CHEAP STEAL OR A FREE BASE?
By Brady Hood
In 1948, Kansas City outfielder Leon Culberson ran to second when a pitch missed the catchers mitt and got lodged in home plate umpire Harry King’s mask. Ultimately the umpires got together and ruled that the ball was still in play and Culberson was credited with a stolen base. So what would happen if Culberson was playing the game today?
At all levels if a pitched ball becomes lodged in a catcher’s or umpire’s equipment, it is an immediate dead ball. If there are any runners they are awarded one base from their legally occupied position at the time of the pitch. MLB Umpire Ted Barrett explains: