If a foul ball is hit behind third base it's the shortstop's play.

rawakate

New Member
Korean
"If a foul ball is hit behind third base it's the shortstop's play."

This is a quote from Peanuts.
And I don't know anything about baseball rules so this is quite hard to understand.
1. A shortstop has to catch a foul ball flying toward the third base.
2. A foul ball dropped behind the third base is a shortstop's fault.

Could you help me to understand this sentence?
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Your #1 is closer to the meaning. If a foul ball is hit to the area behind third base (actually, the area outside the foul line beyond third base), it is the shortstop’s responsibility to catch the ball.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    If a foul ball touches the ground, the play is over. Runners cannot advance. "Foul" means "out of bounds".

    A fast-moving ball that is "foul" is not close to the shortstop or the third baseman -- they cannot catch it. They can't even try.

    So this rule only makes sense if this is a "pop-up": a ball hit high in the air. It will land out of bounds, so if it hits the ground it is a foul ball.

    But if the shortstop (or left fielder) can run over to it and catch it when the ball comes down, they score an "out".
     

    rawakate

    New Member
    Korean
    Your #1 is closer to the meaning. If a foul ball is hit to the area behind third base (actually, the area outside the foul line beyond third base), it is the shortstop’s responsibility to catch the ball.
    God, thank you. I was about to die I couldn't find out the exact meaning of this sentence.
    I don't know anything about baseball and my English is not that great to find out what it means just by reading this sentence.
    Again, thank you so much!
     

    rawakate

    New Member
    Korean
    If a foul ball touches the ground, the play is over. Runners cannot advance. "Foul" means "out of bounds".

    A fast-moving ball that is "foul" is not close to the shortstop or the third baseman -- they cannot catch it. They can't even try.

    So this rule only makes sense if this is a "pop-up": a ball hit high in the air. It will land out of bounds, so if it hits the ground it is a foul ball.

    But if the shortstop (or left fielder) can run over to it and catch it when the ball comes down, they score an "out".
    Oh, I see. This sentence is for describing the exceptional situation that you wrote.
    This is quite complicated. Thank you for your detailed reply. It really helped me a lot to understand this fully!
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, this is talking about a ball hit high in the air that will take a few seconds to come back down.

    In theory, either the third baseman or the shortstop could try to catch it. (If it's close to third base I don't think the outfielder would normally be close enough.) But rules like that exist so that the players know what to expect from each other. It's happened many times that two players have tried to catch a ball at the same time and they collide and neither one catches it. They both look very silly and get booed.

    So these rules (really guidelines) exist to prevent that. If the ball goes to a certain area, both players already know exactly who is supposed to be the first to try to catch it and they don't have to make a quick decision. The other player serves as backup if the first player has some kind of problem. But otherwise, the other player stays out of the way.

    In that particular situation the shortstop has priority I think because he can run forward toward the ball and keep his eye on it. The third baseman would have to run backwards and that's more difficult.
     
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