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Yes, the runner can retreat -- it's not an "automatic out" nor is it "running the bases in reverse to confuse the defense or make a tragedy of the game."

 

Of course, if both BR and R1 are on first, then R1 will be out when tagged.  Or, if second base is tagged, R1 will be out.

If R1 is on first and first is touched before BR arrives, then BR is out, and R1 can legally occupy first.

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21 minutes ago, tward4@twcny.rr.com said:

Hi:  If  a runner is on first base with less than two outs and a ball is hit to second baseman can the first base runner go back to first base to avoid running into a double play?

      Thank you.

Yes - there is a myth you can't.   The only modicum of truth lies in what the batter can and can't do - namely when a player with the ball is between the batter and first base.

In baseball - the batter can't retreat past home plate - if he does he's out.  He can retreat towards it though.

In softball - the batter may not retreat towards home plate to avoid a tag - if that happens, batter is out, ball is dead, and all runners return to the base they occupied at time of pitch.

A forced runner may run back to their base to avoid a tag, or try to delay a double play attempt.   He can, however, be tagged out while on the base if the batter hasn't been put out yet.

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1 hour ago, BT_Blue said:

R1 may also NOT interfere with a throw to F3 because he is standing on the bag 

If R1 is retreating from a tag wouldn't that be normal baserunning? Are you saying once he reaches the bag he would be at risk for unintentional interference with a throw? 

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3 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

R1 may also NOT interfere with a throw to F3 because he is standing on the bag 

I think the Matt Holiday Red Sox-Yankees game proved that to be false, unless you want to say it was different

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21 minutes ago, Gfoley4 said:

I think the Matt Holiday Red Sox-Yankees game proved that to be false, unless you want to say it was different

In the OP R1 is not even a retired runner but your point is well taken. 

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