A foul fly shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the fielder is on foul or fair territory at the time he touches the ball. If the foul ball gets caught, then it would be judged as an out.
Additionally, ballpark ground rules may specify that batted balls striking certain fixed objects such as railings, nets, or a roof if present are foul balls.
Foul territory or foul ground is defined as that part of the playing field outside the first and third base lines extended to the fence and perpendicularly upwards. Note: the foul lines and foul poles are not part of foul territory.
In general, when a batted ball is ruled a foul ball, the ball is dead, all runners must return to their time-of-pitch base without liability to be put out, and the batter returns to home plate to continue his turn at bat. A strike is issued for the batter if he had fewer than two strikes. If the batter already has two strikes against him when he hits a foul ball, a strike is not issued unless the ball was bunted to become a foul ball, in which case a third strike is issued and a strikeout recorded for the batter and pitcher. A strike is, however, recorded for the pitcher for every foul ball the batter hits, regardless of the count. If any member of the fielding team catches a foul ball before it touches the ground or lands outside the field perimeter, the batter is out. However, the caught ball is in play and base runners may attempt to advance.
A foul ball is different from a foul tip, in which the ball makes contact with the bat, travels directly to the catcher's hands, and is caught. In this case, the ball remains live and a strike is added to the batter's count. If a foul tip is strike three, the batter is out.
On rare occasions, such as in extra innings or the ninth inning of a tie game when a runner is on third base, with less than two outs, fielders have been known to let long foul flies drop rather than risk losing the game on a sacrifice fly. Sometimes, in that situation, a fielder will not try to catch a ball that is close to the foul line in the hope that the ball will go foul at the last second. In different situations, a foul ball may be considered a positive or negative outcome of a pitch or swing. When there are zero or one strikes, a foul ball counts as a strike, benefiting the pitcher. However, a foul ball may reveal to the batter that he has timed a pitch well and need only make adjustment to the location of his swing on the next such pitch; this is often called a good cut or simply a good swing. Foul balls with two strikes are generally considered positive for the batter, since he thus avoids strike three on a potentially difficult pitch. Also, foul balls with two strikes increase the pitcher's pitch count, adding to his/her fatigue, thus providing some small advantage to the offense. A strategy of swinging on any ball to try to produce additional fouls and prolong an at-bat is often used against strong pitchers to try to drive them from the game sooner (and also the possibility of the pitcher throwing a pitch a hitter can get a hit on); this does, however, have the disadvantage of generating more strikeouts.
In 1970, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley stepped down as team president, turning the reins over to his son Peter, while remaining as the team's chairman. The Dodgers remained competitive, finishing the season in second place, 14½ games behind the NL Champion Cincinnati Reds in the National League West.Baseball Rule
In American tort law, the Baseball Rule holds that a baseball team or, at amateur levels, its sponsoring organization, cannot be held liable for injuries suffered by a spectator struck by a foul ball batted into the stands, under most circumstances, as long as the team has offered some protected seating in the areas where foul balls are most likely to cause injuries. This is considered within the standard of reasonable care that teams owe to spectators, although in recent decades it has more often been characterized as a limited- or no-duty rule, and applied to ice hockey and golf as well. It is largely a matter of case law in state courts, although four states have codified it.
The rule arose from a pair of 1910s decisions by the Missouri Court of Appeals, both considering suits filed by spectators at home games of the minor league Kansas City Blues. In the first, considered to be the case that established the rule, the court upheld a trial verdict against the plaintiff, holding that his decision to sit outside the netting the team had installed behind home plate constituted contributory negligence and assumption of risk on his part. Conversely, in the second, decided a year later, the court upheld a verdict for a plaintiff who had been struck in the eye by a foul ball that passed through a hole in the netting between him and home plate. Other state courts accepted those cases as precedent and used them to decide similar cases.
By the 1930s it was interpreted as requiring teams to erect protective screening over the stands behind home plate, a practice that had already become common in the late 19th century due to injuries from foul balls, which rose after an 1884 rule change allowed overhand pitching. Courts have seen it as balancing the team's duty of care toward spectators with the spectators' interest in having an unobstructed view of the game available and perhaps being able to take home a recovered foul ball as a souvenir. It has been held to apply in some other situations besides foul balls—when a player deliberately threw the ball into the stands as a souvenir, for instance—but not in others, such as errant pitches from a relief pitcher warming up in the bullpen, situations where multiple balls are in play (such as (formerly) batting practice), where struck spectators are not in the seating areas of the venue or where they may have been distracted by the team's mascot.
