Ok so I’m relatively new to baseball and I am getting to grips with the rules through playing the mlb the show video game. In the game there is a situation which I always get called out and I don’t understand why, when I’m not getting tagged.

The situation is this; I’m on base and the next hitter has hit a flyout. I’ve advanced bases. I then get called out via double play when the defence throws the ball to the plate which I started at.

Like I said I’m quite new to the game of baseball and this is really mind boggling to me as I’ve already advanced to the next base, some instances I’ve got to home plate and still been called out this way too. Someone please help me to wrap my head around this.

Many thanks guys.

  • I don't know the mechanics of the video game, but the general advice is: go about half-way to the next base if the ball is in the air. If it drops, continue running; if it is caught, go back to your original base. Exception: if the runner is on third, stay on the base so that you can run for home as soon as the ball is caught (giving you the greatest chance to score).
    – chepner
    Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


Runners are not allowed to advance before the defense catches a ball directly off the bat (so ground balls do not count in this situation).

After it is caught, or if the ball is not caught directly off the bat, then the runner may leave the base. If the runner does leave early, then the defense may put the runner out by tagging the base before the runner returns.

This is covered by MLB Rules 5.09(b)(5)

5.09 (b) Retiring a runner

Any runner is out when: ...

(5) He fails to retouch his base after a fair or foul ball is legally caught before he, or his base, is tagged by a fielder. He shall not be called out for failure to retouch his base after the first following pitch, or any play or attempted play. This is an appeal play;

The MLB rulebook is fairly readable. It's the best place to go if you want to know every situation that can cause a batter or a runner to be retired.

  • The ball doesn't necessarily have to be caught directly off the bat, though exceptions are rare. One prominent example is the catwalks at Tropicana Field; a fly ball hitting one is still considered a fly ball, and an out is recorded if such a ball is caught before it hits the ground. Typically, the ball touching the ground or a wall constitutes the ball "landing", and exceptions such as the catwalks are covered by ground rules at individual stadiums.
    – chepner
    Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 17:35
  • I wonder if the video game captures that quirk :)
    – chepner
    Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 17:39

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