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Protested game

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American League president Lee MacPhail upheld the protest by the Kansas City Royals in the Pine Tar Incident in 1983.
American League president Lee MacPhail upheld the protest by the Kansas City Royals in the Pine Tar Incident in 1983.

A protested game occurs in baseball when a manager believes that an umpire's decision is in violation of the official rules. In such cases, the manager can raise a protest by informing the umpires, and the game continues to be played "under protest." Protests were allowed in Major League Baseball (MLB) through the 2019 season, after which they were abolished.

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Through the 2019 season, protests were governed by Rule 7.04, "Protesting Games".[1] Managers could initiate a protest "because of alleged misapplication of the rules", provided they notified the umpires "at the time the play under protest occurs and before the next pitch, play or attempted play" (in the case of a game-ending play, a protest could be filed with the league office by noon of the next day).[1] A protested game was reviewed and adjudicated by the league president,[1] or the executive vice president of baseball operations,[2][3] who could order a game resumed (replayed from the point of the protested decision) only if finding the umpire's decision was in violation of the rules and the decision "adversely affected the protesting team’s chances of winning the game."[1][a] A well-known example of a protested game in MLB was the Pine Tar Incident in 1983, which was the only time that a protested game in the American League was ordered replayed from the point-of-protest. An umpire's judgment call (such as balls and strikes, safe or out, fair or foul) could not be protested.[1]

In 2020, the provision to protest a game was removed, as Rule 7.04 now reads:[4][5]

Protesting a game shall never be permitted, regardless of whether such complaint is based on judgment decisions by the umpire or an allegation that an umpire misapplied these rules or otherwise rendered a decision in violation of these rules.

Upheld protests in MLB

Upheld protests were a rare event; the below tables list upheld protests in MLB.

Resumed games

Through 2019, the last season during which protests were allowed in MLB, there were only 15 known occurrences of a protest being upheld and the game being resumed from the point at which the protest was raised.[6]

The protesting team in a protested game has gone 9–6 when the game was resumed. Only three teams have protested a game that they did not lose, with two of the games ending tied and one game being called off.

Protesting team won the game
Protesting team lost the game
Upheld protests with game resumed from the point-of-protest
Date Venue Protesting team Inning Opposing team Nature of protest Initial result Final Ref.
August 30, 1913 Baker Bowl, Philadelphia Philadelphia Phillies 9th (top) New York Giants Umpire declared a forfeit due to behavior of Phillies' fans; league vacated forfeit and ordered game played to completion. Giants win by forfeit Phillies 8
Giants 6
July 5, 1920 Polo Grounds, New York City Philadelphia Phillies 7th (top) New York Giants Placement of runners following a Phillies pop-up that was not caught; one umpire had ruled a force out, the other an infield fly. Giants 6
Phillies 0
Giants 13
Phillies 0
May 28, 1921 Forbes Field, Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pirates 8th (bottom) Cincinnati Reds Umpires allowed a rundown to occur after the ball had been thrown into the Reds' dugout and thrown back to a player. Reds 3
Pirates 2
Pirates 4
Reds 3
July 2, 1934 Wrigley Field, Chicago St. Louis Cardinals 7th (bottom) Chicago Cubs Infield fly was not called on a Cubs' pop-up in front of the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Cubs 7
Cardinals 4
Cubs 7
Cardinals 1
June 5, 1943 Sportsman's Park, St. Louis Philadelphia Phillies 8th (middle) St. Louis Cardinals Game called on account of rain; Cardinals' grounds crew did not cover the field properly. Cardinals 1
Phillies 0
Phillies 2
Cardinals 1
June 13, 1943 Polo Grounds, New York City New York Giants 9th (top) Philadelphia Phillies A Phillies batter deliberately stepped into a pitch, which should be ruled an out, but was not ruled out. Phillies 6
Giants 3
Giants 4
Phillies 3
August 17, 1947 Shibe Park, Philadelphia Brooklyn Dodgers 7th (bottom) Philadelphia Phillies Deliberate stalling tactics by the Phillies so that the game would be halted due to curfew. Dodgers 4
Phillies 4
Dodgers 7
Phillies 5
August 25, 1948 Forbes Field, Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pirates 9th (bottom) Brooklyn Dodgers Illegal substitution by Brooklyn; pitcher replaced before he had finished pitching to one batter. Dodgers 11
Pirates 9
Pirates 12
Dodgers 11
September 22, 1954 County Stadium, Milwaukee Cincinnati Reds 9th (top) Milwaukee Braves Umpires ruled a Reds baserunner out after batter ran to first on an uncaught third strike (although already out) and drew a throw, which went into the outfield. Braves 3
Reds 1
Braves 4
Reds 3
August 1, 1971 Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia St. Louis Cardinals 12th (top) Philadelphia Phillies Umpires called game after rain delay, reverting 6–3 Cardinals lead into 3–3 tie (score at end of 11th inning). Cardinals' protest was upheld, as unplayable field was due to breakdown of Phillies' rain removal machine. Cardinals 3
Phillies 3
Cardinals 9
Phillies 6
May 15, 1975 Jarry Park, Montreal Atlanta Braves 4th (middle) Montreal Expos Umpires called game after rain delay, negating a 4–0 Braves lead (game not yet official, so would have been replayed in its entirety). Braves protested, asserting umpires didn't wait long enough or test condition of field. No game Braves 5
Expos 4
August 21, 1979 Shea Stadium, New York City Houston Astros 9th (top) New York Mets Umpires disallowed a single by a Houston batter that had occurred with Mets' first baseman not on the field. Mets 5
Astros 0
Mets 5
Astros 0
July 24, 1983 Yankee Stadium, New York City Kansas City Royals 9th (top) New York Yankees Pine Tar Incident: Umpires called a Royals batter out after using a bat with too much pine tar on the handle. Yankees 4
Royals 3
Royals 5
Yankees 4
June 16, 1986 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pirates 6th (top) St. Louis Cardinals Pirates protested umpires' decision to call the game on account of rain; didn't wait long enough. Cardinals 4
Pirates 1
Cardinals 4
Pirates 2
August 19, 2014 Wrigley Field, Chicago San Francisco Giants 5th (middle) Chicago Cubs Giants protested umpires' decision to call the game on account of rain; Cubs' grounds crew had difficulty covering the field during sudden heavy rain. Cubs 2
Giants 0
Cubs 2
Giants 1