In the wake of some serious injuries caused by foul balls in Major League Baseball (MLB) parks in the 2010s, including the first foul-ball spectator death at an MLB game in almost 50 years, there have been calls for the rule to be re-examined or abolished altogether, as more spectators are struck by a foul ball than players in the game are hit by a pitch. While MLB has required all of its teams to extend their protective screens to cover the area to the far end of the dugout on either side of the field, critics note that it is no longer possible for spectators to choose to sit under those screens given that all seats in the venue are reserved for those who buy them, many for the entire season. Further, they say, balls are hit harder and spectators, who on average now sit closer to the field than they did in 1913, have more distractions. Two states' supreme courts have declined to adopt the rule, which has been criticized as a relic of the era before the adoption of comparative negligence; a widely read William and Mary Law Review article further argues that the Baseball Rule fails the law and economics standards of optimally allocated tort liability.Batted ball
In baseball, a batted ball is any ball that, after a pitch, is contacted by the batter's bat. One or more of several terms are used to describe a batted ball, depending on how it comes off the bat and where in the field it lands.
There are generally three descriptive categories for balls hit in the air:
A fly ball or simply fly is a ball that is hit in the air, usually very high. Fielders attempt to catch fly balls on their descent.
A pop fly or pop-up is a specific type of fly ball that goes very high while not traveling very far laterally. From the perspective of the fielder, pop-ups seem to come straight down. A fly ball is usually caught in flight and thus results in an out, called a fly out or a pop out as the case may be. Despite the subtle difference, however, the words fly ball and pop fly are often interchangeable.A pop fly in or near the infield is almost always easily caught, because infielders (also at times the pitcher or catcher) can easily approach the fly ball before it falls. A special rule, the infield fly rule, applies to any fair fly ball that looks like an easy catch for an infielder when baserunners are on first and second base and there are fewer than two outs. When fielder drops a fly ball, runners that expected having to tag up must run immediately to avoid the incoming batsman, allowing an easy force play on them at third base or home plate. The umpire calls "Infield fly if fair", indicating that if the batted ball remains fair, the batter is out automatically and baserunners are not obligated to vacate their bases to avoid the force-out. The infield fly rule does not apply to a bunted ball of any kind or a foul fly of any kind.
A line drive or a liner. This is a sharply hit, low-flying batted ball. The threshold between a line drive and a fly ball is subjective; liners tend to have little noticeable arc. Liners also tend to be the hardest balls to catch due to their speed and rapid descent; however, very fast liners hit directly to an infielder are often caught by instinct without the need for judgment, making the catch easy, though perhaps unexpected. Line drives can be especially dangerous to baseball players and spectators. As recently as July 22, 2007, Tulsa Drillers first base coach Mike Coolbaugh was killed in a line drive accident at a minor league stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas.A ground ball or grounder is a batted ball that rolls or bounces on the ground. A line drive in the infield may become a hard grounder to an outfielder; these are usually called line drives regardless.
Bunts are generally not considered to be ground balls; they are a distinct type of batted ball, where the batter, in effect, tries to "block" the ball with the bat held steady, rather than taking a full swing.
Any of the above types of balls might be fair balls or foul balls. Umpires will also signal first signal fair or foul on fly outs near the foul line, but the result of a foul fly out (or foul out) is no different from a fair fly out; it is not a foul ball.
A foul tip, a very different type of batted ball, is a ball that only grazes the bat, and does not change direction much if at all. If the catcher does not catch the ball, it is an ordinary foul ball. If the catcher has to move either his mitt/hand or body to catch the ball, it is not a foul tip, as the ball would no longer have traveled directly to the catch. However, if the ball deflects from either the mitt or hand and is subsequently caught before landing, it is still a foul tip. A foul tip is always a strike, and is a strike-out if there are two strikes on the batter. The foul tip is a live ball and runners may advance.Brian O'Nora
Brian Keith O'Nora (born February 7, 1963) is an umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB). He joined the major league staff in 2000, after previously umpiring for the American League (AL) from 1992 to 1999 and wears sleeve number 7.Catch (baseball)
In baseball, a catch occurs when a fielder gains secure possession of a batted ball in flight, and maintains possession until he voluntarily or intentionally releases the ball. When a catch occurs, the batter is out, and runners, once they properly tag up (retouch their time-of-pitch base), may attempt to advance at risk of being tagged out.
