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UmpCoach

Re-tagging base after Foul Ball

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UmpCoach    0

I have been umpiring a long time over 20 years and never have enforced baserunners to re-tag the bases they are occupying after a foul ball.

What is the actual rule on that if a runner doesn't re-tag the base after a foul ball?

To me it's such a ticky-tack conversation if a Coach brings it up because you can't appeal it after a picther has thrown a pitch and I was always told to tell the runner to re-tag the base.....what is the penalty if they do not do this? Unsportsmanlike?

I have never told any runner to do that or had any coach tell me a runner didn't re-tag base....im just curious. 

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ricka56    1,062

The umpire is not supposed to put the ball back in play until runners have re-touched their base. So there is no penalty to the runners in the umpire incorrectly puts the ball back in play. The rule was put in place because R1 would "take his lead" one step from 2B after a foul ball. The rule prevented this kind of cheating. 

I can't ever remember looking to make sure a runner has retouched his base. If he was trying to cheat and take a lead near 2B, then I'd probably notice that and enforce the rule. 

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beerguy55    180

I usually, as a coach/player, experienced the opposite.  Seeing kids go back to their base after every pitch - reminding them they only have to do that on a foul ball.

I imagine if a player refuses to retouch after being instructed to do so it would be an ejection.

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VolUmp    212

Here's the rest of the story.

Don Hoak ... a one-time teammate of Jackie Robinson for two years ... loved to find loopholes in the OBR book.  For decades, there was no rule that stated, "runners must retouch their bases after a foul ball."  So, Don Hoak figured out that he could take an 89-foot lead after a foul ball awaiting the ball to be put back in play ... but he never actually got away with it.  The umpires had overheard some discussion that he had planned to test this non-rule.  He tested it, they approached him and said, "OK ... you made your point ... now get back to 1st Base ... we're not allowing this to happen (9.01c).

Soon afterwards, the rule was formally created.

THEN ... the rule was relaxed (in interpretation manuals) that as long as runners returned to the vicinity of their bases, they have satisfied the rule ... they don't technically have to kick the base, and therefore, there is no appeal, and therefore, there is no penalty.

It is difficult, however, to get upset with a coach who INSISTS that the rule book says X (but he hasn't heard of the interpretation).  That's a coach who has at least read the rule book which is an extremely rare find.

Don and Jackie were also largely responsible for the creation of the INTERFERENCE rule that states, "If a player allows a batted ball to hit him with the obvious intent to break up a double play ... "

This was another loophole they exposed for a while by kicking the ball intentionally when it appeared to be a tailor-made DP ball.

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    • By UmpCoach
      I have been umpiring a long time over 20 years and never have enforced baserunners to re-tag the bases they are occupying after a foul ball.
      What is the actual rule on that if a runner doesn't re-tag the base after a foul ball?
      To me it's such a ticky-tack conversation if a Coach brings it up because you can't appeal it after a picther has thrown a pitch and I was always told to tell the runner to re-tag the base.....what is the penalty if they do not do this? Unsportsmanlike?
      I have never told any runner to do that or had any coach tell me a runner didn't re-tag base....im just curious. 
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