The Ole Ball Game

Is it a balk when the pitcher, with no one on base, is in the set position, and begins to move the ball out of the glove and then puts it back in, and then starts his delivery?

by Kevin
(Charleston, SC)

Photo Bill Stanton:

Photo Bill Stanton:

Kevin asked: I was the field ump and the pitcher was pitching from the stretch, set position.

No runners on base. While in the set position the pitcher, whose hand was on the ball inside the glove, slightly moved the ball away from the glove, then stopped and brought the two together again.

The home plate ump called a balk on the play, even though no runners were on base, and the penalty was a ball on the batter.

Is this a balk or an illegal pitch, and was the penalty correct?



Rick answered: Kevin, thank you for your question.

Since there were no runners on base, the call should have been, illegal pitch, rule 2-18-1...An illegal pitch is an illegal act committed by the pitcher with no runner on base, which results in a ball being awarded the batter.

When an illegal pitch occurs with a runner, or runners, on base, it is ruled a balk.

There was a wrong call, correct penalty.

Yours in baseball,


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