Unlike in American football and other sports, neither secure possession for a time nor for a number of steps is enough to demonstrate that a catch has occurred. A fielder may, for example, appear to catch and hold a batted ball securely, take a few more steps, collide with a wall or another player, and drop the ball. This is not a catch.
Umpires signal a catch with the out signal: a fist raised into the air, often with a hammering motion; if there is doubt about it, the umpire will likely shout "That's a catch!" On a close no-catch, the umpire will signal with the safe signal, which is both arms swept to the side and extended, accompanied by the call "No catch, no catch!" with an emphasis on the word "no".
The fielder must catch the ball with his hand or glove. If the fielder uses his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession, it is not a catch. Therefore, a foul ball which directly becomes lodged in the equipment of the catcher (other than his or her glove) is not considered a catch and hence not a foul tip.
It is not a catch if the batted ball hits a fielder, then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire, and then is caught by another defensive player.
A catch is legal if the ball is finally held by any fielder before it touches the ground. Runners may leave their bases the instant the first fielder touches the ball. A fielder may reach over a fence, a railing, a rope, or a line of demarcation to make a catch. He may jump on top of a railing or a canvas that may be in foul ground. Interference should not be called in cases where a spectator comes into contact with a fielder and a catch is not made if the fielder reaches over a fence, a railing, a rope. The fielder does so at his or her own risk.
If a fielder, attempting a catch at the edge of the dugout, is "held up" and kept from an apparent fall by a player or players of either team and the catch is made, it shall be allowed.
To avoid ambiguity with the common term catch meaning any action that gains possession of a ball, some may say that a fielder gloved a thrown ball or a batted, bouncing ball.Charlie Williams (umpire)
Charles Herman Williams (December 20, 1943 – September 10, 2005) was an American baseball umpire who officiated in the National League from 1978 to 1999, and in both leagues in 2000. In 1993 he became the first African American umpire to work behind home plate in a World Series game. He wore uniform number 25.
Williams was born in Denver, Colorado, attended George Washington High School, and became an All-America football player at Long Beach City College, later attending California State University, Los Angeles.
In his rookie season, Williams umpired third base for Tom Seaver's only no-hitter on June 16, 1978.Williams was the only umpire to eject Steve Garvey from a game, which occurred during the 1986 season and received media coverage for the incident.
Williams was the first base umpire in a 1990 game between the Mets and Braves, when he was involved in a well-known incident. With two Braves' on base, Met pitcher David Cone induced a chopper from Mark Lemke, fielded by Gregg Jefferies, who threw to Cone at first base. Williams mistakenly ruled Lemke safe. Cone argued vociferously with Williams while still holding the ball (Cone thought time had been called), and both Braves' runners scored while Cone was distracted.Williams was the home plate umpire for the longest game in World Series history, Game 4 of the 1993 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays, which lasted 4 hours and 14 minutes and ended with a 15–14 Toronto victory and a 3–1 Series lead for the Blue Jays.
He was the first base umpire on June 3, 1995 when Pedro Martínez pitched 9 perfect innings before giving up a hit in the 10th.
In 1999, he was shoved by Mets third base coach Cookie Rojas after Rojas had argued a foul ball that clearly, on replay, was a foul ball by inches. Rojas was suspended for five games.He also worked the All-Star games in 1985 and 1995, the 1989 National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs, the 1997 NLCS between the Florida Marlins and the Atlanta Braves, and the 1999 National League Division Series. He ejected San Diego Padres first baseman Steve Garvey from a June, 1986 game between the Padres and the Atlanta Braves, the only ejection of Garvey's career, then ejected Padres manager Steve Boros the next day when Boros tried to present a videotape of the call Williams ejected Garvey over. He was also an umpire on September 28, 1988 when Orel Hershiser set the Major League record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched. He remained an umpire until his retirement in 2000 due to health problems, and died at age 61 in Chicago, Illinois after a long illness related to diabetes and kidney failure.Checked swing
A checked swing is a type of motion in baseball made by a batter. A checked swing occurs when a batter starts to swing the bat at the ball, but stops the swing in order to allow the ball to pass without hitting it. If the swing was indeed checked, so that there was no swing, and if the bat did not touch the ball and it did not go through the strike zone, the pitch counts as a ball; but in that circumstance if the swing was not checked, so that a swing occurred, then the pitch counts as a strike.
