Thursday, June 24, 2021

Non-Foreign Substance - Pitcher Glove Color Legality

With all the recent emphasis on inspecting pitchers for foreign substances, HP Umpire Jeremy Riggs reminded us of existing Rule 3.07(a) in Arizona relative to legal and illegal pitcher glove colors when Brewers starter Freddy Peralta's gray glove was removed from play pursuant to baseball's colour rules, a different kind of inspection-related scrutiny.

According to Official Baseball Rule 3.07(a), "The pitcher’s glove may not, exclusive of piping, be white, gray, nor, in the judgment of an umpire, distracting in any manner. No fielder, regardless of position, may use a fielding glove that falls within a PANTONE® color set lighter than the current 14-series."

Thus, when Peralta ascended the mound with a gray glove, he ran afoul of OBR 3.07, the penalty for which is rather simple, as in 3.07(c): "The umpire-in-chief shall cause a glove that violates Rules 3.07(a) or (b) to be removed from the game, either on their own initiative, at the recommendation of another umpire or upon complaint of the opposing manager that the umpire-in-chief agrees has merit."

Unlike an illegal substance, the glove is simply removed from play, no ejection, no suspension, and the pitcher permitted to continue participating in the game, which is what happened here as Peralta substituted in a blue glove, which is a legal color.

This wouldn't be the first time MLB has seen glove or uniform color issues. For instance, during Players Weekend in 2019, the league-provided all-white uniforms for home teams saw pitchers wearing white hats, which is illegal pursuant to Rule 3.03(g). When then-Cubs manager Joe Maddon complained and had his team wear their traditional Chicago blue caps instead, the League chastised Maddon, instructing teams to "follow the rules," which was rather ironic given Maddon's complaint that by ordering pitchers to wear white hats, MLB had violated Rule 3.03.

MLB then ordered pitchers to wear black hats instead, but this in turn violated Rule 3.03(a) which states that "all players on a team shall wear uniforms identical in color, trim, and style"—all hats must be the same—while 3.03(c) declares, "No player whose uniform does not conform to that of their team-mates shall be permitted to participate in a game." Oops.
Related PostThe Players Weekend Uniform Hiccup (8/26/19).

Video as follows:


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