Clipping:More on force plays

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Date Sunday, August 12, 1860

NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 1860

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

Will you please give your opinion on the following points of base ball? The first striker has made the first base; the second striker knocks a high ball, which is not caught on the fly or on the first bound, the pitcher throws the ball to the first base, and is held, and puts the second striker out; the ball is sent to the second base before the first striker gets there. Now, is the first striker out without being touched with the ball; or can he return to the first base–the base not being occupied, inconsequence of the second striker being put out first?

Yours, etc., BASE BALL

A case in point occurred in the match between the Atlantic and Excelsior Clubs, on Thursday last, in the third inning (as will be seen by reference to the report), when Flanly and Reynolds were decided out by the umpire, in accordance with Section 18 of the Rules, which says, “When a fair ball is struck, and not caught flying nor on the first bound, the first base must be vacated, as also the second and third bases, if they are occupied at the same time”; and “players may be put out upon any base, under these circumstances, in the same manner as the striker when running to the first base.”–which, of course, precludes the necessity of touching the player with the ball; for if a ball is held by an adversary on the first base, before the striker touches that base, he is out. As there is no provision for the player (under the circumstances pointed out by our correspondent) returning to the first base–notwithstanding it is vacated–it is to be presumed that he has no right to do so; but must vacate–that is, leave–the first base.

When a ball is caught upon the bound, a player can, of course, return to the base, because there is no one to push him off. The object and meaning of the rule was evidently to compel his [illegible] to make room for the striker.

The decision of the umpire in the point referred to, at the match on Thursday last, has given rise to much discussion. In our opinion, it was strictly in accordance with the rules.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
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Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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