Steve O's Umpire Resources

 

Previous Questions of the Month!

 

 

July Answer

Q: Runner on 2nd, 1 out. Runner is going on the pitch. The batter hits a ball to deep center field and the center fielder makes a terrific catch for the 2nd out on a ball the runner did not believe would be caught. The runner at the time of the catch was well past 3rd and he continues and touches home and then walks to the dugout. At the time of the catch the entire defense leaves the field. The centerfielder is the last one off the field, however he has the ball but does not step on 2nd, and then continues into the dugout.What is your ruling?
This sounds made up but it actually occured in a game that I worked as the plate umpire in June. I thought I might possibly have the number of outs wrong, and by the time I checked with my partner, the entire defense was in the dugout. Another never-seen-that-before play.

A: There are only 2 outs, so the inning is not over. The defense must re-take the field to complete it. However, since the entire defense had left the field and entered the dugout, they can not appeal the runner leaving early. The run scores.

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the first player to achieve both 200 hits and 100 in four consecutive seasons?

A: Wade Boggs became the first in 1989.

June 2014

Q: Numbers 5,6,7 and 8 are scheduled to bat. Number 7 leads off and singles. 6 sacrifices him to 2nd. Number 5 then comes to the plate and takes a pitch before the defense appeals.
What is your ruling?

A: The first pitch to number 6 legalized number 7's double and the pitch to number 5 legalized the sacrifice. Number 7 is the proper batter at the point of appeal, but since he is on 3rd, his turn is passed over and number 8 becomes the proper batter. (6.07c, 6.07-Approved Rulings)

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the only player thrown out of a ML game without ever playing in one?

A: Bill Sharman of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951. He had just been called up when plate umpire Frank Dascoli threw out the entire bench when he could not identify the ringleader of a bench uprising over a call at the plate. He never played in a game in the Major Leagues.

May

Q: Runner on 1st, one out. A left-handed batter takes strike 3 for the second out and heads for the dugout on the 3rd base side. As he is walking toward the dugout in front of the plate, the catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher and hits the batter in the head. The ball rolls away and the runner goes to second.
What is your call?

A: If the batter unintentionally interferes with the catcher's throw back to the pitcher, the ball is dead and no runners may advance. No interference is called.

Extra Credit

Q: Which catcher has appeared in the most World Series games?

A: Yogi Berra appeared in 14 World Series with the NY Yankees, winning 10 of them.

April

Q: Runner on 3rd, the batter hits a roller to the 2nd baseman. He tosses to the pitcher who just misses touching 1st. The pitcher then attemts to throw the runner out at home but the ball sails into the stands.
Where do you place the batter-runner?

A: 3rd base. The attempt at 1st is the first play on the infield. The throw home is the 2nd, hence 2 bases to the batter-runner.

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the first player in MLB history to earn $1 million per year?

A: Nolan Ryan signed a 3 year contract with the Houston Astros in 1980 and became the first player in MLB history to earn 1 million/year.

October 2013

Q: After a close play at the plate, the catcher begins a heated arguement with the plate umpire, neglecting the fact that the batter-runner is now on 1st base. The catcher is immediatley ejected and continues to argue, while the batter-runner steams around the bases and scores.
Does the run count?

A: Yes, the run scored legally. If a player is ejected during a play, it does not take effect until all action on the play has ended. (5.10h, 9.01d)

Extra Credit

Q: Which player had 7 consecutive hits in two consecutive World Series?

A: Thurmon Muson of the NY Yankees did it in 1976 & 1977.

September

Q: Runner on 3rd, 1 out. The right-handed hitter takes strike 3 and heads for the dugout on the 1st base side past the front of the plate. The catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher and hits the batter in the helmet. It rolls toward the backstop allowing the runner to score.
What is your call?

A: If the batter unintentionally interferes with the catcher's throw back to the pitcher and no runners are attempting to advance, there is no play on and no interference.  The ball is immediately dead and all runners return.

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the first player to hit 30 home runs in one season & when?

A: Babe Ruth in 1920. Later that season, he also reached the 40 & 50 marks.

August

Q: A runner on 3rd attempts to score on a grounder to short. Before he reaches the plate, the throw hits him in the head and knocks him unconscious. The catcher runs down the ball and tags the immobile runner.
Is he out?

A: Yes. When a player is injured while a play is in progress, nothing can be done for the injury until the action is completed. The ball remains live. (5.02, 5.10c, 7.08c)

Extra Credit

Q: Which team holds the record for having both the most and fewest players in a single season?

A: The NY Yankees. The 1989 & 2003 Yankees each had 49 players - the 1923 & 1927 teams each had 25 players.

July

Q: A pitch is hit to deep right field. After striking the ground, the ball hits the right fielder in the leg, who essentially kicks it and it travels over the short right field fence.
Where do you place the batter-runner?

A: 2nd base.

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the first team to place numbers on their uniforms & when?

A: The 1916 Cleveland Indians, which were placed on the left sleeve of home uniforms.

June

Q: A pop-up is hit near the 1st base dugout. The 1st baseman catches the ball on the field, but his momentum carries him down into the dugout. The runner on 2nd tags and heads toward 3rd. The off-balance 1st baseman throws the ball from the dugout into left field and the runner continues home.
Does the run count?

A: Yes. If the fielder steps into the dugout after making a catch, the ball remains in play. If he falls down, it's a dead ball. The runner scored legally. (5.10f)

Extra Credit

Q: Who are the two players that have won 16 consecutive Gold Glove awards?

A: Brooks Robinson & Jim Katt. Quite a feat.

May

Q: A fly ball is hit to left field which appears to be a can of corn. The left fielder sees the ball strike a bird, but stays on the ball and catches it.
What is your ruling?

A: The batter is not since the ball is not legally caught "in flight". The ball remains in play and the batter-runner can advance at his own risk.

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the only player to win the Gold Glove award as an infielder and an outfielder?

A: Darin Erstad from the Angels. He won a gold glove as an outfielder in 2000 and 2002, and as a 1st baseman in 2004.

Baseball

October 2012

Q: Runners on second and third, two out. Batter hits a low liner to center. Runner on second thinks it will drop and runs towards third, while runner on third tags. Centerfielder catches the line drive at his feet and has trouble getting the ball out of his glove. The runner on third, after tagging correctly, heads for home. Centerfielder gets control and throws home. The pitcher, realizing the runner has crossed home, cuts off the throw and then throws to second to get the runner who did not tag up before he can get back to the bag.
What is your call? Does the run score?

A: The run scores. Though most think this is a force play at 2nd, it is technically an appeal play. If the runner scores before the out is recorded, it counts.

Extra Credit

Q: Only one team in MLB history has had eight 200+ lifetime home run hitters on their 25 man roster at the same time.
Name the team and the year.

A: The 2012 NY Yankees.

September

Q: One out, runner on 2nd. Runner takes a large lead and takes off for 3rd base without the pitcher noticing him. The runner reaches 3rd as the pitcher is in his motion but had not yet thrown the pitch. The pitch is thrown and the batter pops out to the 2nd baseman. The runner stays standing on 3rd, the 2nd baseman tags 2nd.
What is your call?

A: Double play. Though the pitcher had not released the ball when the runner reaches 3rd, the time of the pitch begins when the pitcher starts his motion. For the runner not to be declared out, he would have had to reach 3rd before the pitcher started his motion.

Extra Credit

Q: On 8/15 Felix Hernandez threw another 2012 perfect game. How many have there been in MLB history?.

A:23.

August

Q: Bases loaded 1 out, the batter hits a pop-up behind 1st base. The umpire calls infield fly, if fair. The runner at 1st collides with the 1st baseman while attempting to return to 1st. The batted ball drops uncaught over fair territory and rolls foul.
What is your ruling?

A: The ball is immediatley dead and the runner is out. However, in this case the 1st baseman would have caught or touched the ball in fair territoty had he not be interfered with. Therefore, the batter is also ruled out on the infield fly.

Extra Credit

Q: In francise history, 4 Yankee 1st basemen have won the gold glove award. Name them.

A: Mark Texeira (2), Don Mattingly (9), Joe Pepitone (3) and Chris Chambliss.

July

Q: With the bases loaded, 1 out and a 1-1 count on the batter, the runner from 3rd gets a great jump and attempts to steal home. As he slides over the plate, the pitch hits him in the strike zone and bounces away. The catcher finds the ball in time to throw out the runner trying to go from 2nd to 3rd, while the runner on 1st stays put.
What is your ruling?

