Are You Smarter Than a Tenth Grader?

At the beginning of each season I present my players with a general baseball knowledge quiz.  With our season set to begin this Friday, I thought it would be fun to see how our readers match up with a bunch of high school kids.  Here is the exact quiz I will be presenting to them on Friday.  I will post the answers later this evening for those interested. 

1)       Runner on 1st, no outs, 2 strikes on the batter.  The next pitch is inside and the batter swings and misses, but the ball hits him square in the chest and drops to the ground in fair territory. Runner on 1st, who was stealing on the pitch, hits 2nd and heads for 3rd. The catcher retrieves the ball and throws the runner out as he slides into 3rd.  What’s the call?

2)       A low line drive goes down the left side of the field and hits the front of 3rd base, then bounces back into the dugout and out of play before actually passing the bag.  What’s the call?

3)       Proper batting order for the inning is Johnny, Derek, Bobby. Derek steps up to the plate first, however, and after four pitches the count is 3 and 1. The opposing team’s manager asks for time and tells the umpire the incorrect batter is at the plate.  What’s the call?

4)       A batted ball hits home plate and bounces straight up into the air, touching no one. When it comes back down it rolls alongside the plate in foul territory for a moment before finally rolling onto the plate where it comes to a complete stop.  What’s the call?

5)       A bunted ball is rolling just on the foul side of the chalk line toward 3rd base and is being chased by the catcher, pitcher, and 3rd baseman. The umpire should:

a)       Immediately call "Foul!" if the ball’s initial contact with the ground had been in foul territory.

b)       Wait to see the relative position of the ball to the foul line when it either comes to a stop or is touched by a player, so long as the ball’s initial contact with the ground was in fair territory.

c)       Wait to see the relative position of the ball to the foul line when it either comes to a stop or is touched by a player, regardless of whether or not the ball’s initial contact with the ground was in fair or foul territory.

d)       Both a and b.

6)       A low line drive heading straight up the middle strikes the pitching rubber and, before being touched by any fielder, bounces into foul territory between home and 1st or home and 3rd.  What’s the call?

7)       Runners on first and third.  The batter then blisters a hot ground ball between the legs of the first baseman and strikes the runner going from first to second. The umpires should keep the ball in play and nobody is out. True or False?

Here are the answers:

1)       The ball is immediately dead when it hits the batter and the pitch is a strike since the batter swung.  All runners must return to their original bases.

2)       The ball is fair and since it went out of play, the batter is awarded two bases.

3)       If a batter out of order is discovered before he has either reached base or completed his at bat, no consequences will result for the offensive team.  You simply replace the incorrect batter with the proper batter, who assumes whatever count the improper batter had.

4)       Home plate is in fair territory. 

5)       C. Doesn’t matter where a batted ball starts out, only where it ends up when it comes to a complete stop or where it is when touched by a fielder.

6)       A batted ball not touched by a fielder, which hits the pitcher’s rubber and rebounds into foul territory between home and first, or between home and third base is a foul ball.

7)       True. When a batted ball passes through, or by, a fielder, and no other infielder has a chance to make a play on the ball, the ball is kept alive and in play.

44 comments… add one
  • My guesses:
    1. Ball is dead once it strikes the batter, who is out because he swung and missed. Runner returns to first.
    2. Foul ball.
    3. Derek is out.
    4. Foul ball.
    5. D
    6. Fair ball.
    7. False. The runner is out. Not sure whether the ball is dead upon striking the runner, though.

    Paul SF March 5, 2008, 12:18 pm
  • Here’s mine:
    1. Dead ball, strikes out.
    2. Ground rule double.
    3. Johnny is out, Derek continues.
    4. Fair ball.
    5. c.
    6. Play on!
    7. False – dead ball as soon as it touches the guy. The runner’s out, and the batter goes to first.

    Lar March 5, 2008, 12:27 pm
  • Great post.

    attackgerbil March 5, 2008, 12:33 pm
  • 1. Dead ball, strikes out, 2nd base is stolen but he’s not allowed to go to third.
    2. I believe that if a ball hits a base it’s considered in play, so I guess it’s a ground-rule double.
    3. Johnny is out, Derek still at bat with 3-1 count.
    4. Any ball that hits home plate is a foul ball.
    5. D
    6. Ball is still in play
    7. False–dead ball upon contact, the runner is out. Batter goes to first.

    Atheose March 5, 2008, 1:28 pm
  • I say:
    1. strike out, dead ball, runner returns to first base
    2. foul ball
    3. No one is out. Derek returns to the dugout, and Johnny continues Derek’s at bat with a 3-1 count.
    4. Fair.
    5. C
    6. Once some one touches it, or it stops moving, it’s a foul ball
    7. The runner is not out if the ball passed a fielder, however I do not know if this is a dead ball or not. I will guess live ball.

