The Ole Ball Game

Runner at Third Base with one or no outs Tags Up

by Coach Joe Ward
(The Villages, Florida)

Out Or Safe?  One Of The Most Exciting Plays In The Game Of Baseball

Out Or Safe? One Of The Most Exciting Plays In The Game Of Baseball

Joe asked: Their is a runner at third base.


The batter hits a fly ball to left field.

While the ball is in flight, the runner backs up three feet down the line from third base toward the left field line and gets into a three point sprinters stance.

The runner times his departure for home plate just before the left fielder makes the catch.

The runner is now in full speed as he hits third base simultaneously as the fielder makes the catch.

Is this legal?


Rick answered: Joe, thank you for your question.


Rule 5.01 (c) Comment: "Retouch", in this rule, means to tag up and start from contact with the base after the ball is caught.

A runner is not permitted to take a flying start from a position in back of his base.

This is one of those ingenious rules created in the game of baseball, to create an exciting situation within a simple fly ball out.

The runner is timing his leave of a base, to coincide with the catch by a fielder.

He has to leave from a dead start, while on many occasions the fielder has an opportunity to get behind the baseball and make a great throw.

That 90 foot run, coupled with a strong throw from the fielder, generates a tremendous amount of excitement among the crowd, as well as the players in both dugouts.

If base runners were able to get a running start, all that expectation and excitement would be a boring play.

When they created baseball, there was some pure genius on display. It has withstood the test of time.


Yours in baseball,

Rick

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