The Ole Ball Game

out or safe and why

by Pat
(Vernon Hills Illinois)

Out At First

Out At First

Pat asked: A ground ball is hit to short, the short stop throws the ball to the first baseman who's mit is on the ground and never leaves the ground.

The runner crosses first base with the ball in the glove on the ground. After the runner crosses first the first baseman raises the ball in the air.

I say the runner is safe, but I need to site the rule, as I think it is a trap and the ground helps the first baseman make the play.

Rick answered: Pat, thank you for your question.

Rule 2.00 Definition of Terms:

A Tag is the action 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.

Pat, the determining factor in this situation is the positioning of the glove.

As described, it sounds like the 1B's glove was on the ground, back of the glove on the ground. somehow, the SS's throw dropped into the pocket of the glove and the 1B picked the glove up and showed the umpire.

If all that is correct, then the 1B had control, the runner is out.

For the ground to come into play, the 1B would have to have his glove over the ball, with the ball on the ground side.

It would be hard for an umpire to call it a catch in that situation, as he cannot see under the glove.

If the back of the glove is on the ground, the ball is in the glove, and the 1B picks it up cleanly and shows it to the umpire, runner is out.

All hinges on getting the glove underneath the ball and maintaining control.

Yours in baseball,


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