The Ole Ball Game

Home run or out?

by Stephen DePaola

Stephen asked: Outfielder catches ball and falls over wall in fair territory.

Is it an out or home run?

Rick answered: Stephen, thank you for your question.

The play you describe would be an out, the ball becomes a dead ball immediately, all runners would be awarded one base, except when caught ball is third out.

The rule reads...Fair or foul ball is caught by a fielder who then steps or falls from field of play over any boundary or barrier such as a fence, rope, chalk line or pre-game determined imaginary line or into a stand, bench or dugout.

Ball becomes dead immediately, award all runners one base, except when caught ball is third out.

In the picture sequence above, the outfielder goes up, reaches over the wall to make the catch, comes down in fair ground. Out recorded, runners advance at their own risk, since the defensive player did not physically leave the field of play.

If the ball had hit the fielders glove and dropped into the stands, it would be a home run.

If it had hit his glove and fallen back onto the field of play, ball is still live and action is continuous.

Yours in baseball,


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