Baseball Question: Would This be a Home Run?

Say a batter hit a ball into the stands, and it bounced off a fan’s head and back onto the field. Would that be a home run, or would the ball still be in play?

Home run. It’s hardly unusual for a ball to bounce back into the field after hitting a seat or some other object beyond the fence.

As far as I know, so long as the fan’s head is NOT within the field of play it counts. I can’t speak for every ballpark’s ground rules, but at Great American (Reds) there is a yellow line even on the outfield wall. Inside the line, no homer, outside the line, homer. Assuming it is fair, of course.

Just like you’ll occasionally see a homerun hit empty seats and bounce back in the field of play, some rules for bouncing off a head.

I’m sure someone will be around soon to offer up cites.

It’s also a home run if the ball bounces off the outfielder’s head and IN to the stands (sorry, I still love that one!)

How many Gold Gloves did Canseco get? Hopefully any where revoked after that play.

Obligatory YouTube link.

Shouldn’t that have been a ground-rule double?

Nope. A ground rule double happens when the ball lands fair, and then bounces over the wall (not sure if it has to bounce over the wall between the foul poles or not- either way, as long as a ball lands fair, it’s a hit).

It didn’t hit the ground, did it? So no.

beaten :frowning:

Where “landing” means on the field, not one’s glove or head.

If you think about it, baseball rules are highly reliant on making the distinction between the field of play (including the bases and home plate) and the players (including their clothing and equipment). A ball hitting or not hitting the field changes the outcome of the play. The player and his equipment are never part of the field.

A player can “take away a home run” by leaning over the fence and catching the ball. The player cannot leave the field (like jumping over the fence) to prevent a home run or catch a foul ball because he has to be on the field when the catch is made.

The game is played on the field and the field has certain privileges so to speak.

Strictly speaking you have described an automatic double. A “Ground rule” hit of any sort is a hit so ruled because of a rule that is unique to the specific park.

Moving to The Game Room.

General Questions Moderator

Question, purely out of curiosity…would that error have had anywhere near the incredible comic resonance it had it the ball had bounced off his shoulder or arm, or off his glove, for that matter (something I actually saw happen to someone in a Sportscenter highlight once)?

Heh. Damned colonials. Canterbury cricket ground formerly had a lime tree (one of these, not the fruit tree) within the field of play. A ball touching the tree and not otherwise crossing the boundary scored four runs. (Our nearest equivalent to the automatic double quoted above, but a common score in cricket; a “home run” would be worth six and is less common, though seen more often these days than formerly.) Now there’s a quirk for you!

Huh. I’ve never heard such a thing (ball lands (and yes, lands implies hitting the ground, or land) and bounces over outfield wall) referred to as an “automatic double,” only as a “ground rule double.”

I believe you are both right. It’s a ‘ground rule’ that has been implemented into every ballpark. FWIW, I’ve never heard a broadcaster say “Automatic” double. Not that broadcasters are the be all end all…

Slight nitpick - a fielder can leap into the stands as long as he doesn’t touch any part of the stands until after he catches the ball. He can land in the stands after he catches it, and it’s an out.

Though I can never remember if the umpires are part of the field or don’t exist for fielding purposes.

I’ve heard it called a “book rule” double because it is in the rule book. A “ground rule” double would be if there were some rule specific to a field that made a certain thing a double.

Have you ever heard it called a “Ground Rule Double?” Despite me agreeing with you & the textbook definition of the rule, I always hear it called a ground rule double during a game.