Fair or Foul Ball
by Michael McCann
(Gatineau, QC, Canada)
Michael asked: Batter hits a fly ball just over first base and the second base player attempts to catch the fly ball with his feet in fair territory but the ball is in foul territory.
He drops the ball, what is the call, fair ball or foul ball?
Rick answered: Michael, thank you for your question.
A foul ball is a batted ball that settles on foul territory between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or that first falls on foul territory beyond first or third base, or that while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground.
A foul fly shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the infielder is on foul or fair territory at the time he touches the ball.
The play as you described it then becomes a foul ball. The positioning of the infielder makes no difference in the outcome.
Yours in baseball,
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