A: The pitch is strike 2, the ball is dead, the runner from 3rd scores and the other runners are entitled to advance only one base without liability to be put out. (2.00-Strike, 5.09h)

Extra Credit

Q: Here's an old one. How many stiches are on a regulation basebll?

A:108.

May

Q: No one on, no out. Batter hits a fair line drive that strikes the base umpire in the A position behind first. The batted ball bounds upward and is caught by the 1st baseman without touching the ground.
What is your ruling? Is the ball live - is it a catch?

A: It is a live ball and no catch. The ball has passed the 1st baseman and a ball caught off the umpire is not a catch

Extra Credit

Q: In 2011, Justin Verlander was the third Detroit pitcher to win both the MVP and Cy Young awards in the same year.
Who were the other two, and in what years?

A: Denny McLain in 1968 and Willie Hernandez in 1984.

April

Q: Two out, bases loaded. The batter hits a home run but misses 2nd base. The defense properly appeals and the batter-runner is declared out at 2nd.
Do any runs score? If so, how many?

A: Three runs score on the 4-base award.

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the only player in ML history to lead the league in hitting, win a gold glove and the World Series in the same year?

A: NY Yankee Bernie Williams in 1998. He hit .339.

Baseball

October 2011

Q: Runners on 1st & 2nd. The 1st baseman is playing behind the runner. From the stretch, the pitcher throws to 1st with the throw travelling directly over the bag. The 1st baseman remains in his position behind the runner. The ball bounces off the fence directly to the right fielder. The runner from 2nd goes to 3rd while the runner from 1st returns to the base.
What is your call?

A: There is no call. Since the pitcher threw directly to the bag, there is no balk and the play stands.

Extra Credit

Q: Who is the last player to win the ML Triple Crown (leading both the AL & NL in HR's, RBI's & BA) & in what year?

A: Mickey Mantle in 1956.

September

Q: Base loaded, 2 out. The batter hits a grand slam home run. After touching first base, the batter-runner inadvertently passes the runner from 1st as they are both watching the baseball leave the field. The runner from 3rd has already crossed the plate.
What is your ruling & how many runs score?

A: The batter-runner is out for the 3rd out. A home run is technically a dead ball 4-base award. Since the batter-runner reached first safely, the three runners score. This is not a time play.

Extra Credit

Q: Which player has hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game the most times?

A: Mark Teixeira of the NY Yankees, who accomplished the feat for the 12th time this season.

August

Q: Numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the batting order are due up. Number 5 leads off and singles. Number 4 sacrtifices him to 2nd. Number 3 then comes up and takes the 1st pitch before the defense appeals.
What is your ruling?

A: The 1st pitch to batter number 4 legalizes number 5's single & the pitch to number 4 legalizes the sacrifice. Number 5 is the proper batter when the appeal is made, but since he is on base, his turn is passed over and number 6 becomes the proper batter.

Extra Credit

Q: Who played 3rd for the Cubs with shortstop Joe Tinker, 2nd baseman Johnny Evers and 1st baseban Frank Chance?

A: Harry Steinfeldt.

July

Q: Runners on 1st & 3rd, 2 outs. As the pitcher delivers, the plate umpire calls a balk. However, the pitcher continues and the batter hits the ball into the gap. Both runners cross the plate and the batter pulls up at 2nd. The shortstop then calls for the ball, touches 2nd and appeals that the runner from 1st missed 2nd. The umpire agrees and calls the runner out.
What is your ruling?

A: The balk was nullified when all the runners, including the batter runner, advance at least one base. Though he missed 2nd base, the runner from 1st is considered safe pending appeal. After a proper appeal, the 3rd out is a force play at 2nd, so no runs score.

Extra Credit

Q: Which Boston Red Sox owner sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees?

A: Harry Frazee.

June

Q: Runner on 2nd. The batter hits the ball to the 3rd baseman, freezing the runner. He momentarily bobbles the ball which ends up briefly dropping into his shirt, which he quickly pulls out. The throws to first, barely throwing out the batter-runner.
What is your ruling?

A: This is a batted ball caught in eqipment. The ball is dead, the batter-runner is awarded 2nd and the runner on 2nd at the time of the pitch scores.

Extra Credit

Q: Who caught Hank Aaron's 715th home run?

A: Tom House, a Braves reliever who was in the bullpen.

May

Q: Runner on 1st, none out. The runner goes on a 3-2 pitch, which bounces and rolls out of play.
Where do you place the runners?

A: 1st & 2nd.

Extra Credit

Q: On May 2, 1917, what unusual event did pitchers Fred Toney of the Reds and Hippo Vaughn of the Cubs accomplish?

A: They pitched baseball's only double no-hitter through 9 innings. Vaughn lost his no-hitter and the game in the 10th inning. Toney pitched a 10-inning complete game no-hitter.

April

Q: None out, runner on 2nd. The pitcher attempts to pick off the runner, however both the 2nd baseman & shortstop believe they are covering. The shortstop attempts to pull off the play while the 2nd baseman takes the throw, but he obstructs the runner attempting to get back to 2nd. The runner is called safe.
What is your call?

A: This is type A obstruction in Pro ball (7.06a). "If a play is being made on an obstructed runner...the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the base they would have reached, in the umpires judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction." The runner should be awarded third base.

Extra Credit

Q: Which Dodger did not win the Rookie of the Year Award? Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, or Junior Gilliam

A: Roy Campanella.

Baseball

November 2010

Q: In a pre-arranged play, the pitcher tosses the ball to the 3rd baseman from the set position. There is no runner at 3rd, but the 3rd baseman quickly fires the ball to second to get the runner there.
Is this a legal play?

A: No. The pitcher is not permitted to throw to an unoccupied base from either the set or windup position unless there is a play at that base. It is a balk.

Extra Credit

Q: What player has the highest average in NL history?

A: Rogers Hornsby at .3585

October

Q: The center fielder, playing deep, runs far to his right to track down a hard-hit line drive in the gap, which is over his head. While still running, he gloves the ball with an acrobatic, backhanded catch. Still in the act of running, he takes a few more strides, loses his balance, stumbles forward, and falls to the ground. The fall jars the ball loose.
Is this a legal catch?

A: It is not a catch. He must have complete control of the ball and the release of the ball must be "voluntary and intentional."

Extra Credit

Q: Sandy Kofax was forced into retirement by an elbow injury at age 30. What were his primary accomplishments?

A: 3 Cy Young Awards, 4 no-hitters and 5 straight ERA titles.

September

Q: The batter hits a foul ball behind home plate, a row or two into the seats. The catcher reaches into the crowd to catch the ball. Just before he makes the catch, a fan touches the ball but the catcher still catches it.
Is the ball dead or is it a catch?

A: It is catch. MLB rules state "No interference shall be allowed when a fielder reaches over a fence, railing , rope or into a stand to catch a ball." See 3.16

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the first public address announcer in 1962 for the Houston Colt 45's and how much was he paid?

A: Dan Rather who received $10 per game.

August

Q: With a 3-2 count and runners on 1st & 2nd with none out, the batter swings and misses. Both runners are off with the pitch. The batter sees the catcher drop the ball and runs to 1st. The catcher picks up the ball and throws to 3rd where the third baseman catches the ball and steps on third.
Is this a force out?

A: No. With 1st base occupied and less than 2 out, the batter is out on the missed 3rd strike. None of the runners is forced and must be tagged out. (6.05c, 2.00 force out)

Extra Credit

Q: What are the most ML no-hitters thrown in one season and when?

A: 7 in 1991.

July

Q: With the bases empty, the batter hits a shot in the hole to the short stop. He fires the ball to 1st after the batter-runner reaches the bag. However, the runner clearly does not touch the base.
What is your call?

A: The correct mechanic is to call the runner safe. He is safe pending an appeal by the defense.

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the last NY Yankees pitcher to hit a homerun?

A: Lindy McDaniel in 1972. No Yankee pitcher has ever hit a homerun in interleague play.

All-Star Question

Q: What active player has the most All-Star appearances?

A: Alex Rodriguez was chosen for the 13th time in 2010.

June

Q: Instead of using the stretch with runners on base, the pitcher simply brings his hands together in front of his body, pauses and delivers. He varies the time of the pause, sometimes pausing for several seconds and other times pitching almost immediately after bringing his hand together.
Is this legal?

A: Yes. No stretch is required when pitching from the set position. However, the pitcher must come to a stop after bringing his hands together or it is a balk. (8.01, 8.05m)

Extra Credit

Q: Which teams holds the record for most consecutive errorless games?

A: The 2009 Yankees with 18.

May

Q: A high pop foul comes down near the 1st base dugout. The first baseman catches the ball and then steps down into the dugout. The runner on 2nd tags up and heads to 3rd. The 1st baseman throws the ball into left field and the runner continues home.
Does the run count?

