Poll: Hey, Blue! No. 019

R1 and R2, one out. The batter doubles scoring R2, but R1 is thrown out at the plate. The defense appeals that B1 missed first base. That appeal is upheld.

  • Score the run. Even though the appeal is upheld, this is a time play and the runner scored well ahead of the third out.

  • Disallow the run. The batter never legally reached first base.

So, is the third out - the appeal at B1 – still considered a force out?

First base is never a force play. Force plays can only happen at 2nd, 3rd, or home. 1st base is simply a batter / runner being put out before reaching first base. Other runners are forced by the batter becoming a runner. He can’t force himself.

Another common time play / appeal play is 1st and 3rd with 1 out. Fly ball to right or right center. The ball is caught by the outfielder for the second out. The runner at 3rd tags and scores while the throw from the outfielder catches the runner from first too far off the bag. A lot of people consider this a force play because they believe that any play that doesn’t require a tag is a force. This play is actually a live ball appeal play on the runner getting back to first. As such, if the run scores before the runner at first is tagged or before the appeal occurs, it will count. The exception to this is the play I mention above, where the appeal at first will disallow the run because of the exception made in the rules for the two out situation with a batter being put out BEFORE reaching first base.

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