Thursday, August 10, 2023

Little League Runner Knocks Fielder's Glove Off on Tag

A batter-runner knocked a first baseman's glove off his hand during a tag attempt at first base during the North Dakota-Iowa Midwest Region Little League World Series game. We review and answer your question as to whether the proper call here is "safe" due to the fielder's glove falling off or "out" due to the fielder's prior tag of first base.

The Official Baseball Rules definitions provides us with two tagging scenarios: "A TAG is the action of a fielder in touching a base with their body while holding the ball securely and firmly in their hand or glove; or touching a runner with the ball, or with their hand or glove holding the ball."

A fielder may thus tag 1) a base or 2) a runner. In this LLWS play, the fielder attempts to tag the base. Breaking this play down into phases, we see that the fielder received the throw, possessed the ball, and touched first base prior to the runner's arrival. The runner then stepped (assumedly unintentionally) on the fielder's glove, causing the glove to come off the fielder's hand.

The on-field umpire ruled the batter-runner safe, but Replay Review overturned this call based on the type of tag this was — a base tag, not a runner tag — and that the base tag had been satisfactorily completed prior to the runner, an outside influence at this point, coming and disrupting the attempted play with a foot to the glove.

Video as follows:
Alternate Link: Runner Knocks Fielder's Glove Off on Tag at Little League World Series


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