Non-resumed games

There have been other instances of a protest being upheld, with the game not resumed from the point at which the protest was raised. Examples include:

Upheld protests with other remedy
Date Venue Protesting team Inning Opposing team Nature of protest Outcome Ref.
May 7–8, 1902 West Side Park, Chicago New York Giants Chicago Orphans The pitcher's plate (pitching rubber) was found to be the wrong distance from home plate. New York's protest was upheld, and the league ordered the games to be replayed. Replayed [33][34]
October 2, 1912 West Side Park, Chicago Pittsburgh Pirates 10th (bottom) Chicago Cubs Chicago won in extra innings, with the winning run driven in by a player who batted out of order. The basis of Pittsburgh's protest was that "the umpire was required to call attention to any infraction of the rules." The protest was upheld and the game result was simply removed from the league standings, as the protest was ruled on late in the 1912 season, with both teams out of pennant contention. No contest [35][36]
May 14, 1914 Federal League Park, Buffalo Chicago Whales 9th (bottom) Buffalo Blues Umpire's ruling following a dropped ball on an infield fly. League president upheld the protest and ordered the entire game replayed.[b] Replayed [37][38][39]
June 19, 1915 Terrapin Park, Baltimore Baltimore Terrapins 1st (top) Chicago Whales Umpire allowed a Chicago player to score after he had left the field and gone to the bench. League president upheld the protest and ordered the entire game replayed.[b] Replayed [40][41]
April 17, 1917 Braves Field, Boston Philadelphia Phillies 2nd (top) Boston Braves Umpire ruled a Phillies player out for running outside the base path, on a play when the runner was not avoiding a tag. League president upheld the protest and ordered the entire game replayed. Replayed [42][43]
August 19, 1917 Navin Field, Detroit Washington Senators 9th (bottom) Detroit Tigers Detroit's third base coach (Ty Cobb) touched the Detroit baserunner who scored the winning run of the game as he rounded third base. League president upheld the protest and ordered the entire game replayed. Replayed [44][45]
June 3, 1918 Ebbets Field, Brooklyn Brooklyn Robins 6th (top) St. Louis Cardinals A Cardinals baserunner reached third base, started to run back to second base, then ran directly to home plate without re-touching third base; umpire allowed the run to count. League president upheld the protest and ordered the entire game replayed. Replayed [46][47]
July 28, 1924 Sportsman's Park, St. Louis St. Louis Browns 9th (bottom) Boston Red Sox Umpire's misunderstanding of substitutions led to the Browns batting out of order. League president upheld the protest and ordered the entire game replayed. Replayed [48][49]
July 20, 1947 Ebbets Field, Brooklyn St. Louis Cardinals 9th (top) Brooklyn Dodgers With the Cardinals leading 2–0, their batter hit a deep drive that was signaled as not a home run by one umpire. The batter, in running the bases, slowed up after seeing it signaled as a home run by another umpire and was thrown out at the plate; this was the basis of the protest. The protest was upheld, however the remedy was not to re-play the game from the point of protest; the league president ruled that the home run would count. As the Dodgers had gone on to score three runs in the bottom of the ninth, this turned a 3–2 Dodgers win into a 3–3 tie. The tie game stands as an official result, with all individual records counting. A replay of the tied game was held on August 18, 1947, which was won by the Dodgers. Counted as a tie game and replayed [6][50][51]


