Clipping:Retouching first base after overrunning it

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Date Sunday, May 17, 1874
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[Boston vs. Atlantic 5/11/1874] ...a decision of the umpire in regard to overrunning first base prevented the Atlantics from adding a run to their score, Burdock deciding that Dehlman had to come back and retouch the first base after overrunning it. The rule has not required this for the past two years. The rule is as follows:

“The player running to first base shall be privileged to overrun said base without his being put out for being off the base after first touching it–provided that in so overrunning the base he make no attempt to run to second base; but if, in so overrunning first base, he also attempts to run to second base, he shall forfeit such exemption from being put out. After overrunning such base, the base-runner must return and retouch such base at once, and after retouching he can be put out as at any other base.”

The clause referring to returning to touch the base is simply inserted to require the base runner to come back at once to the base, otherwise he might take an unfair advantage. Of course, if he does not choose to return at once and retouch the base he forfeits exemption from being put out when off the base. The first part of the rule governs its interpretation, and the penalty of a failure to observe it is simply a forfeiture of exemption from being put out after overrunning. Any other interpretation would make the rule an absurd one.

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

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