A: Yes. If a fielder steps and does not fall into the dugout after making a catch, the ball remains in play. The run scores.

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the only player to be MVP in both leagues?

A: Frank Robinson. 1961 in the NL & 1966 in the AL.

April

Q: Runner on 1st, no count. The pitcher steps off, gets confused and throws a pitch while off the rubber. The batter hits the ball and lines into a double play.
What is your ruling?

A: This is an illegal pitch. Since all runners, including the batter-runner did not advance at least 1 base, the play is nullified and the balk penalty is enforced. R1 is awarded 2nd base, the pitch is nullified and the batter returns to bat. Time should be called immediately after the ball is caught.

Extra Credit

Q: Who were the players who swung the heaviest & lightest bats?

A: Edd Rousch sung the heaviest bat at 48 ounces & Solly Hemus swung the lightest bat at 29 ounces.

Baseball

November 2009

Q: Runner on 1st, none out. The pitcher steps off, gets confused and throws a pitch while off the rubber. The batter swings at the ball and lines into right field. The runner is then doubled off first.
What is your ruling?

A: The pitch is an illegal pitch. Since all runners, including the batter-runner have not advanced at least one base, the play is nullified and the batter returns to bat. The ball remains alive when hit. Time should be called as soon as the ball was caught by the right fielder, since the batter-runner will not be able to advance to 1st, therefore the balk penalty must be enforced.

Extra Credit

Q: Which ML hitter put the most balls in play during the 2009 season?

A: Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies with 609.

October

Q: Runner on 1st, 1 out. The ball is hit down the right field line, with the runner going half-way. The ball is caught in foul territory by the right fielder, but he is carried into dead ball area by his momentum. The runner is awarded and trots directly to 2nd base. When the ball is put back in play, the defense makes an immediate appeal to the base umpire that the runner did not re-touch 1st.
What is your ruling?

A: The runner is out. Even though the ball is dead, the runner must re-touch. He is safe pending an appeal, which in this case was properly requested.

Extra Credit

Q: Which pitcher holds the dubious record of committing the most balks in a single season?

A: Dave Stewart committed 16 in the balk-happy year of 1988.

September

Q: With the bases loaded and an 0-1 count on the batter, the runner from third gets a good jump and attempts to steal home. As he slides across the plate, the pitch hits him in the strike zone. The catcher recovers the ball and is able to throw out the runner from 2nd attempting to advance to 3rd. The runner on 1st does not advance.
What is your ruling?

A: The pitch is strike 2, the ball is dead, the runner from 3rd scores and the other runners are entitled to advance 1 base without liability to be put out. (2.00 Strike, 5.09h)

Extra Credit

Q: Another rarity this year was Eric Bruntlett's unassisted triple play.
How many have their been in baseball history?

A: Bruntlett was the 2nd player in ML history to get the final 3 outs on his own and turned the 15th unassisted triple play in ML history. The 1st was on 7/19/1909 by Neal Ball, ss for Cleveland vs. Boston.

August

Q: A high fly to center appears to be an easy out. The center fielder is surprised when he sees the ball collide with a bird. He recovers quickly and catches the ball. What is the correct decision?

A: The batter is not out since it is not a catch as the ball is no longer legally "in flight." The ball remains in play and the batter-runner can advance at his own risk.

Extra Credit

Q: We've seen one of baseball's rarities this year-the perfect game. How many have their been over the entire history of the game?

A: Mark Buehrle's perfect game in July was the 18th.

July

Q: On a fly to short center, the runner attempts to score from third. The throw beats him by several feet. The runner slides around the catcher and avoids the tag and also misses the plate. Hoping to get away with it, the runner starts to casually walk toward the dugout, but the catcher starts to chase him. To avoid him, the runner circles around while trying to get back to the plate.
What is the call and what should the catcher do?

A: Since the runner has not left "a direct line between bases to avoid being tagged" has has the right to attempt to return to the plate. The catcher should simply step on the plate and appeal to the umpire that the runner missed the plate.

Extra Credit

Q: Who is the only hall of fame player wearing a Montreal Expos cap on his hall plaque?

A: Gary Carter.

June

Q: Bases loaded, one out and a 1 and 1 count. The runner on third gets a good jump and tries to steal home. As he slides over the plate, the pitch hits him in the strike zone and bounces a few feet away. The catcher recovers in time to nail the runner from second trying for third. Your ruling?

A: The pitch is strike 2, the ball is dead, the runner from 3rd scores and the other runners are entitled to advance only one base without liability to be put out. (2.00-Strike, 5.09h)

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the only player to win the batting title in his first 2 full seasons?

A: Tony Oliva.

May

Q: At the pre-game meeting, a light rain is falling. After handing in their lineups, the rain becomes heavy and the home team manager declares the game a rainout. What do you do?

A: Once the umpire-in-chief receives the lineup cards, the umpires are in charge and become the sole authority as to starting the game. If the umpires decide to delay the start of the game or suspend play, a 30-minute delay is mandatory before a postponement can be declared.

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the first left-hander to win the Cy Young Award ?

A: Warren Spahn in 1957.

April

Q: The runner from second attempts a steal and slides hard into third. The loose bag slides away from him and the fielder applies the tag. Is the runner out?

A: He is safe. No play can be made on a runner if the bag becomes dislodged after he's reached it safely. If there is further action on the play, any succeeding runner need only occupy or touch the space formerly occupied by the base. (7.08(c)-Approved Rulings 1-2)

Extra Credit

Q: The New Yankee Stadium opened this month. Who hit the first home run in the original Yankee Stadium?

A: Babe Ruth in the third inning vs. the Boston Red Sox.

Baseball

October 2008

Q: The batter bunts the ball & the catcher fields it in front of the plate. The batter-runner is running in fair territory past the start of the 3-foot lane when the catcher realizes he does not have a line of sight to the 1st baseman. He throws the ball over the runner causing the 1st baseman to leap, but he cannot reach the ball. The batter-runner reaches first safely.
Your Ruling?

A: This is nothing. By rule, the batter-runner has to interfere with the fielder taking the throw for a runner's lane violation to be called. (6.05k)
Note: This IS interference under NFHS rules.

Extra Credit

Q: Who were the last 3 switch-hitters to lead the AL in batting average?

A: Bill Mueller (Red Sox) 2003, Bernie Williams (Yankees) 1998, & Willie Wilson ( Royals) 1982.

September

Q: R2, 0 out. The batter-runner bunts the pitch and is running to 1st in fair territory outside the 45-foot lane. The catcher fields the bunt and throws to 1st. The ball barely nicks the batter-runner's shoulder and is caught by the 1st baseman for the out. He then throws home in an attempt to get R2, who is safe.
Your Ruling?
A:The ball is dead when it touched the batter-runner outside the running lane. He is out and the runner returns to 2nd.

Extra Credit

Q: When was the designated hitter rule originally proposed?
A:In 1928 by then NL President John Heydler. Led by the owners of the AL, the proposal was vetoed.

August

Q: R3, 1 out. The batter swings, contacts the catcher's mitt and hits a deep fly ball to right field. The plate umpire signals 'interference' on the catcher. R3 tags and scores.
Your Ruling?
A: Since the entire play occurred and the batter-runner did not reach 1st base, the interference is enforced (batter-runner awarded 1st, R3 back to 3rd).

Extra Credit

Q: Who is the only player to hit for the cycle twice at Yankee Stadium?
A: Lou Gehrig in 1934 & 1937.

July

Q: At the pre-game conference prior to the second game of a DH, the home team manager states that he believes the field is no longer playable and has decided not to play game 2. The umpires determine that the field is indeed playable.
What is your ruling?
A: The decision rests with the plate umpire from the 1st game. 5.2 of the NAPBL umpire manual states, "The umpire-in-chief of the first game is...sole judge as to weather of not the second game is to start."

Extra Credit

Q: Which ML umpire worked the most games during the 2007 season & which ML umpire worked the most plate games?
A: Rob Drake worked 159 games. Chris Guccione worked 40 games as the plate umpire. Both are fill-in umpires.

June

Q: There is a runner on 1st when the batter hits a line drive at the 1st baseman who dives, but can only trap the ball. The runner, believing there is a catch, returns to 1st. The fielder tags the base and then the runner who is standing on the bag.
Your ruling?
A: The batter-runner is out, removing the force against R1, who is safe.

Extra Credit

Q: Who is the only Hall of Fame member to throw a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium?
A: Bob Feller on April 30, 1946.