Initially, the home plate umpire must determine if a swing was checked or not checked. If the umpire indicates that it was checked, an appeal can be made by the catcher or their manager, and the home plate umpire can then make a request to either the 1st or 3rd base umpire to make the call as to whether the swing was indeed checked. (To maximize visibility, the 1st base umpire makes the call for right-handed batters, and the 3rd base umpire for left-handed batters.) To indicate a checked swing, the umpire will make a "safe" gesture with their hands; to indicate a full swing, they will clench their fist.
If a ball that passes the batter goes through the strike zone, it is a strike even if a swing is checked. A checked swing sometimes results in an unintentional swinging bunt, where the ball hits the bat and rolls a short distance, even though the batter apparently stopped their swing. If a ball is hit during a checked swing, it is in play as long as it is not ruled a foul ball.
The Major League Baseball rulebook does not contain an official definition for a checked swing, but defines a swing as "an attempt to strike at the ball". It is the decision of the umpire as to whether an attempt was made or not. Generally, factors such as whether the bat passes the front of the plate or the batter pulls their wrists back are considered in the ruling. Some umpires prefer to use the "breaking the wrists" criterion as the method to decide a checked swing: if the wrists "rolled over", a swing occurred.
Checked swinging can also be used in some warm-up exercises, such as the game pepper.Fair ball
In baseball, a fair ball is a batted ball that entitles the batter to attempt to reach first base. By contrast, a foul ball is a batted ball that does not entitle the batter to attempt to reach first base. Whether a batted ball is fair or foul is determined by the location of the ball at the appropriate reference point, as follows:
if the ball leaves the playing field without touching anything, the point where the ball leaves the field;
else, if the ball first lands past first or third base without touching anything, the point where the ball lands;
else, if the ball rolls or bounces past first or third base without touching anything other than the ground, the point where the ball passes the base;
else, if the ball touches anything other than the ground (such as an umpire, a player, or any equipment left on the field) before any of the above happens, the point of such touching;
else (the ball comes to a rest before reaching first or third base), the point where the ball comes to a rest.If the ball is on or above fair territory at the appropriate reference point, it is fair; else it is foul. Fair territory or fair ground is defined as the area of the playing field between the two foul lines, and includes the foul lines themselves and the foul poles. However, certain exceptions exist:
A ball that touches first, second, or third base is always fair.
Under Rule 5.09(a)(7)-(8), if a batted ball touches the batter or his bat while the batter is in the batter's box and not intentionally interfering with the course of the ball, the ball is foul.
A ball that hits the foul pole in flight is fair.
Ground rules may provide whether a ball hitting specific objects (e.g. roof, overhead speaker) is fair or foul.On a fair ball, the batter attempts to reach first base or any subsequent base, runners attempt to advance and fielders try to record outs. A fair ball is considered a live ball until the ball becomes dead by leaving the field or any other method.Foul tip
In baseball, a foul tip is defined as "a batted ball that goes sharp directly from the bat to the catcher’s hands and is legally caught. A foul tip is considered a strike and the ball remains "in play."
A foul tip is not the same as a foul ball, although many people mistakenly use the term to refer to any pitch at which the batter swings and makes slight contact, regardless of whether it is caught by the catcher. However, the rules are very narrow: it is not a foul tip if the ball touches anything else on the way to the catcher's hand or glove or if it is not legally caught and held. Anything else is technically a foul ball, including if the ball is caught after popping up into foul territory.
The rules treat a foul tip as equivalent in every respect to a pitch at which the batter swings and misses.
A foul tip is always a strike, regardless of the existing ball-and-strike count.
A player with two strikes against him is automatically struck out, unless the catcher does not successfully catch the tipped ball, then it is ruled a foul.
A player with fewer than two strikes against him is not out.
The ball remains alive and runners may advance or be thrown out on the bases.In contrast, a foul ball counts as a strike only if the batter does not already have two strikes against him/her. Runners may not advance and must return to their bases without danger of being tagged out.Gus Suhr
August Richard Suhr (January 3, 1906 – January 15, 2004) was a Major League Baseball (MLB) first baseman. Suhr was born in San Francisco, United States. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
Suhr was a career .279 hitter with 84 home runs and 818 RBI in 1435 games played with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1930–39) and Philadelphia Phillies (1939–40). He hit better than .300 twice, with a career high .312 in 1936 and .303 in 1939 with the Pirates and Phillies.
