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Foreign ball


Guest Ken

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Hoping you could provide ruling and citation on the little league situation below:

Runner on 2nd, nobody out. Pitch gets past catcher and goes to the backstop. Runner advances to 3rd and catcher picks up and throws ball which was dropped by the ump (extra ball was in ump's pocket and fell out).  Throw goes into left field and runner advances to home. The umpire never stopped play.

Could you please advise on the correct call? Does the run stand? Should the play have been called dead? If called dead, where would the runner end up?

Thanks in advance.

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As @noumpere and @Rich Ives imply, the question becomes where is the true Live ball? At the backstop still, right. So it's play on. It would be the same case if I foul ball from an adjacent field landed on the field during live ball action. The only time we (as umpires) kill it (or should) is prior to a pitch – otherwise, the onus is on the defense to be tracking the Live ball in play.

Now if the Dead/Foreign/Alien ball is involved in the play upon a Runner or the BR, wherein said Runner would otherwise be Out if that was the Live ball, then we kill it at that point. In your situation, though, the true Live ball remained Live (if it had gone under the backstop into DBT that's a different outcome entirely), and the D/F/A ball wasn't involved in a play on a Runner... thus, any advancing and scoring by the offense is valid.

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I had a similar one a couple years ago.  A ball from an earlier game was wedged in the backstop, up about 20'.  Before the game, we tried without success to knock it out, and just played on.  In the middle innings, with runners on 2nd and 3rd, a wild pitch went to the screen and both balls fell to the ground.  R3 scored easily, and R2 took a big turn while F2 stood looking at the 2 baseballs.  At first, I didn't see the 2nd ball, and once I did, I had no idea which was the real one.  F2 picked them both up and chased R2 back to 3rd without a play.  No harm, no foul...in fact we got an extra baseball...always a bonus.

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5 hours ago, FleasOf1000Camels said:

I had a similar one a couple years ago.  A ball from an earlier game was wedged in the backstop, up about 20'.  Before the game, we tried without success to knock it out, and just played on.  In the middle innings, with runners on 2nd and 3rd, a wild pitch went to the screen and both balls fell to the ground.  R3 scored easily, and R2 took a big turn while F2 stood looking at the 2 baseballs.  At first, I didn't see the 2nd ball, and once I did, I had no idea which was the real one.  F2 picked them both up and chased R2 back to 3rd without a play.  No harm, no foul...in fact we got an extra baseball...always a bonus.

Smart F2.

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