The Ball Hits a Bird
by Viva J. Puskar
Viva asked: A ball is hit by a batter and is heading over the home run fence in fair territory, then suddenly hits a bird and lands over the fence in foul territory, how many bases does the batter get?
Rick answered: Viva, thank you for your question.
Rule 5.05 a to 5.05b: When a batter becomes a runner:
Any fair fly ball deflected by the fielder into the stands, or over the fence into foul territory, in which case the batter shall be entitled to advance to second base; but if deflected into the stands or over the fence in fair territory, the batter shall be entitled to a home run.
However, should a fair fly ball be deflected to a point less than 250 feet from home plate, the batter shall be entitled to two bases only.
While I could locate no exact wording for striking a bird, or other object other than the fielder, I believe the ruling is the same.
If the fair fly ball is deflected at a point less than 250 feet from home plate, the batter shall be entitled to two bases only.
For your question, the ball deflected over the fence, in foul territory, the batter is entitled to 2 bases.
Yours in baseball,
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