May

Q: Bases loaded, 2 out and a 3-2 count. Runners go and the pitch is ball four. The catcher throws through to 2nd base, where the shortstops tags the runner from 1st who has over-slid the bag for the 3rd out before the runner from 3rd base crosses the plate.
Does the run score?

A: Yes. This is not a time play. Though the 3rd out was recorded before the run scored, the runner on 3rd is still entitled to the award of home.

Q: Which player has the most hits at Yankee Stadium?
A: Lou Gehrig with 1,269.

April

Q: The batter hits a deep fly to right. The right fielder gets under the ball at the fence near the foul pole while standing in foul territory. The fielder jumps and touches the ball with his glove while the ball is over fair territory. It defects off his glove and over the fence on the foul side of the foul pole.
What is your ruling?

A: Ground rule double. The ball was fair but traveled over the fence in foul territory.

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the only DH ever to win a gold glove?
A: Rafael Palmiero won the 1999 AL Gold Glove for 1st base, despite playing only 28 games at that position.

Baseball

October 2007

Q: Bases loaded with 2 out. The batter hits a shot to right, scoring two runners but the runner from 1st is tagged out in a rundown. The batter-runner had advanced to 2nd, but had missed 1st. The 1st baseman calls for the ball and appeals at 1st.
What is your ruling. Do the runs count?

A: No. In an appeal develops during the same play in which the 3rd out is made, the appeal takes precedence. In this case, the appeal play is upheld & the batter become the "4th out." Since he never legally advanced to 1st base, the runs are nullified. (7.10b-"Appeal plays...")

Extra Credit

Q: On 9/15/07 Alex Rodriquez hit his 3rd grand slam of the season giving him 16 for his career.
Who are the 7 players with more career grand slams?
A: Lou Gehrig (23), Manny Ramirez (20), Eddie Murray (19), Willie McCovey (18), Robin Ventura (18), Jimmie Foxx (17) & Ted Williams (17).

September

Q: The batter is in the box when the pitch breaks sharply inside and hits the batter on his fingers that are naturally wrapped around the bat. The batter's hands are not in the strike zone.
What is your ruling?

A: The rules clearly state that should a batter be hit by a pitched ball, the ball is dead and the batter is awarded 1st base. It does not specify hands, arms, legs or anything else.
The last time I was in a sporting goods store and looked at bats, they had no hands attached. The hands are NOT part of the bat.

Extra Credit

Q: Who was the modern eras' youngest player?
A: Joe Nuxhall was only 15 years old when he pitched 2/3 of an inning for Cincinnati on 6/10/44.

August

Q: With runners on 2nd & 3rd, a grounder is hit to the 3rd baseman. The runner on 3rd is caught in a rundown and the man on 2nd advances to 3rd. The ball is thrown to the 3rd baseman who tags the runner from 2nd who is standing on the the bag and tags the runner sliding back into 3rd.
Who is out?

A: The runner originally on 3rd is out. The runner on 2nd remains remains at 3rd. When 2 runners converge on a base, both must have actual contact with the bag before it loses its status as a sanctuary. (7.03)

Extra Credit

Q:How many stitches are there on a regulation baseball?
A: 108

July

Q: A runner is on 1st when the batter single to left. As the runner rounds 2nd, he is struck on the head by the throw from the outfield and knocked unconscious. The batter-runner asks the umpire to call time, but he refuses.
Is this correct?

A: Yes. In spite of the injury, the defense has the right to tag the runner before time is called. Umpires cannot rule the ball dead until all action on the play has ended. (5.10h)

Extra Credit

Q: Who were the 3 ML shortstops that debuted at age 18?
A: Tony LaRussa ('63), Robin Yount ('74) and Alex Rodriquez ('94).

June

Q: With 2 out, the bases loaded and a 3-2 count, all runners break with the pitch. The batter strikes out, but the ball gets by the catcher and lodges in the plate umpire's mask. All 3 runners score before the ball is extracted.
What do you rule?

A: One run scores. The ball is dead as soon as it lodges in the mask. The batter is awarded first base. If this occurred with 1st base occupied and less than 2 outs, the batter would be out. (5.09g, 7.05i, 6.05c)

Extra Credit

Q:I was told recently that this year in Sarasota, Florida a triple play was recorded without the defense touching the ball. There were no outs and runners on 1st & 2nd.
Can you guess the play?
A: Batter hits an infield fly for out #1. The runner on first does not realize this, rounds 2nd and passes the runner on 2nd for out #2. The batted ball then strikes the runner on 2nd who is off the bag for out #3. Triple play without the defense ever touching the ball.

May

Q: No runners on base. The batter hits a ball that glances off the pitchers foot and rolls toward the first base line. The pitcher fields the ball in the runners lane causing the runner to tumble over the pitchers body and on to the ground. The pitcher then throws the ball to the first baseman on the bag while the runner is still on the ground.
What do you rule?

A: This is obstruction on the pitcher. Since he had an opportunity to field the ball when it struck him, he is no longer protected. The batter-runner now has the protection into 1st base and should have been awarded 1st.
See the play on YouTube

Extra Credit

Q:What 2 players have hit home runs in all 4 NY ballparks (Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, Polo Grounds & Ebbets Field)?
A: Duke Snyder & Hank Aaron

April

Q: As the umpires approach the plate to start a game, a light rain is falling. As soon as the managers hand their lineups to the umpire-in-chief, the rain becomes heavier and the manager of the home team declares the game postponed.
Is this permitted?

A: No. Once the umpire-in-chief receives the lineup cards, the umpires are in charge. If the umpires delay the start on the game or play is suspended, a 30-minute delay is mandatory before a postponement can be declared. (3.10c, 4.10d)

Extra Credit

Q:
What is the total number of regular season ML games?
A: 2,430

Baseball

September 2006

Q: Runner of 1st stealing on the pitch. The batter hits a ground ball to the shortstop who throws to 2nd, but the runner is safe. The 2nd baseman then throws to 1st, but the ball gets by the 1st baseman and goes in the dugout out of play.
Your ruling?

A: R1 scores and the batter-runner is awarded 2nd.

Extra Credit

Q:
The longest 9-inning game in ML history took place on August 18, 2006 between New York (14 runs) & Boston (11 runs) and lasted 4:45. What was the 2nd longest 9-inning game?
A: The second longest 9-inning game in ML history took place on October 5, 2001 between Los Angeles & San Francisco and lasted 4:27. Jerry Layne was the plate umpire and called 361 pitches.

August

Q: Runner on 3rd, one out. The batter hits a deep fly to center which is caught. The runner tags and proceeds to and steps on the plate. Thinking the runner has left too soon, the 3rd base coaches yells for the runner to return to third. He attempts to do so but is tagged with the ball by the 3rd baseman before he can return to third. The runner did not leave early.
What is your ruling?

A: The run scores. Rule 5.06 states "A run legally scored cannot be nullified by subsequent actions of the runner..

Extra Credit

Q: Which three players have the most consecutive 20 homer/20 steal seasons and how many?
A: Barry Bonds (9), Bobby Bonds (7) & Bobby Abreu (7).

July

Q: The batter hits a deep fly to the right field corner. The right fielder gets under the ball at the fence, near the foul pole. He is standing in foul territory, jumps and touches the ball with his glove while the ball is over fair territory. The ball deflects off his glove and travels over the fence on the foul side of the foul pole.
What is your ruling?

A: Ground rule double. The ball is fair as it was touched while over fair territory.

Extra Credit
Q: What player has played the most games with one team?
A: Carl Yaztremski: 3,308.

June
Q: Runner on 1st. A line drive is hit to the 1st basemen who dives and traps the ball. The runner believes the ball has been caught and returns to the bag. The fielder tags 1st base and then the runner.
What is your ruling?

A: When the bag was touched, the force is removed as the batter-runner is out. R1 was not forced at the time he was tagged and since he is on 1st, he is safe. The fielder should have tagged the runner then 1st for a double play.

Extra Credit
Q:
How many baseballs does MLB use by all teams per season?
A: 918,000.

May
Q: The home team, using the 3rd base dugout, is batting. The batter hits a pop-up near the 3rd base dugout. It appears that the 3rd baseman will easily catch the ball. However, he trips over 2 gloves that were left lying in live ball territory by the home team and fails to catch the ball.
What is your ruling?

A: There is none. The rules do not provide for an out on this play. There are several rules violations with no penalties mandated or even suggested. The umpires should prevent this situation from ever arising by having the offending equipment removes before play begins.

Extra Credit
Q:
How many baseballs does MLB use per team per season?
A: 30,600. 9,00 for Spring training & 21,600 for the regular season.

