The Ole Ball Game

After a foul ball does a runner have to return and retag or retouch the base he is on?

by Chris Loudan
(Trinidad, Texas)

Chris asked: Runner on third base and leads off.

Batter fouls the pitch. The runner does not go back to tag up.

Pitcher throws ball to 3rd baseman who throws to catcher as runner runs home.

Called safe at home by ump on the tag.

I was taught that after a foul ball runner has to return to the base he occupies and tag up.

What is the correct answer?

Rick answered: Chris, thank you for your question.

You were taught correctly.

Rule 5.06 (c) (5) A foul ball is not caught, in which case runners return to their bases. The umpire-in-chief shall not put the ball in play until all runners have retouched their bases.

In your situation, the ball was dead once it was not caught.

The umpire should not have put the ball back in play, until he had seen the runner at third re-tag.

Everything that happened after that should not have occurred.

Yours in baseball,


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