The Ole Ball Game

Stealing home

by Eugene
(Roselle Illinois)

Eugene asked:If a runner on third steals home and gets hit by the pitch as he crosses home plate, what is the outcome?

Is it runner interference with the pitch?

Does the umpire still have to call a ball or strike?

Does it become a dead ball?

Rick answered: Eugene, thank you for your question.

The rule covering this situation is section 1 Art 1...Ball becomes dead immediately when:

a) a pitch touches a batter or his clothing (8-1-1-d), a runner (8-3-1a)

1. The ball becomes dead, even though the batter strikes at it (8-1-1d)

8-3-Art 1...Each runner other than the batter-runner ( who is governed by 8-1-2) is awarded one base when:

a) There is a balk (5-1-1a, 6-2-4) or a pitch strikes the runner. (6-1-4)

As soon as the pitch hits the runner, the umpire should immediately call dead ball, which stops further activity.

The runner would score and, depending on the game situation at the time, the batter would finish his at bat.

It would not be considered interference with the pitch, as long as the runner stays within his running lane and doesn't intentionally attempt to deflect the ball with a hand, or intentionally kick the ball with his foot.

The batter would have a greater chance of having interference called on him, should he move across the catcher's line of vision, or at an angle attempting to keep the catcher from moving up to attempt to make a play on the runner.

Sounds like in your scenario, the runner already had the base stolen, getting hit with the pitch just cinched it.

Yours in baseball,


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