Baseball is filled with statistics, rules, and archaic terms that can often form what sounds like a foreign language. Sons of Sam Horn’s glossary provides a better understanding of these terms through straightforward definitions, clear explanations, and examples pulled straight from the baseball world. If there is anything you would like us to add to our glossary, please contact us.
An appeal play is a play in which the defending team believes that the baserunner either passed a base without touching it and continued to the next bag, or left a base early when tagging up on a fly ball. The defense appeals, or challenges, the no-call by throwing the ball to the necessary base and informing the umpires they are appealing the call. These plays may be challenged under replay review, but must be appealed first.
How Does the Appeal Work?
After the play is over, the ball must be returned to the pitcher, and he takes the rubber. A player on the defense then tells an umpire that they wish to appeal the play at the base where the alleged baserunning error took place. The pitcher then steps off the rubber and throws the ball to that base. If the baserunning error did take place the umpire will call an out, and if it did not he will make a safe call.
Appeals must be made before any further play occurs, which includes a pitch, a steal attempt, or even a balk while the pitcher is on the rubber.
If a home run or automatic double is hit and the batter-runner misses first base and then tags second base, he is not allowed to go back and tag first base to correct his error. The same is true if a runner takes an extra base after an errant throw into the stands. If an appeal is made and the batter missed one base before tagging the next, it will be upheld and the runner will be called out.
One thing that is important to note is that once the pitcher disengages from the rubber, time is not out and the ball is live: