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Unread 09-13-2008, 12:53 PM   #1
David3
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Default Can a umpire call "play ball"?

My friend asked me if is this situation legal or illegal.

B1 hit double. After he reached the second base a coach took the offensive time and B1 went to him. Then B1 goes back and stays 5 feet before third base. F1 has a ball and stays on the rubber.

Can a umpire call "play ball" or not? If not, why?

I think it is legal under OBR because a runner must retouch the base only after foul ball but this situation isn't baseball , that's like "Cuban fake"
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Unread 09-13-2008, 01:30 PM   #2
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SSShhh!!! For God's sake, please don't tell any major league managers about this.

The umpire will require the runner to return to 2nd base before the ball is put in play. If he refuses, he gets ejected.
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Unread 09-13-2008, 01:33 PM   #3
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Like already stated, I would tell the runner to get back to second. If I am F1 I would not get on the rubber until the runner returned. I would point him out to the umpire if needed.
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Unread 09-13-2008, 03:51 PM   #4
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Although the rules say a player must retouch his base in this situation, most umpires will put the ball into play if the runner goes back to the
vicinity of that base. There's no way anyone I know would allow a situation like yours to occur.
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Unread 09-13-2008, 04:21 PM   #5
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Default OK,

Other than Rich Ives (for some reason he is unbelieving of this) this is how this rule evolved.

During the 1950's Don Hoak (who gained most his fame playing third base for the championship 1960 Pirates) when being a base runner would, after a foul ball uncaught, take a position about a foot from the next base.

When the umpire would place the ball into play he would step on the bag and "steal" the base. During the season the rule was changed and worded "to return and touch the last legally occupied base" (my words).

This has slowly evolved into being in "vicinty".

This same rule goes for the OP.

Regards,
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Unread 09-13-2008, 05:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: OK,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim_C
Other than Rich Ives (for some reason he is unbelieving of this) this is how this rule evolved.

During the 1950's Don Hoak (who gained most his fame playing third base for the championship 1960 Pirates) when being a base runner would, after a foul ball uncaught, take a position about a foot from the next base.

When the umpire would place the ball into play he would step on the bag and "steal" the base. During the season the rule was changed and worded "to return and touch the last legally occupied base" (my words).

This has slowly evolved into being in "vicinty".

This same rule goes for the OP.

Regards,
I'm the ONLY person that asked for documentation? Amazing!


How many people believe that Jim Piersall ran the bases in reverse order on his 100th HR - causing the "travesty" rule to be added? Lots. Flat out not true though.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 02:16 AM   #7
DaveReed
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Rich,
Here is a reference that says that Hoak was the cause of the rule:

http://www.aarongubin.com/sports/baseball/
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Unread 09-15-2008, 05:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveReed
Rich,
Here is a reference that says that Hoak was the cause of the rule:

http://www.aarongubin.com/sports/baseball/
From a book written in 1998? I've seen published reports of the Pierdall reverse running story.

How about a newspaper account of the game in question?

Can anyone document that the rule change was made then and not earlier?
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Unread 09-15-2008, 07:53 AM   #9
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Sorry Rich, I should have said a little more in my previous post. Actually, I thought TimC was just "firing for effect", and I posted the link to show that he hadn't made it up out of the whole cloth. I've since searched in Google, and I now realize that he apparently believes the tale.

I don't own a JEA, but I imagine that if the Hoak story were true, Evans would write about it, and illustrate how the rule was changed. Perhaps somebody could check on that?

The following link seems to show that runners have been required to return to their base after an uncaught (meaning not gloved on the first bounce or fly ) foul ball since the 1860s, and that they were originally liable to be put out if the ball could be returned to the base before the runner. In 1887, the rule was changed to allow the runner free return to the base. But for approximately the last one and one half centuries, the runner has been required to return. In those early days, the ball became live once the pitcher had it in his possession, while he was in the pitcher's box. Of course, with the ball automatically becoming live, a runner trying to take a lead of 89 feet would easily be put out.

I imagine (but don't know) that with advent of the rubber (1893, I think) and the requirement for the pitcher to be in contact before pitching, the concept of the umpire putting the ball into play would have emerged. It is inconceivable to me that a loophole allowing the runner to advance 89 feet without liability to be put out could have remained unexploited for roughly 50 years. Of course, I've been surprised from time to time.

Note that Hoak is generally listed as the catalyst for the 1956 change to 7.09 that allows two outs to be charged on intentional interference with a batted ball. Perhaps that has lead to some confusion, or perhaps Hoak was just very good at pushing the envelope of the rules!

http://www.19cbaseball.com/rules-foul-fair.html
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Unread 09-15-2008, 12:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: OK,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_Ives
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim_C
Other than Rich Ives (for some reason he is unbelieving of this) this is how this rule evolved.

During the 1950's Don Hoak (who gained most his fame playing third base for the championship 1960 Pirates) when being a base runner would, after a foul ball uncaught, take a position about a foot from the next base.

When the umpire would place the ball into play he would step on the bag and "steal" the base. During the season the rule was changed and worded "to return and touch the last legally occupied base" (my words).

This has slowly evolved into being in "vicinty".

This same rule goes for the OP.

Regards,
I'm the ONLY person that asked for documentation? Amazing!


How many people believe that Jim Piersall ran the bases in reverse order on his 100th HR - causing the "travesty" rule to be added? Lots. Flat out not true though.
Maybe because the rest of us don't really care?
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Unread 09-15-2008, 03:17 PM   #11
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The hoak story is true. It is well documented in the book:

The official rules of baseball: An anecdotal look at the rules of baseball and how they came to be

by David Nemec

He has authored over 20 books on the history of baseball. I have the book at home. I read it several years ago.

The travesty rule is attributed to Ty Cobb who would run back to 1B after successfully stealing 2B to try and draw a throw. It was believed that Cobb was frustrated when the defense ingored his base stealing because he was so fast that they were seldom able to retire him anyway. It is truw that Persall ran the base backwards when he hit is 100th HR. I remember hearing my father telling me about this on the day it happened. However, as far as I know, no rules were changed or created as a result of Persall's antics.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 04:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_Siegel
The hoak story is true. It is well documented in the book:
The official rules of baseball: An anecdotal look at the rules of baseball and how they came to be
by David Nemec
Great! Would you mind posting the date(s) of the game(s) and the year the rule was changed? The book cited in the link I posted omits any verifiable facts.

Thanks.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 05:19 PM   #13
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Someone else said it in another thread, but it seems necessary to repeat in this one:


"Must be September."
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