Baseball Rule Myths Every Umpire Should Know – Part 3

Continuing on our series of popular baseball rule myths, you’ll find a few of our favorites below.

16. A runner / batter has to turn to the right if they run past first.
The runner or hitter is allowed to turn either direction, left or right, as long as if they do turn left they don’t make an effort to advance a base. If they do, as judged by the umpire, then they are in play. The rule states that they must return, right away, to first base if they overrun or slide past it.

17. The base runner can not steal a base on a pitch that is a foul-tip.
A foul-tip is not a foul ball. When a pitched ball nicks the bat is caught by the catcher it is a foul-tip. In all cases a foul-tip is a strike and the ball is live. Just as if the hitter swung through the pitch.

18. When making an appeal, the ball must always be returned to the pitcher first.
Anytime the ball is live an appeal can be made by anyone. The only case where the ball must go to the pitcher first is if time is out. If time is out, the ball is dead until the pitcher is on the rubber and the umpire calls for play to start. Once play has been called, an appeal can be made.

19. A pitcher must be in a set position if they make a pick-off attempt.
This rule is for before a pitch is made not a pick-off. The pitcher must come to a full stop in a set position before a delivery to the hitter is made.

20. When a fielder falls over the homerun fence while making a catch it is a homerun.
Only if the fielder is touching the ground in dead ball territory, on the other side of the fence, is it a homerun. If the catch is not the third out and the player falls into dead ball territory, all runners will receive an additional base. If the fielder lands on his feet, the ball is live and a play can be made.


If you missed out on our first 2 posts in this series catch them here:

Rule Myths Part 1,  Rule Myths Part 2