The Ole Ball Game

Can a Pitcher covering 1st block base with foot?

by James Ackerman
(Sandpoint Idaho)

James asked: Ball hit to first baseman pulling him down the line.


Pitcher covers and steps on the leading edge of base just under the runners foot. Ball arrives at same moment.

Is the batter out or safe because of obstruction?


Rick answered: James, thank you for your question.

Section 22, Obstruction And Fake Tag, ART 1...Obstruction is an act,(intentional or unintentional, as well as physical or verbal) by a fielder or any member of the defensive team or it's personnel that hinders a runner or changes the pattern of play.

Based on what occurred in your situation, the umpires would have to determine whether the pitcher in some way hindered the runner, or changed the pattern of play such that the runner was forced to take a less direct route to the base.

If such was determined, the runner could be called safe.

If they did not feel there were any grounds for obstruction, the call would be determined by whether they believed the ball and pitcher's foot arrived before the runners foot. If so, runner is out. If not, runner is safe.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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