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Batting Out of Order

 

The Major League Official Baseball Rules, followed by the Atlantic League, states the following in Rule 6.07:

 

Rule 6.07  BATTING OUT OF TURN

 

(a)

A batter shall be called out, on appeal, when he fails to bat in his proper turn, and another batter completes a time at bat in his place.

 

(1)

The proper batter may take his place in the batter's box at any time before the improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and any balls and strikes shall be counted in the proper batter's time at bat.

(b)

When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and the defensive team appeals to the umpire before the first pitch to the next batter of either team, or before any play or attempted play, the umpire shall

 

(1)

declare the proper batter out; and

 

(2)

nullify any advance or score made because of a ball batted by the improper batter or because of the improper batter's advance to first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter or otherwise. NOTE: If a runner advances, while the improper batter is at bat, on a stolen base, balk, wild pitch or passed ball, such advance is legal.

(c)

When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and a pitch is made to the next batter of either team before an appeal is made, the improper batter thereby becomes the proper batter, and the results of his time at bat become legal.

(d)

(1)

When the proper batter is called out because he has failed to bat in turn, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows that of the proper batter thus called out;

 

(2)

When an improper batter becomes a proper batter because no appeal is made before the next pitch, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows that of such legalized improper batter. The instant an improper batter's actions are legalized, the batting order picks up with the name following that of the legalized improper batter. 

 

The rule goes on to observe that:

"The umpire shall not direct the attention of any person to the presence in the batter's box of an improper batter. This rule is designed to require constant vigilance by the players and managers of both teams.

"There are two fundamentals to keep in mind: When a player bats out of turn, the proper batter is the player called out. If an improper batter bats and reaches base or is out and no appeal is made before a pitch to the next batter, or before any play or attempted play, that improper batter is considered to have batted in proper turn and establishes the order that is to follow."

 

This rule was cited in the notes to game 68 of the 2003 season.

 

These rules are quoted directly from the Major League Official Baseball Rules, which “govern the playing of baseball games by professional teams of the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, and the leagues which are members of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues."

 

 

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