The Ole Ball Game

Tagging a runner on base

by Ron
(Thunder Bay)

Photo Bill Stanton:

Photo Bill Stanton:

Ron asked:

Runner on 1st. Ground ball to 2nd. Runner dives back to first thinking ball was caught in the air. 2nd base tags runner & steps on 1st before batter runner. Both are out?

Rick answered: Great question Ron. These modified force out base running questions create a lot of confusion in players, and lead to some interesting on field discussions immediately following the event.

Both are out!

The runner at first base is entitled to that base because he has touched it previously before he was out. He is then entitled to this base until he is put out, or he legally touches the next base while it is unoccupied, or until a following runner is forced ( rule 2-24-1) to advance to the base he has occupied.

Once the batter hit the ground ball to second, he became the batter runner, forcing the runner on first to vacate the base.

When the first base runner dove back into first, he had no claim to that bag. The second baseman had the option to tag him out, throw to second for the force, or go to second and step on the bag for the force.

When he chose to tag the runner on first, the runner is immediately out, as he no longer has a claim to first base, stepping on first completes the double play, since the batter/runner had not reached first base.

Rule covering this is rule 8-2 Art:8

Thanks for your question.

Yours in baseball,


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