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Man on first, grounder to 1st baseman, he steps on 1st to get the runner out and throws to 2nd for the double play. Is it a force at 2nd or does it become a tag play?

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The runner must be tagged out. To quote from the MLB rules, Rule 5.09(b)(6):

if a following runner is put out on a force play, the force is removed and the runner must be tagged to be put out.

The following runner in your scenario is the batter-runner, so the force is removed as soon as the first baseman steps onto the base.

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