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Runner on first,ground ball to second the runner on first never left the base. We threw to first to force the batter. Isn't the runner on first supposed to vacate the base? Ken

by Ken
(N.J.)

Photo bill Stanton:  Checkswing.com

Photo bill Stanton: Checkswing.com

Ken asked: Baserunning rules: Runner on first, ground ball to second, the runner on first never left the base. We threw to first to force the batter.


Isn't the runner on first supposed to vacate the base?

Rick answered: Great question Ken.

I don't believe I have ever seen this particular situation come up anywhere. Has had me scrambling to locate a ruling for what you described.

Rule 8 Baserunning-8-2-Art 8...A runner acquires the right to the unoccupied base if he touches it before he is out. He is entitled to this base until he is put out, or until he legally touches the next base while it is unoccupied, or until a following runner is forced(2-24-1) to advance to the base he has occupied.

Rule 8-Baserunning-Section1 When a batter becomes a runner: Art 1... A batter becomes a runner with the right to attempt to score by advancing to first, second, third and home bases in the order listed when:

a. he hits a fair ball

1. He becomes a batter/runner when entitled to run.

When the batter hit the ground ball to second, the runner on first is forced to leave his base, as the batter/runner is forced to run because he hit a fair ball.

When the second baseman threw to first for the out on the batter/runner, it would remove the force on the runner at first.

If the first baseman tags him at first base, I believe he should be out. The defense is not able to throw to second base to get the force out, as that was already removed.

The only other possibility would be that, as long as he was in contact with first base, and the force was removed, he no longer had to vacate.

I could find no definitive rule to cover this.

Sounds like he wasn't called for interference because he was standing on first base when the throw came in.

I would be interested in hearing some more detail on the play and what call the umpires made.

From a coaches standpoint, it is a good idea to teach players to tag everybody in a situation such as this, and let the umpires sort it all out.

You've got to love some of the quirky situations that evolve during baseball games.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

Comments for Runner on first,ground ball to second the runner on first never left the base. We threw to first to force the batter. Isn't the runner on first supposed to vacate the base? Ken

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Aug 19, 2019
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Runner Interference NEW
by: TJ

The situation was this runner on first, batter hits ball to pitcher runner on first starts to second couple of steps then goes back first on which the pitcher hits her with the ball. The ball was still in play and the both advanced. Ball is live by is there a interference for the runner going back to first. Thanks TJ

Sep 19, 2018
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Runner physically touching 1st base and not entitled to it NEW
by: Anonymous

That (see title of the comment you are reading) will be your situation if you had that base at time of pitch and the batter hits a fair ground ball. If force is still in effect, you will be out if tagged while touching 1st base.

Sep 19, 2018
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Re: Sept. 19, 2018 question NEW
by: Carl Moore

OK, batter is tagged out in the baseline, and the runner who was on 1st base at time of pitch either stays there or steps back into the base (understood that this is done before the defense can get there with the ball). That runner is safe because the force is gone (when batter is out), and he is again entitled to 1st base.

Sep 19, 2018
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Must runner run into a double play ?? NEW
by: Anonymous

Suppose the batter hits a (fair) dribble down the 1st base line. Pitcher (or 1st baseman) fields the dribble and tags the batter on his way.

Meantime the runner on first just stays put ( or maybe steps off the bag, until the tag, then steps back).

Sounds like the 1st base runner is safe, and this is just 1 out ??

Apr 13, 2018
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Runner again entitled to 1st base
by: Carl Moore

With the batter out, the force is removed and that runner touching 1st base is again entitled to that base. There was a case in the majors where, with less than 2 out, runner at 1st was on hands and knees, with feet pointing toward 2nd base, and the fielder goofed by tagging the base before tagging that runner (the batter hadn't reached 1st). So the fielder got only 1 out on that play.

Jan 12, 2018
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Hey
by: Anonymous

Didn't this happen with Mantle in the 9th of 1960 world series? He returned to 1st after batter was forced out.

Jun 07, 2014
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Seen it happen
by: Anonymous

In my younger brother's softball league there was a play like this. The first baseman I believe stepped on the bag before he tagged the runner that was still standing on first. Somehow the umpire called a double play (it doesn't make sense) but I was just really interested if the runner would have been out had he been tagged first while standing on first base. It's cleared up for me now, thank-you.

Jun 23, 2013
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It happened today in the Red Sox/Tigers game
by: Anonymous

I'd never seen it before.

http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/red-sox/content/20130623-confusing-play-at-first-base-proves-costly-for-red-sox.ece

Feb 23, 2013
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The rule covers the situation
by: Samuel Dunn

As soon as the ball was hit fair, the runner no longer had the right to stay at first. Tag him, he's out. But, if the batter is put out before the runner at first is tagged, the right to the bag has been returned; the runner at first is safe at first.

Jan 16, 2013
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Easy double play
by: Al

Just make sure the forced runner is tagged 1st if he/she is standing on the bag. Then touch 1st Base to complete the double play!

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