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Caught stealing

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In baseball, a runner is charged, and the fielders involved are credited, with a time caught stealing when the runner attempts to advance or lead off from one base to another without the ball being batted and then is tagged out by a fielder while making the attempt. A time caught stealing cannot be charged to a batter-runner, a runner who is still advancing as the direct result of reaching base.

More specifically, a time caught stealing is charged when:

  • a runner, attempting a stolen base, is put out;
  • a runner is caught in a rundown play while stealing, and is tagged out; or
  • a runner, attempting a stolen base, is safe because a fielder is charged with an error on catching the ball, and in the judgment of the official scorer, the runner would have been out if the ball had been caught. (This official scoring is almost never made; an error is usually only charged if a bad throw or catch allows the runner to take an additional base, e.g., the runner attempts to steal second, the ball goes into the outfield, and the runner takes third as well. In such an instance the runner is credited with a steal of second, with the error accounting for the advance to third.)


A baserunner is "picked off" base when that runner takes a lead off his base and the pitcher (or catcher) makes a quick throw to a fielder manning that base, resulting in the runner being tagged out. In this circumstance, the baserunner is not considered to have been caught stealing. However, if, during the play, the runner made any feint or motion toward the next base, then the runner is caught stealing, even if he is eventually caught trying to re-assume the base which he originally occupied.

Wild Pitch/Passed BallEdit

If a runner is making no attempt to advance to the next base until there is a wild pitch or passed ball, and is then put out trying to advance to the next base, this runner is not caught stealing. The runner is put out on a fielder's choice, and a wild pitch/passed ball would not be charged to the pitcher or catcher.

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