"First in Baseball, First in the Garden State"
Our new sponsor - Cheap Timberland Boots USA, All White Timberland Boots
Player Profiles Online

Ask the Ump – Play 21

Play: Batter hits low line drive that strikes the front of the pitching rubber and caroms into the air. Before it hits the ground, an in-fielder catches the ball. Is it an out?

I’ve been playing for 35 years and never saw this call: The ump called the batter out. I always believed the rubber was like a base in the sense that a carom is treated as if it hit the ground. Am I right and the umpire wrong?

The game is played on a diamond-shaped playing field. The four corners of the diamond are the home plate, first base, second base and third base. In the middle of the infield is a raised mound – known as the pitcher’s mound – where the pitcher stands when pitching the ball to the batter. The area beyond the infield, which is bordered by the first and third baselines, is called the outfield.

Ruling: A batted ball that strikes the pitcher’s plate and rebounds into foul territory before passing 1st base or 3rd base is a foul ball. If it stays in fair territory, the ball re-mains a fair ball, and the defense may make a play.

The pitching rubber is part of the playing field. In that sense, you are correct in saying that the ball has hit the ground when it touches the pitching rubber, much the same as if a batted ball strikes a base.

A difference arises between the two situations in that when a bat-ted ball hits a base it immediately becomes a fair ball. This is not the case when a batted ball hits the pitcher’s plate, in which case it depends on where the ball caroms. In the situation you describe, the fielder has caught a batted ball that has already touched the ground – i.e., a ground ball. The batter is not out, as in a caught fly ball, until put out .

Sources: MLB 1.04 and Diagram 1, 2.00; 1.2.6 and Diagram 2, 1.2.11; www.everysinglesport.com

New Jersey Baseball & New Jersey Baseball Online are your original source for stories about the human interest side of baseball. Coverage ranges from travel team baseball and showcase tournaments to girls’ softball and women’s fast pitch to recruits and prospects; health & nutrition; sportsmanship; the best batting cages & baseball training academies, women in baseball, youth baseball baseball history, sports officiating and umpiring, field maintenance, mens' amateur baseball, and many others. NJB is also your first and best source for baseball rules and interpretations through our unique Ask The Ump feature.


Support Our Sponsors!
Our Old Website?
Looking for a link to our old website?

>Click Here!!!