Fair or bad?  A wacky high school baseball game sparks debate

The dough got a piece of the ball. He turned away from the hunter’s mask. It flew up into the air and straight down into the glove of the pitcher who was waiting below. After that confusion.

The referee called a foul while the ball was in the air. The bowler lifted the ball to indicate that he had caught it. From the sidelines of a St. Louis High School baseball game, parents in attendance could be heard yelling “That’s an out!” and “That’s a foul ball!” in the video posted on Twitter.

The debate also raged on social media, with Jomboy himself getting involved:

At St. Louis University High School, the umpire appeared to speak toward the home team’s third-base line, though the video didn’t pick up what he said. Given that the umpire called the play dead, it’s fair to assume that play resumed with his foul ball call.

On Twitter, some people were also confused. The ball never hits the ground, so shouldn’t it be fair? Was it a foul and only the catcher was allowed to touch it?

It wasn’t bad advice – MLB determines foul tip such as “a batted ball that goes sharply and directly toward the catcher’s hand or glove and is legally caught.” It also says “If the ball is not caught by the catcher, it is considered a normal foul ball.”

If this is the case, it appears to be a foul. The regulation states that a batter is out when “His fair or foul ball (other than a foul) is legally caught by a fielder” and also says that a catch is legal “if the ball is finally held by any fielder , even if juggled, or held by another fielder before it touches the ground.’

Does that mean he should have been out?

I couldn’t find anything in the rulebook for this particular example. There were plenty of third downs and missed third downs; there were explanations for catching bad advice; there were clauses to deflect the ball from an umpire. I didn’t see anything about a foul tip without a third strike being caught by a non-catcher.

Feel free to review the policy and find for sure if you don’t believe me. It is entirely possible that I missed something in this judge bible.

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