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Running the Bases Backwards in Baseball

William D. Jones, MD, finished his residency in Oklahoma City, OK, in 1994 and has continued to practice occupational and preventive medicine in the area since then. Away from work William D. Jones, MD, engages in a variety of recreational and charitable softball activities with numerous OK organizations. He also enjoys watching Major and Minor League Baseball games on television.

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William D Jones MD
 William D. Jones, MD, finished his residency in Oklahoma
City, OK, in 1994 and has continued to practice occupational
and preventive medicine in the area since then. Away from
work William D. Jones, MD, engages in a variety of
recreational and charitable softball activities with numerous
OK organizations. He also enjoys watching Major and Minor
League Baseball games on television.
With a professional rule book spanning more than 280 pages,
it is safe to assume the casual baseball fan is not aware of
every regulation in the sport. For example, many followers of
the game may be unaware that it is legal for a base runner to
travel the bases in reverse order. The rule is rarely seen
enforced in professional games, though instances have
occurred, including during a 2013 game between the
Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs.
 Shortly after stealing second base, Milwaukee’s Jean Segura
attempted to steal third but was caught in a pickle. After successfully
navigating his way back to second base, Segura found himself
standing next to teammate Ryan Braun, who had advanced from first
during the pickle. A Cubs player immediately tagged both players.
Segura headed towards the dugout, and first base, before hearing
the umpire correctly call Braun out. Segura remained on first, having
legally traveled from second to first.
The official Major League Baseball (MLB) rulebook states that no
player can run the bases in reverse order as a tactical defensive
decision or in any manner that could be considered a mockery of the
sport. However, any runner that reaches an unoccupied base and for
any other reason travels back to another unoccupied base, that
runner cannot be tagged out.

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Running the Bases Backwards in Baseball

  • 2.  William D. Jones, MD, finished his residency in Oklahoma City, OK, in 1994 and has continued to practice occupational and preventive medicine in the area since then. Away from work William D. Jones, MD, engages in a variety of recreational and charitable softball activities with numerous OK organizations. He also enjoys watching Major and Minor League Baseball games on television. With a professional rule book spanning more than 280 pages, it is safe to assume the casual baseball fan is not aware of every regulation in the sport. For example, many followers of the game may be unaware that it is legal for a base runner to travel the bases in reverse order. The rule is rarely seen enforced in professional games, though instances have occurred, including during a 2013 game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs.
  • 3.  Shortly after stealing second base, Milwaukee’s Jean Segura attempted to steal third but was caught in a pickle. After successfully navigating his way back to second base, Segura found himself standing next to teammate Ryan Braun, who had advanced from first during the pickle. A Cubs player immediately tagged both players. Segura headed towards the dugout, and first base, before hearing the umpire correctly call Braun out. Segura remained on first, having legally traveled from second to first. The official Major League Baseball (MLB) rulebook states that no player can run the bases in reverse order as a tactical defensive decision or in any manner that could be considered a mockery of the sport. However, any runner that reaches an unoccupied base and for any other reason travels back to another unoccupied base, that runner cannot be tagged out.