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Handling the Half Swing — Part I
What the rules say

Other parts in this series:
  Handling the Half Swing — Part I — What the rules say
  Handling the Half Swing — Part II — Did he go?
  Handling the Half Swing — Part III — Refusing to appeal

he Original Code of 1876 allowed the umpire the right to appeal to bystanders for help in determining whether catches had been "fairly made or not":

Section 5. Should the umpire be unable to see whether a catch has been fairly made or not, he shall be at liberty to appeal to the bystanders, and to render his decision according to the fairest testimony at command.

According to Evansí Official Baseball Rules Annotated:

After the dual-umpire system became popular in the early 1900's (circa 1911), an umpire was given the liberty to "ask his associate for information before acting on the managerís or captainís appeal."


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