'm umpiring the game, I damn sure am going to make him "lift it clean" before I rule on the play. If he does, the runner is out. If he doesn't, the runner is safe.

JM
Agreed, but, the timing on the out is the possesion, not the lift. I assume you meant the lift is merely to prove it is securely held. This ain't football, the ball can be in contact with the ground AND securely held.
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Old Sun Mar 09, 2008, 10:54pm
BigGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UmpJM (nee CoachJM)
Al,

The PU was right.

For the tag of the base to be legal, the fielder must have "secure possession" of the ball while touching the base.

I believe it is FED that has a case play that supports the position that it is possible for the fielder to have "secure possession", even though a portion of the ball may also be touching the ground.

Now if I'm umpiring the game, I damn sure am going to make him "lift it clean" before I rule on the play. If he does, the runner is out. If he doesn't, the runner is safe.

JM
On a sit like that, I will be more likely to call the play safe. The words "secure possession" is very open ended. If he picks up the ball, I KNOW he has secure possession; if he doesn't, then I have to make an assumption. I find it difficult to make an OUT call on an assumption that the fielder has "secure possession". My first umpire teacher once said - if you can't see it you can't call it. The same applies here. If his hand is rolled to the side and I can tell he has it securely, I'll make the out call.
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Old Sun Mar 09, 2008, 11:24pm
Al Al is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGuy
On a sit like that, I will be more likely to call the play safe. The words "secure possession" is very open ended. If he picks up the ball, I KNOW he has secure possession; if he doesn't, then I have to make an assumption. I find it difficult to make an OUT call on an assumption that the fielder has "secure possession". My first umpire teacher once said - if you can't see it you can't call it. The same applies here. If his hand is rolled to the side and I can tell he has it securely, I'll make the out call.
Thanks guys,

Before he lifted the ball off the ground I could easily see he had secure possession of the ball just by the way his fingers were gripping it. The funny part of the play was the coach had a broken English accent (Polish) and instead of saying the ball was on the ground he said: "Ump the ball was on the floor".. ...Fun at the ole' ball park. ...Al
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Old Sun Mar 09, 2008, 11:43pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGuy
On a sit like that, I will be more likely to call the play safe. The words "secure possession" is very open ended. If he picks up the ball, I KNOW he has secure possession; if he doesn't, then I have to make an assumption. I find it difficult to make an OUT call on an assumption that the fielder has "secure possession". My first umpire teacher once said - if you can't see it you can't call it. The same applies here. If his hand is rolled to the side and I can tell he has it securely, I'll make the out call.
BigGuy,

As DG suggests above, at the time the runner touches the base (which is the point in time that matters), you make an initial/provisional judgement as to whether or not the fielder has (had) secure possession of the ball while touching the base. If he clearly did not (in your judgment), you can go ahead and rule safe.

If it appears he did, but you are not 100% certain that the ground is not providing some essential support which only makes it APPEAR that he has secure possession, you tell him to lift it. If he does so in a manner that suggests he had secure possession, you bang the out. If he does so otherwise, you indicate safe.

Sometimes, you just got to umpire.

JM
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