Ball Magnet

Sometimes the ball just finds you. You might try to move out of the way but with the spin, curve or whatever the ball seems to have a homing beacon right for your body.

This happened to Mike Winters last night.

First of all, the announcers are pretty funny when discussing this. He calls for a “Mitch Cupcheck”. Thankfully it looks like it got the umpire in the upper thigh and not a more sensitive area.

This guy was not so lucky:

(on a side note, my YouTube recommendations might looks a bit odd between all the content my kids watch and the search string “ump hit in balls”)

So, what is the rule on this. It is 5.09 (f):

5.09 The ball becomes dead and runners advance one base, or return to their bases, without liability to be put out, when—

(f) A fair ball touches a runner or an umpire on fair territory before it touches an infielder including the pitcher, or touches an umpire before it has passed an infielder other than the pitcher; runners advance, if forced.

Ruling is dead ball, batter gets first and other runners advance only if forced. The award is basically the same as a hit batter. If there were a runner on third when this happened, he would stay there since he was not forced.

That last part is the only real tricky part of the rule. Some folks think that all runners get a base but this is not so.

It is embarrassing as all get out to call this on yourself, but it happens – well it has not happened to me yet. Of course me writing this guarantees it will happen in my next field game.

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