The Ole Ball Game

Tagging the base with the ball

by Cris Foster
(Glen Allen, VA)

Cris asked: Is the batter out if he hits a ground ball to first, and the first baseman tags the base with the ball only (before the runner reaches first)?

Rick answered: Cris, thank you for your question.

The play you described is a force play. The defensive player must have control of the baseball, either in his hand or glove.

As long as he has that control, he can tag the base with any part of his body. A players glove is considered an extension of his body, as is the baseball controlled in his bare hand.

The image above is a tag situation for the defender. He must tag the runner, either with his glove, with the ball in it, or tag the runner with the ball secured in his bare hand.

Yours in baseball,


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