ON A FORCE PLAY AT FIRST BASE, THE INFIELDER TOUCHES THE BASE, DOES THE BALL HAVE TO BE IN THE SAME HAND
by PAUL WILHITE
Pitcher Covering First
Paul asked: On a force play at first base, the infielder touches the base, does the ball have to be in the same hand?
Rick answered: Paul, thank you for your question.
A Tag: A tag is the action of a fielder in touching 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 a tag, the tag shall be adjudged to have been made.
A fielder does not have to have the ball in the hand that touches the base for the force; he just has to have control of the ball at the time he touches the bag. So, I could make a diving stop of a ball, knock it down, pick it up with my bare hand, dive to the base and touch it with my glove, before the runner touches first, runner is out, as long as I keep control of the baseball.
Yours in baseball,
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