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timelydew

Ball Hitting Top of Wall, Deflected Out by Fielder

Question

If a batted ball hits the top of the fence (yellow line) in a MLB park, what is the ruling if an outfielder deflects it out of play? If it comes back toward the field, is it a double? If it continues "out", HR?

This is the answer I received on umpire.org not long ago: "If the ball continues "out" then it's a HR. If the ball is deflected "back" toward home and is then again deflected out, it's a double."

Seems reasonable but I'm not sure.

Inspired by this (which shouldn't be a HR since the ball was deflected back toward the field off the wall, at least as I've been led to understand):

 

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3 minutes ago, noumpere said:

I think this should have been a two-base award.  Did they not review it?

I'm not altogether sure. I don't think that they did. So, you're saying it came back toward the field of play (the bounce(s) off the wall), and was then deflected out, making a two-base award?

Was the answer I received on umpire.org correct? Obviously OBR here.

Edit: Yeah, when you watch the replay a second time, it seems like it really came back toward the field.

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This ball hit the top of the wall twice, before the fielder batted it out.

I don't see why it wouldn't be a home run - otherwise, you create an incentive for a fielder to accidentally on purpose deflect said ball out of play, to prevent R1 from scoring and/or keeping Batter at second base.

A ball is "in flight" until it touches the ground, or any object other than a fielder.

My assumption is hitting the top of the wall is equivalent to going "over" the wall in flight.   This is why a ball that hits the top of the wall and continues over is a home run - it left the field "in flight".   It is a contradiction though, because that ball that touches the top of the wall can't be caught for an out....because it's no longer "in flight".  Is it or isn't it?

I assume it might be different if it hit the face of the wall, but I don't know - it still creates the same incentive to knock the ball out of play to keep the runners to two bases.

We do know that a ball that hits the top rafters in Tampa is still considered in flight, and can be caught for an out, which is another contradiction to the "in flight" rules.

So, in the end, you fall back to spirit and intent, and I suggest that the spirit of the game intends this play to be a home run.

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52 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

This ball hit the top of the wall twice, before the fielder batted it out.

I don't see why it wouldn't be a home run - otherwise, you create an incentive for a fielder to accidentally on purpose deflect said ball out of play, to prevent R1 from scoring and/or keeping Batter at second base.

A ball is "in flight" until it touches the ground, or any object other than a fielder.

My assumption is hitting the top of the wall is equivalent to going "over" the wall in flight.   This is why a ball that hits the top of the wall and continues over is a home run - it left the field "in flight".   It is a contradiction though, because that ball that touches the top of the wall can't be caught for an out....because it's no longer "in flight".  Is it or isn't it?

I assume it might be different if it hit the face of the wall, but I don't know - it still creates the same incentive to knock the ball out of play to keep the runners to two bases.

We do know that a ball that hits the top rafters in Tampa is still considered in flight, and can be caught for an out, which is another contradiction to the "in flight" rules.

So, in the end, you fall back to spirit and intent, and I suggest that the spirit of the game intends this play to be a home run.

This is very interesting. You make valid points. I really don't know what to think. I was led to believe this: "If the ball continues "out" then it's a HR. If the ball is deflected "back" toward home and is then again deflected out, it's a double."

To me, that interp makes the most sense. I just don't know if it's true. I've been told on umpire.org that it is, any ground rules notwithstanding. On Reddit Baseball, I had all kinds of people coming at me quoting the rule book, but the rule book has no provision for this situation. I'm confused. :/ I'm getting downvoted like heck there.

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31 minutes ago, timelydew said:

This is very interesting. You make valid points. I really don't know what to think. I was led to believe this: "If the ball continues "out" then it's a HR. If the ball is deflected "back" toward home and is then again deflected out, it's a double."

To me, that interp makes the most sense. I just don't know if it's true. I've been told on umpire.org that it is, any ground rules notwithstanding. On Reddit Baseball, I had all kinds of people coming at me quoting the rule book, but the rule book has no provision for this situation. I'm confused. :/ I'm getting downvoted like heck there.

I come to this one conclusion.

A ball that hits the top of the wall in flight and continues over is a home run - proven in practice many times.

A ball that hits a player in flight and continues over the wall is a home run - see Jose Canseco.

By extension, a ball that hits a player, then the top of the wall, then goes over must be a home run,

and a ball that hits the top of the wall, then a player, then goes over, must also be a home run.

The clear distinction, for me, is "top" of the wall, rather than the face of the wall.  

A ball that hits the face of the wall can't physically go over the same wall without help - a  ball that hits the top, can.   With a ball that hits the face/front of the wall, then hits the fielder in the shoulder, then goes back over the wall, though I would rather see that called a home run, I have no problem with it being interpreted as a two-base award.

 

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1 minute ago, beerguy55 said:

I come to this one conclusion.

