I have a question on the first base runner ruling. Here's what happened :

  1. Batter hit the ball in play
  2. While running to the first he felt but managed to touch the bag with his hand.
  3. Doesn't ask for a timeout
  4. Leave the bag with his hand
  5. Defensive player tag the runner

Out or immunity ?

1 Answer 1



From 5.09(b)(4) in the current MLB Rule Book:

(b) Retiring a Runner

Any runner is out when:

(4) He is tagged, when the ball is alive, while off his base.

EXCEPTION: A batter-runner cannot be tagged out after overrunning or oversliding first base if he returns immediately to the base;

So, since the runner did not overrun or overslide the base in this example, he would be out.

  • This isn't true. There is not enough in the question to give an answer. If some puts their hand down on first base and it left the base clearly after the tag of first they are allowed to "overslide" as the rule stipulates. Meaning that unless they were moving towards second or that they had stayed on first as an established bag their motion can pull hand off the bag. It just never happens. It is such a poor question though.
    – Coach-D
    Sep 5, 2019 at 6:21
  • I'm unsure anything is left to interpretation given the set up, and the rules. The runner in the OP did not overrun the bag, nor did he slide. He fell, presumably by a trip. Even if it were a slide that brought the runner to the bag, he did not overslide the bag; he landed just on it. Nowhere in the Rule Book does it make a provision for this runner to be safe. He only met the bag, to be safe. He then got off the bag. According to the rules he is no longer safe; he is eligible to be tagged out. In no sense in this OP is the runner eligible to be safe by overshooting the bag. Sep 5, 2019 at 15:11
  • There is no rule that stipulates how you may overrun the bag. Whether you hit it with your hand, slide, tumble, summersaults, or run through it you are allowed to overshoot 1st. Not only that but you don't even have to stay in foul territory. As you as you were not making a move to 2nd you are allowed to get back on the bag. The only way that this guy is out is if he established himself on the bag for a second, stays there, then leaves.
    – Coach-D
    Sep 6, 2019 at 19:16
  • "Doesn't ask for a timeout" stipulates that the runner is on the bag, has the opportunity to ask for time, but doesn't. Sep 6, 2019 at 20:31
  • 1
    It's going to up to the judgment of the umpire. The rule doesn't define "immediately", and players certainly seem to take their time returning to the base after overrunning it. (Typically, as long as you stay in foul territory, you are given time to remove any protective armor and stroll back to the bag, which seems to stretch the definition of "immediately".)
    – chepner
    Sep 18, 2019 at 19:21

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