Baseball

October 2005

Q:
Bases loaded, 1 out. The 2-2 pitch is called a ball. The batter tosses his bat to the dugout and sprints for 1st base. All 3 runners move toward the next base. By the time the plate umpire can communicate to the batter that the count is now 3-2, he is standing on 1st as the pitcher receives the ball back from the catcher. The 2nd baseman realizes that the ball is live and calls for the ball from the pitcher, who finally gets it and throws to the 2nd baseman. A mad dash for 1st ensues, resulting in a safe call at first. The runners originally at 1st & 2nd return to their respective bases safely. The runner from 3rd is standing on the plate. The defense then throws to 3rd, where the 3rd baseman catches the ball and steps on 3rd.
What is your call?

A: There is no call. Essentially the runner from 3rd has stolen home. The other two runners should be kicking themselves in the rear for returning to their previous bases.

Extra Credit
Q:
The longest 9 inning game in AL history took place on Sept. 5, 1997 between NY & Baltimore and lasted 4 hours 22 minutes.
Who were the starting pitchers?
A: Andy Petitte & Jimmy Key

September

Q:
Runner on 2nd, none out. The batter hits a ball into right field. The runner on 2nd rounds third and runs into the plate umpire half way down the line, falling down. He gets up and makes for the plate where the ball is waiting for him for the out.
What, if anything is your call?

A: The runner is out. The plate umpire is authorized to be on the field and did not intentionally interfere with the runner. The runner is on his own.

Extra Credit
Q:
What pitcher has had the most consecutive saves and what year was it?
A: Tom "Flash" Gordon had 43 consecutive saves for the 1998 Boston Red Sox.

August

Q:
Runner on first, none out. Batter bunts a blooper in the air directly to the pitcher's location. The ball glances off his glove and falls to the ground. The batter has not moved from the box and the runner of 1st holds the bag expecting the ball to be caught.
What, if anything should the plate umpire do?

A: This is an intentionally dropped ball. The play is dead, the batter is out and the runner returns to 1st. To get the DP, the pitcher must let the ball drop untouched. (6.06L)

Extra Credit
Q:
What team has used the most pitchers in one season, how many did they use and what year was it?

A: The San Diego Padres used 37 pitchers during the 2002 season.

July

Q:
Runner on 3rd, 2 outs. The pitcher is on the rubber as the runner from 3rd heads for the plate. The pitcher steps off and throws the ball to the plate, which is bunted by the batter.
What, if anything is your call?

A: Since 2 are out, the batter is out on the batter's interference and the inning is over. Since the pitcher stepped off, the throw to the plate was a play and not a pitch. The batter has interfered with the play. If less than 2 were out, the runner would be out and the batter would remain at bat. (7.09d)

Extra Credit
Q:
What team has been the only team to go an entire season without being shutout and what year was it?
A: The 1932 NY Yankees.

June

Q: With no one out and a runner on third, a batted ball strikes 3rd, bounds up and hits the runner standing in foul territory.
What is your ruling?

A: The ball remains live. It is a fair ball since it has struck the bag. The runner is not out because the batted ball struck him in foul territory. (2.00-Fair Ball, 7.08f)

Extra Credit
Q:
The 1998 Orioles were the only team in ML history to have 4 players with 300 home runs.
Who were they?
A: Raphael Palmiero, Cal Ripkin, Joe Carter & Harold Baines

May

Q: A runner is on 1st with 2 out when the batter slugs a double, putting runners on 2nd & 3rd. Before the next pitch, the pitcher makes a quick pickoff throw to 2nd, at which point the 1st baseman asks for the ball and appeals that the batter on 2nd had missed 1st. The umpire saw that he missed the bag.
How should he rule?

A: Though no pitch was thrown since the hit, the appeal should be denied. The rules state that an appeal must be made before the "next pitch or any play or attempted play." The pick-off throw is a play.

Extra Credit
Q:
Which pitcher has the most opening day appearances?

A: Tom Seaver with 16.

April

Q: Men on 1st & 3rd, one out. The batter hits a blast deep to centerfield. The runner at third tags & holds while the runner on 1st takes off, figuring the ball will not be caught. As he rounds 2nd, the centerfielder makes a spectacular catch, with the runner on 3rd racing home. The other runner, in a rush to return to first, fails to re-touch 2nd. The defense tags the bag and appeals. The runner is called out ending the inning.
Does the run count?

A: Yes. The run counts since the third out is not a force out and the runner had crossed the plate before the double play was completed.

Extra Credit
Q:
Who is the first pitcher in big league history to appear in at least 80 games over 4 consecutive seasons?
A: Paul Quantrill. In 2001-2004 he pitched in 80, 86, 89 & 86 games respectively.

Baseball

October 2004

Q: 1st & 2nd, one out. While the runners are attempting a double steal, the batter inadvertently interferes with the catcher. In spite of the interference, the catcher throws out the runner at 2nd, while the other base runner pulls up at third.
What is your call?

A: The fact that the interference was inadvertent is not relevant. The batter is usually out when he interferes with the catcher. In this case, the runner was retired, hence the interference is nullified. The play stands: the runner is out at second and safe at third.

Extra Credit
Q:
Who are the only {2} 3* Mexican born pitchers with 100 or more ML wins?


A: Fernando Valenzuela (173) Esteban Loaiza* (123 wins) & Ismael Valdez (104)
*thanks to Jason Stubler from Manassas, Virginia

September

Q:
1st & 3rd, one out. The batter hits a long shot to right field. The runner on 3rd tags up, but the runner on 1st thinks the ball won't be caught and takes off. As he rounds second, the right fielder makes a sparkling catch, the runner on third then races home. In his rush to return to first, the other runner missed the retouch at second. The defense tags the bag and appeals. The runner is called out, retiring the side.
Does the run count?

A: Yes. The run counts since the 3rd out is not a force out and the runner had crossed the plate before it was completed.

Extra Credit
Q:
What four men have managed both the NY Yankees & the NY Mets?
A: Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, Dallas Greene & Joe Torre

July

Q: Runner on 3rd, 1 out. The pitcher is working from the windup and the runner takes off for home as he starts his motion. The pitch is delivered legally and the catcher moves out in front of the plate in anticipation of a play at the plate. The batter manages to cleanly bunt the ball in fair territory and is thrown out at first, the runner scores.
Do you have a call?

A: Yes. When the catcher moves out in front of the plate, he has committed a balk. The balk is enforced, the run scores, the batter is awarded first base on the interference and the ball is dead. The balk is charged to the pitcher. (Rule 7.07)

Extra Credit
Q:
Who is the only man in ML history to wear all four NY uniforms- Giants, Dodgers, Yankees & Mets, while the teams were in NY?
A: Casey Stengel

May

Q:
On a fly to short center, the runner tags and attempts to score from third, but a strong throw beats him by several feet. He slides around the catcher, avoiding the tag and just missing the plate. Thinking he had the plate, the runner starts for the dugout, but the catcher, seeing no call by the umpire, starts chasing him. He circles around him in an attempt to return to the plate.
What is your call and what should the catcher have done?

A: The runner has a right to return to the plate. He has not departed from "a direct line between bases to avoid being tagged," left the playing field or abandoned running the bases. He is technically safe pending appeal, but the umpire is correct in not signaling him as safe.
The catcher should have simply stepped on the plate and appealed to the plate umpire.

Extra Credit
Q:
In 1997, who did Boston trade to Montreal for Pedro Martinez?
A: Carl Pavano & Tony Armus.

April

Q:
With runners on 2nd & 3rd, a groundball is hit to the 3rd baseman. The runner on 3rd is caught in a rundown while the man on 2nd advances to third. The ball is thrown to the 3rd baseman who tags the runner from 2nd who is standing on the bag and then tags the runner sliding back into third.
Who is out?

A: The runner originally on third is out, and the second runner remains at third. When two runners converge on a base, both must have actual contact with the bag before it loses its status as a sanctuary.

Extra Credit
Q:
Who was the first right-handed batter to have 200 or more hits in 5 consecutive years in the American League?
A: Al Simmons, 1929 - 1933

Baseball

October 2003

Q:
A runner is on 1st when the batter hits a line shot to right field. Believing the ball will go for extra bases, the runner barrels around 2nd as the outfielder makes a sparkling catch. While hurrying to return to first, the runner misses the re-touch of 2nd base. The outfielder's throw gets past the 1st baseman and bounds into the dugout as the runner returns to 1st.
What happens with the runner?

A: The ball has left the playing field and normally would entitle the runner to 3rd base. However, once the ball is out of play, he cannot return to properly touch the base, since he has already legally advanced past 2nd. He should be awarded third . An appeal would then be valid even if he touched 2nd while advancing to 3rd on the award. The defense can appeal the missed base when the ball is put back in play. If they do not appeal, the runner remains at 3rd.

