Trapped baseball in throwing hand
Bill asked: If the 1st baseman has his foot on the bag and the baseball trapped to the ground in his throwing hand (without showing possession off the goring) the base runner is safe correct?
Rick answered: Bill, thank you for your question.
A tag is the action of a fielder in touching a base with his body while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove; or touching a runner with the ball, or with his hand or glove holding the ball, while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove.
It is not a tag, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his touching a base or touching a runner, the fielder drops the ball.
In establishing the validity of the tag, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball.
If the fielder has made a tag and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the tag, the tag shall be adjudged to have been made.
The determination for out or safe in your situation is whether the umpire feels the defensive player has control of the baseball in his bare hand, or, not.
The ball can be on the ground, the player does not have to bring the ball up and show possession, for it to be deemed "in control".
This is one of the many rule situations which become purely a judgement call on the part of the umpire in real time.
Have to see it happen to say whether the call was correct at the time or not, control of the baseball is the decider.
Yours in baseball,
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