A ball that hits the top of the wall in flight and continues over is a home run - proven in practice many times.

A ball that hits a player in flight and continues over the wall is a home run - see Jose Canseco.

By extension, a ball that hits a player, then the top of the wall, then goes over must be a home run,

and a ball that hits the top of the wall, then a player, then goes over, must also be a home run.

The clear distinction, for me, is "top" of the wall, rather than the face of the wall.

 

I dunno... I keep getting conflicting answers here. I've got a whole thread on umpire.org going on about how a two-base award should result. You'd think there'd be a CLEAR interpretation of this somewhere, but there's really not at all.

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3 minutes ago, maven said:

It was a HR when it hit the yellow in flight (the first time). The ball was dead at that point.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/ground_rules.jsp

Incidentally, I actually did realize that just a minute ago. Was pointed out to me on Reddit. Notwithstanding the ground rules, however, what do you think? That's a Comerica-specific one, isn't it? Since all yellow lines are in play? So take this play and put it at another park.

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7 minutes ago, maven said:

It was a HR when it hit the yellow in flight (the first time). The ball was dead at that point.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/ground_rules.jsp

All yellow lines are in play. If the ball hits the top of the wall/fence and goes out it is a HR. If it hits the top and comes back in it is live. It would seem that if it came back in and touched a fielder that it couldn't be caught "in flight". How it can still be a HR after it touches the fielder I don't know.

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24 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

I come to this one conclusion.

A ball that hits the top of the wall in flight and continues over is a home run - proven in practice many times.

A ball that hits a player in flight and continues over the wall is a home run - see Jose Canseco.

By extension, a ball that hits a player, then the top of the wall, then goes over must be a home run,

and a ball that hits the top of the wall, then a player, then goes over, must also be a home run.

The clear distinction, for me, is "top" of the wall, rather than the face of the wall.  

A ball that hits the face of the wall can't physically go over the same wall without help - a  ball that hits the top, can.   With a ball that hits the face/front of the wall, then hits the fielder in the shoulder, then goes back over the wall, though I would rather see that called a home run, I have no problem with it being interpreted as a two-base award.

 

Per PBUC/MLBUM a ball that hits the top of the wall and does not go out or come to rest is treated the same as a ball that hits the face of the wall, live and not catchable for an out.

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19 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

All yellow lines are in play. If the ball hits the top of the wall/fence and goes out it is a HR. If it hits the top and comes back in it is live. It would seem that if it came back in and touched a fielder that it couldn't be caught "in flight". How it can still be a HR after it touches the fielder I don't know.

There is a specific ground rule stating that this particular play is a HR at Comerica. Seems stupid but it's true.

Head over to umpire.org, click on forums, and then rules. There, you will find a whole thread started by me on this topic. It's very interesting. The rulesmakers need to address this and have a definitive answer for it. It's not found in OBR.

Edit: nevermind. I was corrected. Disregard.

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Just now, timelydew said:

There is a specific ground rule stating that this particular play is a HR at Comerica. Seems stupid but it's true.

Head over to umpire.org, click on forums, and then rules. There, you will find a whole thread started by me on this topic. It's very interesting. The rulesmakers need to address this and have a definitive answer for it. It's not found in OBR.

The yellow line is on the padding. The ground rule pertains to where railings or other structurs extend above the padding. Check the MLB visuals for the ground rule at the field.

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Just now, Jimurray said:

The yellow line is on the padding. The ground rule pertains to where railings or other structurs extend above the padding. Check the MLB visuals for the ground rule at the field.

Yes, saw your post over there. While you're on there, feel free to opine on this issue. It's been hard to find consensus. 

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Depending on which side you land on regarding this issue, I have a further comment for contemplation.

"The top of the wall is neutral. If the batted ball bounds forward it is a HR, even if the fielder jumps and knocks the ball back into play."

That's a comment from over on umpire.org. I think it has some merit. Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, maven said:

It was a HR when it hit the yellow in flight (the first time). The ball was dead at that point.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/ground_rules.jsp

not sure how you're getting that from the universal ground rules.

 

see also: https://www.mlb.com/video/must-c-carom/c-34605679?tid=11493214

Here's a play that was incorrectly ruled as a double; petco park ground rules have it as a home run. http://m.mlb.com/news/article/239209012/padres-wil-myers-near-homer-ruled-a-double/

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5 hours ago, noumpere said:

I think this should have been a two-base award.  Did they not review it?

Watched the game live. No review. If they had, I would like to believe it would have been over turned. And I'm a Ramirez and Indians fan!

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18 hours ago, Tborze said:

Watched the game live. No review. If they had, I would like to believe it would have been over turned. And I'm a Ramirez and Indians fan!

I don't see your logic in this. We've seen a ball hit a player and go out. We seen many cases of a ball hitting the top of the wall and skipping out. So, why would the combination of them be a double instead of a home run?