Extra Credit
Q:
Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia has seen its last ML game. Who had the first hit when it opened on April 10, 1971?

A: Phillies manager Larry Bowa.

September

Q:
There are two outs, a 3-1 count and a runner on third when an steal of home is attempted. The pitch is called a ball and the runner is tagged out.
What happens to the batter?

A: The pitch is a legal delivery & takes precedence. It is called a ball & the batter walks. However, the out on the base runner immediately ends the inning.

Extra Credit
Q:
Who are the only players to have 3,000 hits, 300 home runs & 200 stolen bases?
A: Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Dave Winfield & George Brett.

August

Q:
At the pre-game conference at a wet plate, a light rain continues to fall. After the managers present their lineups, the rain becomes torrential and the manager of the home team declares the game postponed.
Is the game postponed?

A: No, it is not. Once the Umpire-in-Chief receives the lineups, the umpires become the sole authority concerning the starting of play. The umpires may delay the start of the game, but a 30-minute minimum delay is mandatory before a postponement can be declared. (3.10c, 4.01d)

Extra Credit
Q:
Which players have 3000 hits & 500 home runs?A: Willie Mays, Hank Aaron & Eddie Murray.

July

Q:
The clean-up hitting catcher slightly injures his ankle. In order to keep him in the lineup, the manager has the catcher switch positions with the first baseman without informing the umpires.
What is the penalty?

A: There is no penalty. Players already in the lineup may switch positions without notifying the umpires, though it is traditional for the plate umpire to be informed of position changes.

Extra Credit
Q:
Which current player has the most pinch hits?
A: Lenny Harris of the Chicago Cubs.

All-Star Game Question
Who had the first All-Star game RBI?

Lefty Grove in the 2nd inning of the 1933 All-Star game. Babe Ruth hit the first HR in the 3rd.

June

Q:
The manager visits the mound to talk to the pitcher who has just completed his warm-ups. He then returns to the dugout. While the plate umpire is replenishing his supply of baseballs, the manager starts back out to the mound to again talk to his pitcher and crosses the foul line.
Is this a situation?

A: Yes it is. The plate umpire should prevent this from occurring if at all possible. Since the manager has crossed the foul line for the second time, the pitcher must be removed from the game. However, he must pitch to the first batter. He is then out of the ball game.

Extra Credit
Q:
Which two umpires have worked the most All-Star games & how many games?
A: Al Barlick & Bill Summers at 7 each.

May

Q:
After a close play at the plate, the catcher argues with the plate umpire, neglecting the base runner at 2nd. The catcher says a magic word and is ejected by the umpire and continues to argue. The runner crosses the plate while the argument continues.
Does the run score?

A: The run scores. If a participant is ejected during the course of a play, the disqualification does not take effect until all playing action has ended (5.10h, 9.01d).

Extra Credit
Q:
Who are the three managers with the most ML wins?
A: Connie Mack, John McGraw & Sparky Anderson.

April

Q:
The runner on 1st steals second base. The throw is much too high to handle. As the runner slides into the bag, the second baseman throws his glove and stops the ball.
Where do you place the runner?

A: If the runner had obtained 2nd base, or in the umpire's judgment had the base stolen when the glove was thrown, the award is made from 2nd. The runner scores. (7.05e)

Extra Credit
Q:
Which team was the first in history to come back from a 3-1 World Series deficit in games and win the series?
A: The 1903 Boston Red Sox (best of 9) & The 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates (best of 7).

Baseball

September 2002

Q: The defensive team's pitching coach makes a trip to the mound. He returns to the dugout, but before any further play has taken place, the manager exits the dugout on his way to the mound.
What should the plate umpire do?

A: The plate umpire should make every effort to stop the manager before he gets on the field. The pitcher must face the current batter before another trip can take place. Should the manager cross onto the field, he should be returned to the dugout, the pitcher should face the next batter & then be removed from the game.

Extra Credit
Q:
Who was the first player ever to be drafted, by which team and in what year?
A:Outfielder Rick Monday was drafted by the Athletics in 1965. His signing bonus was a then hefty $104,000.

August

Q: First and third, none out. All infielders are playing up on the grass to cut off the winning run at third. The ball is hit just by the first baseman on the grass and strikes the runner from first on the foot.
What is your call?

A: There is no call. The base umpire should come up with a safe mechanic and state "That's nothing". The ball remains live. Since the ball has passed an infielder, the runner is not out for being struck with the batted ball. 5.09(f)

Extra Credit
Q:
Who played the most seasons between All-Star game selections?
A:Burt Blyleven: 12 (1973 & 1985)

July

Q: No outs, runner on first, the defense is expecting a bunt. The pitcher comes set while the first baseman is charging. The first baseman then reverses his direction and the pitcher throws to first. The throw is caught by the first baseman before he reaches the bag, and he tags the runner before he can safely return to first.
Is this a balk?

A: No. The runner is out. The pitcher has thrown to the base and the first baseman is moving toward the base in a legitimate attempt to get back and field the throw in order to retire the runner.

Extra Credit
Q:
How many stitches are there on a regulation baseball?
A:108

June

Q: Bases loaded, no outs. The plate umpire calls a balk on the pitcher, who delivers the pitch. The batter hits a long fly to deep center field, which is caught at the wall. The runners from 2nd and 3rd tag and advance. However, the cut-off man throws the ball into the stands while attempting to throw out the runner advancing to 3rd, who trots home.
What do you rule?

A: All runners including the batter-runner must advance at least one base in order for the pitch to be valid. Since the batter is out on the fly ball, the play is dead and the balk enforced.

Extra Credit
Q:
Roger Clemens is rapidly advancing on the all-time strikeout list. Which player has he struck out the most, and how many times?
A:The Rocket has struck out Chili Davis 30 times in his career.

May

Q: The batter hits a swinging bunt in front of the mound. The backspin causes the ball to roll back toward the plate, where it unintentionally hits the bat which inadvertently settled in fair territory after being dropped by the batter. The ball then stops on fair ground. Had the ball not contacted the bat, it would have rolled foul. The batter-runner reaches first safely.
What do you rule?

A: Since the batter-runner simply dropped the bat with no intent to interfere, the ball is live and in play and he is safe at first. The fact that the ball would have rolled foul is not relevant.

Extra Credit
Q:
Which 3 catchers played in 4 different decades?
A: Tim McCarver, Carlton Fisk & Rick Dempsey

April

Q: The batter hits a line shot which amazingly hits the pitching rubber and bounces directly to the catcher, who fields it without having moved from his original position behind the plate. He then tags the batter, who has not had time to leave the batter's box.
What do you rule?

A: This is a foul ball, since it did not pass 1st or 3rd fair and did not settle on fair ground. The catcher is in foul territory behind the plate. (2.0: A fair ball. I actually saw this occur in 2000.)

Extra Credit
Q:
Who holds the longest Yankee World Series hitting streak and how many games does it cover?
A: Hank Bauer: 17 consecutive games.

March

Q: The home manager turns in two lineup cards which are not identical. The plate umpire's copy shows the shortstop batting eighth and the pitcher batting ninth. The visitor's manager has a lineup listing the pitcher eighth and the shortstop ninth. The scoreboard lists the lineup held by the visiting manager, with the shortstop ninth. In the home second when the eighth spot comes up and the shortstop homers, the visiting manager charges to the plate and properly requests a batting out of order ruling.
What do you rule?

A: This is a correctable error that the Umpire-in-Chief should have picked up during the pre-game exchange of lineup cards. That not having been done, the plate umpire has the official copy of the lineups. That is the official lineup of the game, regardless of what the scoreboard or other copies might show. There is no batting out of order in this case.

Extra Credit
Q:
Who was the first native of Puerto Rico to win 20 games in a season in the majors?
A:Ed Figueroa

February

Q: The batter walks. While he is removing his shin protector, the catcher throws the ball to the 1st baseman, who holds it in his glove. After touching 1st and without time being granted, the batter steps past the bag and is tagged by the 1st baseman while off the bag.
Is he out?

A: Yes. A base-on-balls is an award of first base (Rule 2.00). The award and subsequent protection against liability to be put out end when the batter-runner reaches first.

Extra Credit
Q: Who was the first manager of the Texas Rangers?
A:Ted Williams

Baseball

October 2001

Q: Runners on first and second when the batter singles to left. When the runner from second rounds third, he is caught in a rundown, but the catcher throws the ball into left field. As he starts for the plate, the runner slips and falls to the ground. The runner from first comes up behind him, helps him to his feet and both cross the plate.
Is this legal? Do the runs score?

