The Ole Ball Game

Third Base foul or fair?

by Athena Dixon
(Hayward, CA,US)

Athena asked: I'm the third basemen and I get a short hop, it bounces in fair territory and bounced to the side.


I back hand it and catch it before it touches in foul territory but your glove is over the line.

The ball never touched the ground in foul territory... Is it fair or foul?


rick answered: Athena, thank you for your question.


Definition of Terms, Fair ball...A fair ball is a batted ball that settles on fair ground between home and first or home and third base, or that is on or over fair territory when bounding to the outfield past first or third base, or that falls on fair territory on or beyond first or third base, or that, while on or over fair territory touches the person of an umpire or player, or that, while over fair territory, passes out of the playing field.

Foul Ball...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.

As you sort through all the verbiage within the rules, it boils down to the highlighted points above.

While the ball initially hit in fair territory, it went sideways, outside the baseline in foul ground.

While you were standing completely in fair territory making your backhand, the ball was contacted by your glove, the "object foreign to the natural ground" part in the foul ball definition.

Foul ball should have been the call.

Sounds like you made a great play on a tough hop.

Good luck with the rest of your season.


Yours in baseball,

Rick


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Apr 12, 2016
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Where's the base?
by: Rick,theoleballgame.com

Jim: In her question Athena indicated that she and the ball were on the home plate side of third base.

She was standing in fair ground, the ball was in the air, in foul territory.

Call is foul, as her glove was in foul territory.


Yours in baseball,

Rick

Apr 11, 2016
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Where's the base?
by: Jim (Phoenix, AZ)

To me, the fair-ness or foul-ness depends on where the catch was made in regards to the base -- which was not mentioned.
If the catch was before (homeplate side) the base, the ball would've been "foul." But if the catch was after (outfield side) the base, in which case the ball could've bounced over the base, the ball could've been "fair."
Like they say in real estate, it all depends on "Location, location, location."

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