Can't Steal First Base (1941)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Sep 5 15:10:42 UTC 2002

At 8:29 PM -0700 9/4/02, Dave Wilton wrote:
>  > >Actually you can steal first, if it is a dropped third strike by the
>  > >catcher, ...
>  > >[LH:]
>  > Well, to get technical, that's not actually stealing first.  It's
>>  reaching first on a dropped third strike, and doesn't count as a
>>  stolen base.
>Correct. When the batter advances to first on a dropped third strike, it's
>scored as a "strikeout" for the pitcher (even though the batter is not
>"out") and as a "passed ball" against the catcher.

Only if he's responsible for the ball getting past him (in the
opinion of the official scorer).  I've seen strikeouts/wild pitches.
In the latter case, it will count as an earned run if the
batter/runner scores, in the former it won't.

>Stolen bases aren't
>awarded in cases of fielder error, wild pitch, or passed ball, so the batter
>doesn't get one. In the unlikely event the batter manages to make it to
>second base without being tagged, he is awarded a stolen base for second,

Are you sure of this?  I'm willing to bet a batter can never get a
stolen base for anything that happens during his time at bat.  He
would thus have to first reach first base and stay there, and then on
another pitch steal second.

>but there is no way to be awarded one for first.
>It makes the infield fly rule look easy.

There's a wonderful law article on the infield fly rule and its
implications for the social contract.  I have it somewhere, but not
on my hard disk so I have no idea where.


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