A: Yes. A runner who assists a teammate on the base paths is not subject to penalty, provided that he does not pass the preceding runner.

Extra Credit
Q:
Who was the last player to win a batting title without hitting a homerun in that season?
A: Rod Carew (1972)

September

Q: Two outs, runner on first and second. The batter hits a ball over the center field wall. As the next batter approaches the plate, the catcher takes the new ball and steps on home plate informing the umpire that the second runner to cross home plate did not touch it. You saw the runner miss the plate.
What is your call?

A:This is an improper appeal. The ball is dead when it leaves the park, and the home run is a four-base award. Until the ball is put back in play, no appeal can be made.
Proper procedure would be for the umpire to put the ball back in play when the pitcher is on the rubber with the ball and the next batter is in the batter's box. The pitcher would then step off the rubber and the appeal may be made.

Extra Credit
Q:
Who was the first player in Major League history to bat in 1,000 games as a DH and play 1,000 games at another position?
A: Harold Baines

August

Q: Bases loaded, one out and a 2-1 count on the batter. The runner gets a great jump an tries to steal home. He slides over the plate, but the pitch which is a strike, hits him and bounces away. The catcher grabs it and fires to third nailing the runner from second attempting to advance, while the runner on first remains there.
What is your call?

A: The pitch is strike 2, the ball is dead, the runner from 3rd scores and the other runners are entitled to advance one base without liability to be put out. [2.00-strike, 5.09(h)]

Extra Credit
Q:
What 3 players have hit home runs in 8 straight games, and in what years?
A: Dale Long ('56), Don Mattingly ('87) and Ken Griffey, Jr. ('93)

July

Q: The batter hits a hard smash into the pitches glove. The ball is caught in the webbing and the pitcher can not get the ball out. He takes off his glove and tosses it to the first baseman, who catches it and steps on first before the batter-runner arrives.

A: The batter-runner is out. The pitcher fielded the ball cleanly, and tossing the glove violates no rule. (I actually saw this occur while watching a game on TV some years ago)

Extra Credit
Q:
Who was the last pitcher to win 20 games for 3 different teams?
A:Gaylord Perry
Roger Clemens has a great shot in 2001 (and ultimately did it)

June

Q: Runners on 1st and 3rd, one out. The batter hits a pop fly behind second. The second baseman camps under the ball, then steps aside and lets it fall to the ground untouched. The batter does not run on the play. The second baseman picks up the ball and fires it to the first baseman who tags the runner on first and then the bag.
What is your ruling?

A: They are both out and the side is retired. The runner would have been protected had the ball been intentionally dropped. In this case, the fielder did not touch the batted ball until it hit the ground, and the runner is not protected. (6.05 l - approved ruling, 7.08e)

Extra Credit
Q:
What player has hit the most opening day home runs and how many did he hit?
A:Frank Robinson - 8

May

Q: With a runner on first and none out, the batter strikes out, and the ball gets by the catcher. The batter runs to first and the runner on first heads for second. The catcher recovers the ball and throws wildly past first into right field. The runner from first scores and the batter ends up on third.
What is your ruling?

A:With less than 2 out and first base occupied, the batter is out. The runner is free to advance at his own risk since the ball remains live. The fact that the batter ran to first and drew a throw is not cause for interference by the batter, the catcher should have know he was out and ignored him. The run counts and the offense continues batting with the bases empty.

Extra Credit
Q: Name the three men to manage their team against their son in a regular season ML game.
A: Maury Wills, Felipe Alou and Buddy Bell

April

Q:
With no one on and two out in the bottom of the seventh, the number 8 batter is due up. The manager has no pinch hitters left, feels that the number 8 batter has no chance to get aboard safely and wants to open the eighth inning with his leadoff man. He tells the scheduled hitter to stay in the dugout and sends up the 9th hitter, the pitcher, who strikes out. No appeal is made, the teams change sides and the eighth inning begins. When the home team comes up to bat in the bottom of the 8th, the visitors appeal before a pitch is thrown.
Is the appeal valid? Who is the proper batter?

A: No. The appeal must be made before a pitch is thrown to the first batter of the following half-inning. If this has not been done, the improper batter is legalized and the lead-off man is the first batter in the 8th inning. (6.07c, 6.07d-2)

Extra Credit
Q: Name the 300+ career home run hitter that hit more home runs after his 35th birthday than before.
A: Carlton Fisk

March

Q:
Top of the first, first pitch. The lead-off batter lofts it to right field and it travels over the fence. You are watching the ball as the base umpire, and you notice that the right fielder is coming out of the bullpen. He has obviously been off the field at the time off the pitch. The defensive manager notices this and comes out to say hello, and claims the run does not count.
What is your ruling?

A: The defensive manager is correct. The run does not count. For valid play to take place, the defense must have 9 players on the field.

Extra Credit
Q: What player has led his league in BA and HR's in the same year three times?
A: Ted Williams

February

Q:
Two outs with runners on second and third. On a 3-2 pitch, the batter swings and misses and the ball gets away from the catcher, rolling to the backstop. The runner from third scores easily. The catcher retrieves the ball and throws to the pitcher covering the plate. The runner from second is called out by the plate umpire for out number 3. The pitcher then tags the batter-runner who been watching all the action from just outside the batters box.
What is your ruling?

A: The batter-runner is out on the force play and no runs score. B-R has not reached first and all of the other action has no bearing on the call. (4.09a EXCEPTION: (1), (2))

Extra Credit
Q: There have been only 3 players in ML history to steal 500 or more bases and hit 200 or more home runs. Name them.
A: Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan and Paul Molitor

January

Q:
The runner slides hard into second base causing the base to dislodge and slide away from him. The shortstop applies the tag.
Is the runner out?

A: No, he is safe. No play can be made on a runner at a dislodged base after he has reached it safely. Any other subsequent runners need only occupy or touch the space formerly occupied by the base. (7.08c - Approved Rulings 1-2)

Extra Credit
Q: Who is the only player to win a batting title in three different decades?
A: George Brett

Baseball

December 2000

Q:
The runner on second base is taking a hefty lead. The pitcher whirls to attempt a pickoff but no one is covering the bag. Unable to stop, the pitcher throws the ball to the shortstop who has not moved and is in his normal position deep in the hole between second and third.
Is this a balk?

A: No, it is not. The pitcher may legally throw to the middle infielders in their normal fielding position.

Extra Credit
Q: Who was at bat, who was on the mound and what was the count during game 6 of the 1986 World Series when Bill Buckner made his unforgettable error?
A: Mookie Wilson was facing reliever Bob Stanley when he slapped the 3-2 pitch down the first base line.

November

Q:
With a runner on first and a two strike count, the batter attempts to sacrifice. When the pitch is delivered inside, it strikes the hand of the batter which is holding the lower part of the bat and squirts away in fair territory. The catcher chases down the ball and throws the ball into right field. The batter ends up on second and the runner advances to third.
What is your ruling?

A: The pitch struck the batter on a third strike, he is out and the ball is immediately dead. Any runners return to their respective bases. The player's hands are not a part of the bat. (6.05f, 6.08b-approved ruling, 2.00-bunt, strike)

Extra Credit
Q: Who holds the record for most consecutive saves to start a career and how many?
A: Robb Nen and Greg McMichael with 15.

October

Q: A high pop foul comes down at the edge of the third-base dugout. The third baseman catches the ball, and his momentum carries him down the steps into the dugout. The runner on second tags up and heads toward third. The third baseman fires the ball off-balance into left field and the runner scores.
Does the run count?

A: Yes. If a fielder enters the dugout without falling after making a catch, the ball remains in play. The run scores. (5.10f)

Extra Credit
Q: Only once has a team gone the entire season without being shut out. Which team and in what year?
A: The 1932 New York Yankees

September

Q:
A hard grounder is hit to the first baseman. It deflects off his glove, hits his jaw and falls inside his shirt. Knowing that he will not be able to get the ball out before the runner reaches first, he grabs the ball through his shirt and beats the batter runner to first base.
Is the batter-runner out?

A: No. Though the ball was under the first baseman's hand, it can not be considered securely held by his hand or glove since it was actually trapped by his uniform. (2.00 - Tag, Catch)

Extra Credit
Q: Who hold the record for most consecutive times reaching base, how many times and in what year?
A: Ted Williams - 16 times in 1957

August

Q: After running out a grounder for a single, the batter overruns first base by 25 feet. He comes to a stop in fair territory, turns in the direction of second base and starts to leisurely return to first base. He is tagged before getting there by the first baseman who has the baseball.
Is he out?

