When the rules say that a third strike must be "legally caught" by the catcher, does that include a situation where the catcher has a third strike glance off his glove, but he ends up catching the deflected ball in his throwing hand (i.e., non-catching hand) before it hits the ground? Would he need to transfer the ball to his glove? I ask this because the rule says:

"'Legally caught' means in the catcher’s glove before the ball touches the ground."

2 Answers 2


I would assume you are correct. As long as it's in his glove before it hits the ground, the batter would be out per the MLB rules.

6.09 The batter becomes a runner when -- (a) He hits a fair ball; (b) The third strike called by the umpire is not caught, providing (1) first base is unoccupied, or (2) first base is occupied with two out;

So there are a few caveats - if there's not a runner on first, under two outs, and the strike was dropped, the batter would be a runner. However, to keep the catcher from dropping the ball and getting an easy double play by throwing to first, the batter is out if there's a runner on first. If there are two outs, the worry about the easy double play at first is moot, and the batter would also be considered a runner.

  • I'm not sure if catchers have different rules than other position players, but as long as he has "control" of the ball and does not let it touch the ground it should be considered a catch. It might be necessary to cross-reference with other sections in the rules to say for sure.
    – user7692
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 20:02
  • @Snowman, yeah, you may very well be correct. I was just going off the definition the OP provided - I didn't check it myself. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 0:05

The rule looks that way, but from a realistic perspective, he would not, as in all other situations in which a player "catches" a ball in that manner, it is considered a good catch. I do not see an umpire enforcing that rule

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