    Matt March 5, 2008, 1:31 pm
  • Oh, wait, #2 says it hits THE front of third base. I thought it said it hits IN front of third base. That’s a fair ball, and I have no idea what the ruling is regarding it going out of play. It is not a grounds rule double, because rules of the grounds are determined by the home team. I expect it would be the same for an overthrow: the next base plus one base.

    Matt March 5, 2008, 1:35 pm
  • Yeah, I made the same mistake, Matt. Thought is said IN front. I retroactively change my answer to fair, as well.

    Paul SF March 5, 2008, 1:42 pm
  • Terrific post. Here’s my wild stab at these questions:
    1. Strike ’em out, throw ’em out, on the “run-at-own-risk” rule.
    2. Foul ball
    3. Skipped batter is forfeited (out), at-bat continues
    4. Live ball; batter-runner should have gotten to 1B by now.
    5. D
    6. Foul ball
    7. False

    FenSheaParkway March 5, 2008, 1:54 pm
  • And I should further add for No. 2: Fair ball, ground-rule double.

    Paul SF March 5, 2008, 2:08 pm
  • 1) Strike out, runner is out at 3rd
    2) Fair ball, I think it’s the discretion of the umpire what base the runner ends up on?
    3) Johnny is out, Derek’s AB continues
    4) Fair ball
    5) D
    6) Foul ball
    7) False

    Devine March 5, 2008, 2:10 pm
  • For number 2, I’ll say I think runner ends up at 2nd.

    Devine March 5, 2008, 2:15 pm
  • 1. Montague
    2. “Fortunate Son” by CCR
    3. Rutherford B. Hayes
    4. terracotta
    5. 74
    6. “Havana” Montana
    7. Occasionally the hot asthenosphere finds a weak place in the lithosphere to rise buoyantly as a plume, or hotspot.

    sf rod March 5, 2008, 2:17 pm
  • I think it’s funny that the question for Rod’s No. 1 answer is “Curt Schilling’s middle name.”

    Paul SF March 5, 2008, 3:03 pm
  • Obviously, you are NOT smarter than a 6th grader, let alone a 10th grader!!
    If you were, you would have used the proper word in your question “THAN” not “THEN”.

    Mark L. March 5, 2008, 3:42 pm
  • it looks as though the answer key has changed since last year. those damn 11th graders.

    sf rod March 5, 2008, 4:01 pm
  • 1) Strike out, dead ball when it hits the batter. Umpire call on whether the runner gets second based on where they were between the bases.
    2) Ground rule double
    3) Derek out, Johnny out
    4) Fair ball
    5) c
    6) Foul ball
    7) True
    And I will argue to the death any answer that’s wrong :)

    A YF March 5, 2008, 4:20 pm
  • Thanks Mark, it has been corrected.

    John - YF March 5, 2008, 4:21 pm
  • A YF, you have one wrong and part of another wrong. I will not tell you which ones because I don’t want to give away the answers quite yet. I would say pay closer attention to the wording. Unfortunately there is no gray area in the 1 1/2 you have incorrect. But overall, nice job.

    John - YF March 5, 2008, 4:27 pm
  • So far there is only one person who has all 7 correct.

    John - YF March 5, 2008, 4:30 pm
  • Thanks, John! Do I take my trophy now, or…? ;-)

    Paul SF March 5, 2008, 4:55 pm
  • I love these quizzes. Let’s see….
    1. The play is dead. The runner has to return to first base.
    2. If the ball hits the base, it is considered to be a fair ball.
    3. Tough one. I think that if the AB is not completed, the opposing team can put up the proper hitter who will come to the plate with a 3-1 count.
    4. Foul ball!
    5. I think the answer’s C. That’s a stumper.
    6. Foul ball!
    7. True?

    Ben K. March 5, 2008, 5:09 pm
  • My high school coach would give a similar quiz.
    1) dead ball, runner back to first.
    2) ground rule double (fair ball because it hit third, then grd because it went out of play into the dugout)
    3) Count is still 3 and 1, but Johnny is out, due to batting out of order.
    4)fair ball
    6)foul ball

    Nick March 5, 2008, 6:00 pm
  • 1. Batter is out; dead ball, runner returns to 1st.
    2. Ground Rule Double
    3. Derek sent back to bench; Johnny takes AB with 3-1 count.
    4. Fair Ball
    5. D
    6. Fair ball, ball’s in play
    7. False; dead ball, runner is out, batter awarded 1st base.

    Sciorsci March 5, 2008, 6:07 pm
  • 1)Batter and runner are out
    2)Fair ball
    3)Jeter is out
    4)Foul ball
    5) d)Both a and b.
    6)Fair ball
    7)False–the runner going from 1st-2nd is out

    Pablo Zevallos March 5, 2008, 6:24 pm
  • My best guesses:
    1. Double play. No reason the ball should be dead just because it hit a swinging batter.
    2. Ground-rule double.
    3. Johnny takes over and assumes a 3-1 count.
    4. I think that’s a foul ball.
    5. D.
    6. I think that’s a foul ball too.
    7. False. Unclear language, but if the batted ball hit the runner, the runner’s out.