Prior to playing in the majors, Suhr played for the San Francisco Seals. In 1929, he hit .381 with 51 home runs and 177 RBI for his team. During that season, he became the only player in baseball history to be sued (in addition to his team) by a fan injured after being struck by a foul ball he hit. The case was dismissed under the legal Baseball Rule, a verdict upheld by the California Supreme Court three years later.In his rookie season with the Pirates, he belted 17 homers with 107 RBI. He produced three 100-RBI seasons in his 11-year career.
Selected for the 1936 All-Star game, Suhr played 1,339 games at first base for Pittsburgh, a team record for a Pirates' first baseman.
On September 11, 1931, Suhr started a then National League record streak of 822 games played, which ended on June 4, 1937 when he missed a game to attend his mother's funeral. His record stood until June 12, 1957 when it was broken by Stan Musial. The record is currently held by Steve Garvey.
After retiring from baseball, Suhr became a liquor store owner. He died in Scottsdale, Arizona, of natural causes at the age of 98.In flight
In baseball, the rules state that a batted ball is considered in flight when it has not yet touched any object other than a fielder or his equipment.
Once a batted ball touches the ground, a fence or wall, a foul pole, a base, the pitcher's rubber, an umpire, or a baserunner, it is no longer in flight. A batted ball that passes entirely out of the playing field ceases to be in flight when that occurs.
A special rule exists in covered baseball facilities (retractable or fixed roofed), where a batted ball striking the roof, roof supporting structure, or objects suspended from the roof (e.g., speakers) while in fair territory is still considered to be in flight. Rules for batted balls striking any of those objects in foul territory differ between ballparks, with most considering such a ball to still be in flight, and some considering it to be a foul ball and dead from the time it strikes.
If a batted ball (other than a foul tip, with less than 2 strikes) is caught in flight, the batter is out—called a fly out—and all runners must tag up. A batted ball cannot be ruled foul or fair while in flight; a batted ball that is past first or third base will be called foul or fair based on where it ceases to be in flight, or where it is first touched by a fielder, whichever occurs first. A fly out on a ball in foul territory is also called a foul out. A foul tip, which by definition is always caught in flight, is a strike by special rule, and not an out, unless caught as a 3rd strike.
If a batted ball passes out of the playing field in flight and is fair, it is an automatic home run, entitling the batter and all runners to score without liability to be put out. However, if the fence or other barrier is less than 250 feet from home plate, a ball hit past that fence in flight and fair shall be ruled an automatic double. In the United States, such short fences are very rare even in the lowest-level amateur ballfields. Fields with short fences can be commonplace in some countries where baseball is less popular; often, soccer fields have to be used, resulting in a very short left or right field.
The shortest fair fences in Major League Baseball are both in Boston's Fenway Park; the shortest fence that is nearly perpendicular to the foul line is the Green Monster. The left foul pole, renamed "Fisk's Pole" in honor of Carlton Fisk's famous home run in the 1975 World Series, stands 310 feet away from home plate. The right field foul pole, known as Pesky's Pole, is 302 feet down the right field line, although the wall there is nearly parallel to the foul line as it curves back to the distant right field wall at 380 feet. From 1958 through 1961, the Los Angeles Dodgers played home games in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a stadium built for track and field; without the ability to move any of the permanent stadium structure, the Dodgers configured the field to result in a 251-foot left field foul line distance.Jerry Layne
Jerry Blake Layne (born September 28, 1958) is an umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the National League between 1989 and 1999, and throughout both major leagues since 2000. He wore uniform number 24 in the NL, but when MLB merged the AL and NL umpiring staffs in 2000, Layne was forced to switch to number 26, as AL umpire Al Clark, who wore 24 in the junior circuit, had more seniority. When Clark was fired midway through the 2001 season by MLB, Layne reclaimed number 24 and has worn it ever since.Juan Encarnación
Juan De Dios Encarnación (born March 8, 1976) is a Dominican former professional baseball outfielder. He played eleven seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1997 to 2007 for the Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, and St. Louis Cardinals. Encarnación suffered a career-ending injury after getting hit in the eye by a foul ball on August 31, 2007.Kelsey Wingert
Kelsey Wingert (born June 20, 1992) is an American journalist for Fox Sports South covering the Atlanta Braves and other teams that Fox Sports South covers. In the offseason, she does studio cut-ins for NBA and NHL games and does sideline reporting for Atlantic Coast Conference football games.
