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Hit By Pitch, Not So Simple

When a batter is hit by a pitch it is usually an easy call for the home plate umpire; dead ball, batter awarded first base and all runners who are forced advance one base. But what happens if the batter is not in the batter’s box? Or attempts to swing or offers to bunt the pitch? What if it hits the batter’s jewelry but not his person?

Let’s get to it:

IF A BATTER IS HIT BY A PITCH WHEN:

 

  • The batter while standing legally in the batter’s box offers at a pitch (either a swing or a bunt), but does not make contact with the pitch:
Ruling:       Dead ball, strike

 

  • The batter while standing legally in the batter’s box is in act of pulling his bat back (not attempting to hit or bunt):
Ruling:       Dead ball, HBP, batter awarded 1B, runners advance if forced

 

  • The batter while standing legally in the batter’s box (not attempting to hit or bunt) and the pitch is IN the strike zone:
Ruling:       Strike, dead ball

 

  • The batter while standing legally in the batter’s box (not attempting to hit or bunt) and the batter does not make a valid attempt to avoid the pitch:
Ruling:       Dead ball, ball on batter

 

MLB Umpire Ted Barrett explains what happens when a batter is HBP while out of the batter’s box

 

  • The batter has one foot on the ground entirely out of the batter’s box and the batter makes an attempt to avoid the pitch:
Ruling:       Dead ball, HBP, batter awarded 1B, runners advance if forced

 

  • The batter has one foot on the ground entirely out of the batter’s box, he offers at the pitch and the ball makes contact with the bat:
Ruling:       Dead ball, batter is out

 

  • The batter while standing legally in the batter’s box (not attempting to hit or bunt) and the pitch hits the batter’s jewelry (necklaces, bracelets) but no other part of him:
Ruling: Batter not considered touched by a pitched ball

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Are batting gloves sticking out of the pockets part of the uniform?

If a batter comes to the plate and has gloves or sliding pads sticking out of his back pocket, umpires are advised to ask the batter to tuck them in or remove those items. By rule, if the ball hits the glove or mitt in the back pocket, it is a HBP.  Conversely, if he tagged on the glove in the back pocket, he is out.

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