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29 minutes ago, Gfoley4 said:

I don't see your logic in this. We've seen a ball hit a player and go out. We seen many cases of a ball hitting the top of the wall and skipping out. So, why would the combination of them be a double instead of a home run?

I was told this a few weeks ago: "If the ball continues "out" then it's a HR. If the ball is deflected "back" toward home and is then again deflected out, it's a double."
As I said in my first post. Is this not true? I cannot seem to get a definitive answer.

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41 minutes ago, Gfoley4 said:

I don't see your logic in this. We've seen a ball hit a player and go out. We seen many cases of a ball hitting the top of the wall and skipping out. So, why would the combination of them be a double instead of a home run?

The ball didn't continue forward and over the fence for a HR.  The ball bounced back into the field of play then batted out. After it hit the wall it was no longer in flight. Not much different then hitting the face of the wall, bouncing off the fielder, and then going over. 

A HR is a fair batted ball in flight and then deflected over the fence in fair territory.  Another interp is it is a HR if a batted ball hits the top of the outfield fence and then bounds over in fair territory. Both from BRD.  

AO 3-21: J/R: "If a fair, batted ball strikes the top of the home run fence, but can still become a home run if it proceeds over the fence over fair DBT and strikes DBT."

Im not alone on this interp. 

Award two bases if a fair ball is deflected over the fence into foul ground.  

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37 minutes ago, Gfoley4 said:

I don't see your logic in this. We've seen a ball hit a player and go out. We seen many cases of a ball hitting the top of the wall and skipping out. So, why would the combination of them be a double instead of a home run?

Here's a FED case.  I think the same applies in OBR.

8.3.3 SITUATION H: B1 hits a long fly ball to left field. F7 goes back to the fence, leaps, but is not able to touch the fly ball. The ball then rebounds off the fence, strikes the fielder's glove and ricochets over the fence in fair territory. Is this a home run or ground-rule double? RULING: This would be considered a ground-rule double. To be a home run, the ball must clear the fence in flight. Action secondary to the hit (ball ricocheting off the fence and then off the fielder's glove) caused the ball to go into dead-ball area. Therefore, the hit shall be ruled a ground-rule double.

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Just now, noumpere said:

Here's a FED case.  I think the same applies in OBR.

8.3.3 SITUATION H: B1 hits a long fly ball to left field. F7 goes back to the fence, leaps, but is not able to touch the fly ball. The ball then rebounds off the fence, strikes the fielder's glove and ricochets over the fence in fair territory. Is this a home run or ground-rule double? RULING: This would be considered a ground-rule double. To be a home run, the ball must clear the fence in flight. Action secondary to the hit (ball ricocheting off the fence and then off the fielder's glove) caused the ball to go into dead-ball area. Therefore, the hit shall be ruled a ground-rule double.

 

I think that's a little different as it's hitting the fence and not the top of the fence. But I wish that this was reviewed so we would have clearly known what the MLB interp on this is.

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5 minutes ago, noumpere said:

Here's a FED case.  I think the same applies in OBR.

8.3.3 SITUATION H: B1 hits a long fly ball to left field. F7 goes back to the fence, leaps, but is not able to touch the fly ball. The ball then rebounds off the fence, strikes the fielder's glove and ricochets over the fence in fair territory. Is this a home run or ground-rule double? RULING: This would be considered a ground-rule double. To be a home run, the ball must clear the fence in flight. Action secondary to the hit (ball ricocheting off the fence and then off the fielder's glove) caused the ball to go into dead-ball area. Therefore, the hit shall be ruled a ground-rule double.

 

We're getting somewhere. :)

So, in your opinion, does it at all matter the DIRECTION that the rebound off the fence takes? I.e., if it bounds back toward the field of play, or bounces forward toward DBT? Again, this question: "If the ball continues "out" then it's a HR. If the ball is deflected "back" toward home and is then again deflected out, it's a double."

And,

If the ball caroms off the top of the wall, and is perceived as going "forward" toward DBT, what is the ruling? HR? Live ball? Assuming the direction of the carom matters at all.

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5 minutes ago, Tborze said:

The ball didn't continue forward and over the fence for a HR.  The ball bounced back into the field of play then batted out. After it hit the wall it was no longer in flight. Not much different then hitting the face of the wall, bouncing off the fielder, and then going over. 

A HR is a fair batted ball in flight and then deflected over the fence in fair territory.  Another interp is it is a HR if a batted ball hits the top of the outfield fence and then bounds over in fair territory. Both from BRD.  

AO 3-21: J/R: "If a fair, batted ball strikes the top of the home run fence, but can still become a home run if it proceeds over the fence over fair DBT and strikes DBT."

Im not alone on this interp. 

I feel like we're bonded by this crusade. Man has it been a bugger to find some answers.

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