I am new to baseball and quite a few rules are not clear for me. If a player on first base tries to steal second base before the pitcher throws the ball he would have to be “tagged out” because he is not in a forced play situation. Now the batter hits a ground ball for example and the runner who was trying to steal a base is now in a forced play situation and can no longer get tagged. Is that right?

1 Answer 1


You have this wrong: a force out is an additional way of getting a runner out, not instead of tagging them out - i.e. a runner that is being forced can be put out either by tagging the base they are running to or by tagging the runner themselves. The difference is that a runner who is not being forced must be tagged, tagging the base they are running to has no effect.

  • Thank you for answering my question. But is it right that a runner who is stealing base is being forced once the batter hits a ground ball and can now be put out either by tagging the base or by tagging the runner?
    – Oliver
    Commented Mar 1 at 19:26
  • 2
    Yes, @Oliver, once the batter puts a ball in play and they are trying to reach first base, a runner between first and second base can no longer retreat to first. They can therefore be forced out by tagging second base. It does not matter when the runner started relative to the pitch being released, and anyway, baserunners almost always start before the pitch by taking at least a couple of steps of lead off toward the next base. Additionally: it's not accounted a stolen base if the batter puts the ball in play while the runner is advancing from first to second. Commented Mar 1 at 20:07

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