More baseball myths

This one is among the most common. I once heard a dad who had played baseball at Stanford argue that this myth was true:

Myth: If a pitch hits a player’s hands it’s considered a foul ball, since hands are considered part of the bat.

Reality: The hands are not part of the bat. They are part of the arm.

Don’t believe it? Try this. Hold a bat in your hand at arm’s length. Now open your hand. Did the bat hit the ground? Good, gravity works. Where is your hand? I’ll bet it’s not on the ground. So your hand is not part of the bat.

When a player is hit on the hand by a pitch, the umpire must evaluate the situation just as he would if the pitch had hit him elsewhere:

If the pitch was in the strike zone the ball is dead, runners return to the last legally touched base, and the batter gets a strike. If that was the third strike, the batter is out.
If the batter was in the process of swinging, just as in the previous case, the ball is dead, runners return to the last legally touched base, and the batter gets a strike. If that was the third strike, the batter is out.
If the pitch was not in the strike zone and the batter was not swinging at it, but the batter makes no attempt to get out of the way, the ball is dead, runners return, a ball is charged to the batter and he/she must continue to bat. (Unless that was ball four.)
If none of the above conditions apply, the ball is dead, the batter is awarded first base, and runners advance only if forced.

Remember – when a batter is hit anywhere by a pitch, the ball is immediately dead, whether or not a base award is made.

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