If a first baseman fields a ball and pitcher is covering first, but the first baseman takes the bag and steps on the pitchers foot before the runner gets there, is he safe or out?
(st. george sc)
Photo Bill Stanton: Checkswing.com
Lanie asked: Pitcher covering first while first baseman is fielding the ball, first baseman takes charge of ball to first, stepping on pitchers foot while on the bag, before the runner gets there.
Is the runner out or safe?
Rick answered: Lanie, thank you for your question.
The runner is safe, unless it is determined by the umpire on the call that the first baseman, while stepping on the pitcher's foot, also in some way contacted the base.
Rule 9-4 Player's Fielding Record Art 2...A putout is credited to a fielder who catches a batted ball in flight, or who tags out a runner, or who puts out a runner by holding the ball while touching a base to which the runner is forced to advance or return.
The actual call in the game hinges on whether the umpire felt the fielder made some contact with the base, not just the pitcher's foot. One of those on the spot judgement calls.
Yours in baseball,