  1. ^ In practice, if the protesting team went on to win the game, their protest was considered moot, although MLB rules did not specifically state this.
  2. ^ a b Protest occurred within the Federal League, which is considered to have been a major league.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Official Baseball Rules" (PDF). Major League Baseball. 2019. Retrieved July 29, 2019 – via
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  4. ^ Official Baseball Rules (PDF) (2020 ed.). Major League Baseball. 2020. pp. vii, 94. ISBN 978-1-7348793-0-8. Retrieved June 2, 2021 – via
  5. ^ Official Baseball Rules (PDF) (2021 ed.). Major League Baseball. 4 May 2021. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-62937-893-0. Retrieved June 8, 2021 – via
  6. ^ a b "Resumed Protested Games". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  7. ^ "Philadelphia Phillies 8, New York Giants 6". Retrosheet. August 30, 1913. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "08/30/1913 - New York at Philadelphia NL". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  9. ^ "New York Giants 13, Philadelphia Phillies 0 (2)". Retrosheet. July 5, 1920. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  10. ^ "Resumed Protested Game: 7/5/1920". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  11. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Cincinnati Reds 3". Retrosheet. May 28, 1921. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  12. ^ "Protested Game". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  13. ^ "Chicago Cubs 7, St. Louis Cardinals 1". Retrosheet. July 2, 1934. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  14. ^ "Resumed Protested Game: 7/2/1934". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  15. ^ "Philadelphia Phillies 2, St. Louis Cardinals 1". Retrosheet. June 5, 1943. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  16. ^ "Resumed Protested Game: 6/5/1943". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  17. ^ "New York Giants 4, Philadelphia Phillies 3 (2)". Retrosheet. June 13, 1943. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  18. ^ "Resumed Protested Game: 6/13/1943". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  19. ^ "Brooklyn Dodgers 7, Philadelphia Phillies 5 (2)". Retrosheet. August 17, 1947. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  20. ^ "Resumed Protested Game: 8/17/1947". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  21. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates 12, Brooklyn Dodgers 11". Retrosheet. August 25, 1948. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  22. ^ "Pirate Protest Upheld". Press & Sun-Bulletin. Binghamton, New York. UP. August 26, 1948. p. 25. Retrieved July 29, 2019 – via
  23. ^ "Milwaukee Braves 4, Cincinnati Reds 3". Retrosheet. September 22, 1954. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  24. ^ "Reds-Braves Game Protest Upheld by NL". The Morning Call. Allentown, Pennsylvania. AP. September 24, 1954. p. 27. Retrieved July 29, 2019 – via
  25. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 9, Philadelphia Phillies 6". Retrosheet. August 1, 1971. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  26. ^ "Atlanta Braves 5, Montreal Expos 4". Retrosheet. May 15, 1975. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  27. ^ "New York Mets 5, Houston Astros 0". Retrosheet. August 21, 1979. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  28. ^ "Astros win protest, still lose game to Mets". The StarPhoenix. Saskatoon. AP. August 23, 1979. p. D4. Retrieved July 29, 2019 – via
  29. ^ "Kansas City Royals 5, New York Yankees 4". Retrosheet. July 24, 1983. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  30. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 2". Retrosheet. June 16, 1986. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  31. ^ "Chicago Cubs 2, San Francisco Giants 1". Retrosheet. August 19, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  32. ^ Nightengale, Bob (August 20, 2014). "Giants win protest over rain-shortened Cubs game". USA Today. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  33. ^ "New York's Protest Upheld". Indianapolis Journal. June 4, 1902. p. 2. Retrieved July 30, 2019 – via
  34. ^ "New York's Protest Upheld (cont'd)". Indianapolis Journal. June 4, 1902. p. 2. Retrieved July 30, 2019 – via
  35. ^ "Dumb Work by Manager Clarke". The Buffalo Times. Buffalo, New York. October 3, 1912. p. 18. Retrieved July 30, 2019 – via
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  41. ^ "Buffalo Protest Upheld". St. Joseph News-Press. St. Joseph, Missouri. July 9, 1915. p. 16. Retrieved July 31, 2019 – via
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  45. ^ "Griffith's Protest Upheld". The Sun. New York City. September 21, 1917. p. 13. Retrieved August 3, 2019 – via
  46. ^ "St. Louis Trims Dodgers". The Lancaster Daily Intelligencer. Lancaster, Pennsylvania. June 4, 1918. p. 9. Retrieved August 3, 2019 – via
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  50. ^ "Brooklyn Dodgers 3, St. Louis Cardinals 3". Retrosheet. July 20, 1947. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  51. ^ Smith, David W. (2004). "Protest Upheld, Computer Software Confounded" (PDF). The Baseball Research Journal. Vol. 33. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-910137-97-8 – via SABR.

Further reading

This page was last edited on 13 April 2023, at 01:59
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