Can you walk on ball three to advance runners on first and second
Ball Is Live, Runners Advance At Their Own Risk
Steve asked: I played little league in the seventies and we had a trick play.
The batter ran to first on ball three and advanced the runners.
The ump called him back after he touched 1st but; the other runners were credited with stolen bases.
Is this still possible?
Rick answered: Steve, thank you for your question.
In the situation you describe, when the ball three pitch was made, the ball is still live and in play.
If the runners on base at the time leave their base, the play is live and the defense can tag them out, if they do so before they reach the next base.
Once they reach that next base safely, they do not have to go back.
The batter would be returned to the plate with a three ball count, and whatever the strike count was at the time.
The defense is responsible for knowing the count and the situation. Players should know the base runners are subject to being thrown out, and make a play on one of them.
Since the ball is live, it is all within the framework of legal. Somewhat questionable ethics wise; but not illegal.
If nothing else, a play like that forever teaches a defense when a ball is alive or dead, as well as keeping track of the hitter's count, both essential things to stay on top of.
Sometimes the real life experience is the best teacher. This situation should come up in practice so that the first time players experience it isn't in an actual game.
Yours in baseball,