This article is for the people who want to understand the rule of baseball and have fun.
The rules of baseball are so complex. By being exposed to various rules from childhood, we gradually get used to them. The basic rules are taught as children, but generally, the more complex ones are not. Possibly, there are not many leaders who know all the rules. However, the leader must be able to explain to the children about the plays that occurred during the game.
“The umpire is a stone.” is a kind of situation we’ve heard of somewhere, but actually, it’s not correct. To be precise, sometimes the umpires are stones, and also sometimes they are not. We can judge the difference by where the ball hits. (It’s rude to describe an umpire as a stone, but I will do so for the sake of the simplicity of the explanation. I’m very sorry for the umpires.)
It’ll be in-play in the following cases. In other words, the umpire is judged as a stone.
・the case in which a ball touched by a fielder(including the pitcher) hits the umpire.
・the case in which the ball passes through infielders while the infielders have no chance to defend the ball, and the ball hits the umpire.
・in the foul-zone
In these cases, the play goes on as in-play. If the ball that passes through infielders hits the umpire, it’s judged as an infield grounder. The stone incident that occurred in Japan Series in 1982 is one of the most memorable scenes in the history of baseball.
It’ll be out of play in this case. In other words, the umpire is not judged as a stone.
・the case in which the umpire in the infield is hit by a ball in front of an infielder
In this case, it’s out of play, and the batter is allowed to advance to the first (the record is a hit). Besides, the runner who has to advance will advance to the next base.
If you understand the explanation above and watch the video below, you will have the deeper insight with baseball. It’s a video that makes you feel what if the ball didn’t hit the umpire.
Watching this video, even more so, we can’t call an umpire a stone.
・The incident of stone
After losing two straight games, the Chunichi Dragons were on the rise with the two straight win in fifth game of Japan Series in 1982. With two outs and second base loaded in the top of the 3rd inning, Chunichi had a chance to point first. The batter was Ken Hirano. Just when it seemed that the ball passed through the baseman of first Tabuchi and crossed over the first base, the ball hit Koichi Murata, a famous umpire of the Pacific League and umpire of first base, and the ball was returned to the infield. After rounding third base, Yasushi Tao attempted to return to third base, but was touched out, and Chunichi couldn’t have scored in the inning. This scene was said to have a huge influence on the remaining of Series. In fact, as it was said, Chunichi lost 5th and 6th games and Seibu became a champion for the first time. It was the beginning of the golden era of the Seibu Lions.
Video source:1982年日本シリーズ西武対中日 石ころ事件
June 2, 2015, Softbank vs. Yokohama DeNA, two outs and bases loaded, in the bottom of the 7th inning, the second base umpire was hit by the Yanagita’s hit, and the ball went to in front of the center field; it looked like two runs have scored, but as soon as the ball hit the umpire, it followed that it was out of play. So, the Yanagita advanced to first, the third runner was pushed out and then scored a run. The game resumed with two outs and bases loaded. Unfortunately, Softbank lost this game.
Video source:ホークス柳田の打球は審判に当たりセンター前へ し