4 Baseball Myths Explained

4 Baseball Myths Explained

4 Baseball Myths Explained

Spring has sprung and April’s showers have graced us with some beautiful May flowers. Along with the warming temperatures and longer days that we’re enjoying comes the return of another seasonal rite – baseball & softball season. Thousands of youngsters will find themselves rounding the bases, tagging runners, or even picking flowers in the outfield over the next few months as little league baseball and softball seasons hit full speed.

It can be argued that the game of baseball has more clichés than any other, and while we all know the object and basic rules of the game, some clichés that you’ve heard since your childhood years to explain the game of baseball, the same one’s that you may have repeated over and over to those sitting next to you, or even jeered to an umpire are just dead wrong.

The following are just a few of the baseball rule myths that we seem to hear the most, with the actual baseball rule or interpretation included.

Myth #1: A tie goes to the runner

I think we’ve all heard this one at one time or another. A play at a base is so close that it appears that the runner and the ball arrive at the same time. In reality, the baseball rule book never addresses a ‘tie’ at a base. It is simply up to the umpire to determine if the runner was touching the base before the ball arrived in the fielder’s glove.

Myth #2: A batted ball that hits home plate is foul

THUD! That unmistakable sound of a batted ball that hits home plate. It seems to disorient everyone around it while the batter, pitcher, catcher and fielder decide what to do in the chaos. Inevitably, the play should continue, but usually, a voice comes from the stands, “that ball hit the plate, ump!” Why yes…yes it did. When fielded in fair territory, it becomes a fair ball.

Myth #3: When running through first base, a runner must turn right to avoid being tagged out on his way back

The inning is off to a good start. A solid hit and the runner beats the throw to first base. After running through the base, the player then walks back to the base in fair territory to enjoy his moment of glory. Again, that infamous voice from the crowd tells the first baseman to, “TAG HIM!”

A player who overruns first base is legally entitled to return to the base in any direction that he’d like as long as, in the umpire’s judgement, he did not make a legitimate move toward second base.

Myth #4: A player must make an attempt to get out of the way in order to be awarded first base after he’s hit by a pitch

This one is fairly simple. The batter is SUPPOSED to make an attempt to avoid being hit by the ball. Again, this defaults to the umpire’s judgement. In every single instance of my umpiring career, I would award first base in this instance.

Many players at the youth level lack either the quickness, awareness, or simply freeze at the sight of a baseball speeding toward them. Besides, do you really want to be the one protesting after a child is struck with a baseball?

Here’s hoping that this enhanced your knowledge of the rules of the game of baseball. Now, sit back, relax and enjoy the memories that our young people are making on the diamond this year.

Most importantly, on behalf of Bordas & Bordas, best of luck to all area little league baseball and softball players this season. Play ball!