A:No. The runner can turn in either direction in fair or foul territory. However, this protection is lost if he, in the umpire's judgment, gives any indication that he will try for second base.

Extra Credit
Q: What pitching brother combination has the most lifetime wins & how many do they have?
A: Phil & Joe Niekro - 538

July

Q: The offensive team's pitcher is at bat with two out and a two-and-two count. He swings and misses a pitch in the dirt. The catcher gloves the ball on the bounce and flips it to the opposing hurler, as is customary on the third out. The pitcher keeps the ball and begins to walk toward first base as he removes his helmet to give to the first base coach who is on his way to the dugout. Realizing that he isn't out because the pitch was handled on a bounce, the pitcher drops the ball and heads off for first base.
What is your ruling?

A: In this situation, the batter should drop the ball immediately or be called out for interference for preventing the defense from making a play. If the batter had done so or did not catch the ball, he can try for first base. In this situation, the catcher made a mistake but committed no rules violation by flipping the ball to the pitcher. The batter did break a rule by carrying the baseball.

Extra Credit
Q: What four men have managed both the NY Yankees and the NY Mets?
A: Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, Dallas Green and Joe Torre.

June

Q: A runner is on second. In a prearranged play, the pitcher, from the set position, throws to the third baseman. There is no play there, but the third baseman quickly fires to second to retire the runner napping off the base.
Is there a call here?

A: Yes, it is a balk. A pitcher is not permitted to throw to an unoccupied base from the windup or set position unless there is a play at that base.

Extra Credit
Q: What player was in the on-deck circle when Sadaharu Oh broke the world homerun record and when Hank Aaron broke the Major league homerun record?
A: Davey Johnson, current LA Dodger Manager.

May

Q: Runner on second, 3-2 count. The runner takes off for third on the pitch and clearly has the base stolen. The pitch brushes the batter's uniform sleeve and bounces to the backstop. When the catcher recovers the ball, the runner from second has crossed the plate, and the batter is pulling up at second.
What is your call?

A: The batter has been hit by the pitch rather than walked. The ball is immediately dead. The runner returns to second and the batter is awarded first base. (The plate umpire should have immediately called "Time" to prevent the ensuing actions)

Extra Credit
Q: Who is the all-time career leader in steals of home, and how many?
A: Ty Cobb, who stole home 50 times.

April

Q: Runners on first and third, one out. A fly ball is hit to center. The runner on third tags up as the runner on first runs past second, thinking the ball will drop. The ball is caught in flight for the second out, and the runner on first is thrown out before he can return to the bag after the runner on third crosses the plate.
Does the run count?

A: Yes. This is not a force play, it is an appeal play and a time play. If the runner on third crosses the plate before the runner on first is thrown out, the run scores. 4.09 Approved ruling: One out, Jones on third...Jones scored before the throw to catch Smith reached first base, hence Jones' run counts. It was not a force play.

Extra Credit
Q: What team was the first this century to go an entire season without tossing a shutout?
A: The 1993 Colorado Rockies.

March

Q: Batters number 7, 8 and 9 are due up in the inning. Number 9 leads off and singles. Number 8 sacrifices him to second. Number 7 steps up to the plate and takes ball one. The defense then appeals the batting out of order.
What is your ruling and who is the proper batter?

A: The first pitch to number 8 legalized number 9's single. The pitch to number 7 legalized the sacrifice. Number 9 is the proper batter at the point of appeal, but since he is on second, he is passed over and number 1 becomes the proper batter.

Extra Credit
Q: Who was a 3,000th strikeout victim twice, and by whom was he struck out?
A: Cesar Geronimo. He was the 3,000th victim of both Nolan Ryan and Bob Gibson.

February

Q: A runner is on first when the batter singles to center. As the runner rounds second and is proceeding to third, the throw from the outfield hits him in the helmet and knocks him unconscious. The third base coach and the on-deck batter request time, but the umpire refuses. The shortstop then picks up the ball and tags the runner.
Is he out? Was the umpire correct in his refusal?

A: The runner is out, the umpire was correct. In spite of the obvious injury, play continues. The umpire cannot rule the ball dead until all action on the play has ended. The ball remains live. (5.10h "...no umpire shall call "Time" while a play is in progress.", 5.10c, 5.02, 7.08c)
NOTE: This is based on Pro rules and DOES NOT APPLY in any game played by youthful participants. "Time" should be immediately called by an umpire and the injured player attended to.

Extra Credit
Q: Which inning of what game was it during the 1986 World Series and what was the score in the top of that inning when Bill Buckner committed his infamous error?
A: 10th inning of game six. The Red Sox took a 5-3 lead in the top of the 10th. The Mets won 6-5.

January

Q: Runner on second and one out when the pitcher balks. The pitch is delivered and the batter hits a grounder to the third baseman, who bluffs the runner back to second but throws too late to get the batter-runner at first.
What's the call? Does the play stand?

A: Balk, no play. Each runner, including the batter-runner must advance at least one base to proceed without reference to the balk. The runner moves to third and the batter returns to the plate. (8.05-penalty ...unless the batter reaches first...and all other runners advance at least one base...)

NOTE: In HS baseball, the ball is immediately dead on a balk.

Extra Credit
Q: What player hit the first homerun in the Astrodome?
A: Mickey Mantle, in an exhibition game just prior to the start of the Astrodome's first season, April, 1965

Baseball

December 1999

Q
: Runner on first, one out, hit and run. The runner takes off on the pitch, which is scalded into right center. The runner passes second base when he then picks up the ball. The center fielder make a sparkling catch in right center, and as the runner re-touches second and is on his way back to first, the center fielder throws the ball into the stands.
Where do you place the runner?

A: Third base. Though the position of the runner at the time of the errant throw usually determines where you place the runner, he is considered to be on first base. Despite his reaching second, first base is the base that he much retouch before legally advancing.(7.05g, 7.05i second note [If the runner is forced to return to a base after a catch....the award is then made from the original base)

Extra Credit
Q: The "eighth wonder of the world", the Houston Astrodome, has seen its last game.
What date did it open, and what was the significance?
A: April 12, 1965. It was the first ML baseball game ever played indoors.

November

Q: With two out and the bases loaded, the batter grounds a sharply hit fair ball past the third base bag. The ball then strikes the wall in foul territory and bounces into a security officer standing in the bullpen. As the left fielder chases down the ball, all runners race home and the batter-runner pulls up at second base.
Is the ball dead? Do the runners score?

A: No, the ball is not dead. When an individual who is authorized to be on the field (other than an umpire or player) is struck by the ball, it is live and remains in play. The runners score. (3.15) "In the case of unintentional interference with play by any person herein authorized to be on the playing field...the ball is alive and in play."

Extra Credit
Q: Who was the first ever Major League DH, for what team and when did it occur?
A: Ron Bloomberg as a New York Yankee, April 6, 1973

May

Q: One out, nobody on. The batter swings and misses a third strike which hits the ground but is picked by the catcher. The batter-runner starts for first, but the plate umpire yells "TIME!" and calls him out, stating that the ball was caught. The plate umpire then states that the ball hit the ground but was caught "cleanly" by the catcher. In the ensuing discussions, the offensive manager claims his B-R should have been able to attempt to reach first, because a clean catch must be made "in-flight". Since he was incorrectly prevented from doing so by the umpire, he therefore should be awarded first. The defensive manager claims the batter had been struck out and for that reason should be declared out.
What is the correct ruling?
Consider the fact that this is no longer a judgment call, it is a rules interpretation. Since the plate umpire admitted that the ball hit the ground, this ruling is subject to a protest.

A: The pitch is nullified and the batter returns to face another pitch. Other than rule 9.01c, there is no specific rule applicable. If the batter is called out on strikes, the chance to get to 1st is unfairly removed due to umpire misinterpretation of the rules (umpire reversed on protest). If the batter-runner is placed on 1st, he is being awarded a base which has not been legitimately earned, due to a misinterpretation of the rules (umpire reversed on protest). This was ruled a do-over by the tournament interpreter who was in the stands at the time.
In the tournament, after a long delay including discussions with the interpreter and 3-man crew, this was the ruling. The batter returned and hit a home run on the first pitch after play resumed. After another long delay and ejection, the game once again continued.

Answers to Rules Questions

Page back / Back to top

Steve Orinick is not liable in any way for any event or situation whatsoever arising from these responses, including errors, omissions or negative consequences, perceived or otherwise. All answers are purely personal opinion. Proceed at your own risk! Check with your local association for specific interpretations.
Answers copyright 1999-2014 Steve Orinick. All rights reserved.