    Kazz March 5, 2008, 6:24 pm
  • Damn! Yeah, as I’ve thought about it, the runner in the first question goes back to first. I think!
    I’m guessing I have #3 wrong too. Seems like if the AB isn’t completed, there’s no outs and the AB continues with the correct batter. In that case, Coach, is it the right thing to alert the ump or wait until the Ab completes? Then what happens?
    So I’m thinking that makes Matt (which we all know is just a pseudonym of SF to avoid possible embarrassment) the winner. But, might I add, that’s after lots of qualifications and then an after the fact correction! :)

    A YF March 5, 2008, 6:26 pm
  • I just realized that my answers are how i would WANT the rules to work, and not based on any actual knowledge of the rules’ intricacies. whoops!

    FenSheaParkway March 5, 2008, 6:49 pm
  • 1. Batter is out, ball is dead, runner takes 2nd base
    2. ground rule double
    3. jeter and damon are both out
    4. foul ball
    5. C
    6. ground rule double
    7. false: runner is out, hitter gets 1st base

    pete March 5, 2008, 7:24 pm
  • I’m sensing a chance here to promote my book All-New Baseball Brainteasers, which has 60 quite humorous and challenging rules questions just like this. Wouldn’t it be funny if I got any of these easy questions wrong? Let’s find out:
    1. Strikeout and deadball. Runner doesn’t advance.
    2. Ground rule double
    3. Johnny comes in to bat inheriting the 3-1 count.
    4. Fair ball.
    5. C
    6. Foul ball
    7. True. Although I’d say not enough info, because the second baseman may be playing far enough over that this would become false. But with that caveat, let’s go with true.

    Ump March 5, 2008, 7:37 pm
  • I agree with Ump! (was waiting for his answers for the last 4 hours)

    Nick-YF March 5, 2008, 7:43 pm
  • Nick – I’ve been watching Family Guy. Sorry to keep you waiting.

    Ump March 5, 2008, 7:48 pm
  • Answers are now posted above. Thanks to everyone who participated.

    John - YF March 5, 2008, 8:10 pm
  • Man, I got totally pwned by that list. Great fun though!

    FenSheaParkway March 5, 2008, 8:25 pm
  • Ump, please post a link to your book.

    attackgerbil March 5, 2008, 11:23 pm
  • I figured in the day of Amazon and search engines, the title was enough. Here it is on the publisher’s website:

    Ump March 6, 2008, 4:46 am
  • I remember that book, I won a free one last year in a similar contest!

    AndrewYF March 6, 2008, 8:28 am
  • I am surprised by how many people wrote “ground rule double.” They are grounds rules, being that they refer specifically to the rules for the grounds (or stadium), and are separate from the rules of the game. For instance, somewhere in the rules of the game it will say that a batter is awarded home for a ball that leaves the grounds (I assume–I never read the rules!), but it is the home team that decides what technical constitutes leaving the grounds. In that way, every home run (that is not an inside the parker) is technically a grounds rule home run.
    Thank you for this quiz, it was very fun. More, please.

    Matt March 6, 2008, 8:33 am
  • My understanding is that there are two meanings to ground rule. There are the ground rules, which are the rules unique to the grounds (things like whether a ball is out of play if it goes on top of the tarp). Then there is the ground rule double, which is a double because it hits the ground before bouncing over the fence. The home team cannot change ground rule doubles. And a home team cannot change a home run (provided the fence is more than 250 feet away from the plate). Other than that, congratulations Matt on getting it right.

    Ump March 6, 2008, 8:56 am
  • I think, along with the “ground” that Ump states, the usage of “ground-rule double” as a phrase has evolved to where it refers to any struck ball for which the batter is automatically awarded two bases (except fan interference), regardless of the original meaning of the word.

    Paul SF March 6, 2008, 10:08 am
  • Holy cow! I agree with Paul SF! :)

    A YF March 6, 2008, 10:23 am
  • I believe the correct term actually is “automatic double”. Or at least, that’s the term I use when two bases are awarded for a hit that becomes a dead ball.

    FenSheaParkway March 6, 2008, 12:33 pm
  • Lanny Fratere, the Pirates’ play-by-play man, refers to a ball bouncing over the fence as a “book rule double” to distinguish it from any “grounds rules” dealing with the particular venue.

    JH March 6, 2008, 1:56 pm
  • So, how did the kids do? Better or worse than the group here?

    Nate March 6, 2008, 5:50 pm
  • Nate, I won’t know until tomorrow. State rule says we cannot practice until the first Friday of the month. I will keep you guys posted!

    John - YF March 6, 2008, 9:00 pm

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