Wingert grew up in Sugar Land, Texas. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in Fort Bend County, Texas, where she played volleyball & was a member of the Sigma chapter of Delta Zeta. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where she played intramural volleyball.Prior to working for Fox Sports South in 2016, she worked at KALB-TV in Alexandria, Louisiana. She suffered a broken eye socket in a game in 2018 after getting hit with a foul ball hit by Odubel Herrera of the Philadelphia Phillies, but was able to return a few days later.Mike Laga
Michael Russell Laga (born June 14, 1960) is a former professional baseball player for the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants in the 1980s and 1990s. He is best known for once hitting a foul ball out of the second Busch Stadium (September 15, 1986).
Laga played for the 1984 World Series Champion Detroit Tigers, going 6–11 that year with a .545 average for the year, but did not appear in the World Series. Nor did he appear in the 1987 World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals. In his career, Laga played in 188 major league games and had 84 hits, 55 RBIs, 39 runs scored, and 16 home runs. He also hit 32 home runs in 1991, playing for Daiei of the Japanese League. He also played for the Hawks in 1992.
Laga currently lives in Florence, Massachusetts. He has three children.
Laga graduated from Ramsey High School in Ramsey, New Jersey and attended Bergen Community College.Perfect game
A perfect game is defined by Major League Baseball as a game in which a pitcher (or combination of pitchers) pitches a victory that lasts a minimum of nine innings in which no opposing player reaches base.
To achieve a perfect game, a team must not allow an opposing player to reach base for any reason, including hits, walks, hit batsmen, or fielding errors; in short, "27 up, 27 down" (for a nine-inning game). The feat has been achieved 23 times in MLB history – 21 times since the modern era began in 1900, most recently by Félix Hernández of the Seattle Mariners on August 15, 2012. A perfect game is also a no-hitter and a shutout. A fielding error that does not allow a batter to reach base, such as a misplayed foul ball, does not spoil a perfect game. Weather-shortened contests in which a team has no baserunners and games in which a team reaches first base only in extra innings do not qualify as perfect games under the present definition.
The first confirmed use of the term perfect game was in 1908; the term's current definition was formalized in 1991. Although it is theoretically possible for several pitchers to combine for a perfect game (as has happened 11 times at the major league level for a no-hitter), to date, every major league perfect game has been thrown by a single pitcher.In Eastern Asian leagues such as Nippon Professional Baseball, KBO League, or Chinese Professional Baseball League, only Complete Perfect Games were recorded as official.Steve Bartman incident
The Steve Bartman incident was a controversial play that occurred during a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Florida Marlins on October 14, 2003, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, during Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2003 postseason.
The incident occurred in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS), with Chicago leading 3–0 and holding a three games to two lead in the best-of-seven series. Marlins batter Luis Castillo hit a fly ball into foul territory in left field. Cubs outfielder Moisés Alou pursued the ball and leapt near the fence in an attempt to make the catch. Along with other spectators seated against the wall, Cubs fan Steve Bartman reached for the ball, but he deflected it, disrupting Alou's potential catch. If Alou had caught the ball, it would have been the second out in the inning, and the Cubs would have been just four outs away from winning their first National League pennant since 1945. The Cubs ultimately allowed eight runs in the inning, and lost the game 8–3. When they were eliminated in Game 7 the next day, the incident was seen as the "first domino" to fall in affecting the series's outcome.In the moments following the play, Cubs fans shouted insults and threw debris at Bartman. For his safety, security was forced to escort him from the ballpark. Minutes after the game, his name and personal information were published online, necessitating police protection at his home. He faced further harassment from fans and the media after the Cubs' loss in the series, as he was scapegoated for the continuation of the team's then 95-year championship drought. Bartman apologized for the incident and stated his desire to move past it and return to a quiet life. Many Cubs players came to his defense, emphasizing that their performance was to blame for their loss.
In 2011, ESPN produced a documentary film exploring the subject as part of its 30 for 30 series. Titled Catching Hell, the film drew comparisons between the Bartman incident and Bill Buckner's fielding error late in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, and explored the incident from different perspectives. In an effort to reconcile with Bartman and put the incident behind them, the Chicago Cubs awarded him a championship ring after their victory in the 2016 World Series.Vintage Base Ball Federation
The Vintage Base Ball Federation is a proposed baseball league which will play by the original rules of the game. Proposed by former Major League pitcher Jim Bouton in 2006, the rules will include:
Six balls for a walk
No strike count for a foul ball
A foul ball caught on a bounce will count as an out
A hit batsman will count as a ball and will not be awarded first base unless it is ball six
Only one ball will be used per game unless it becomes too worn outBouton is opening the league to any amateur baseball or softball team