In case you missed last night's baseball oddity, the Marlins' J.T. Realmuto hit a home run that was negated when he passed Marcell Ozuna on the base path -- a violation of Rule 7.08 (h). Ozuna took blame for the gaffe, as did first base coach Perry Hill. I'm not sure Realmuto wasn't at fault, either, for not paying close enough attention to Ozuna's whereabouts.
Judge for yourself:
This sort of blunder does not happen very happen above the Little League level. Retrosheet.org has documented a list of instances in which a home run was taken away for passing a runner. It's not a very long one, but involves quite a few famous names. Interestingly, Marlins manager Don Mattingly, when asked if he had every seen anything like it before, could only nod his head in the affirmative. He was with the Yankees in 1985 when a nearly identical play involved Bobby Meacham and Willie Randolph.
Courtesy of Retrosheet.org, here's the list:
9/12/1920 - In the top of the fourth inning of a game in Chicago, Washington's Frank Ellerbe was on first base with two outs. Patsy Gharrity hit the ball into the left field bleachers for an apparent two-run homer. When Ellerbe heard the fans in those seats cheering he thought Joe Jackson had caught the ball which would have ended the inning. After rounding third base, Ellerbe turned and went to his shortstop position. Meanwhile Gharrity trotted around the bases. When he rounded third base, he was called out for passing Ellerbe. Both umpires, Bill Dineen and Ollie Chill, made the call. Washington argued that since the ball was out of play it did make any difference that Gharrity passed Ellerbe. The headline in the next days' New York Times read: "Gharrity's Homer Retires His Side." This event had no affect on the game as the Senators beat the White Sox, 5-0.
9/15/1930 - In the bottom of the second with runners on 1b and 2b, Dodger Glenn Wright hit the ball to right-center. It looked like it might be caught so Babe Herman slowed up as he neared 2b. The ball bounced over the fence for a home run but Wright had his head down as he ran between 1b and 2b. Consequently, he passed Herman and was called out. He lost a homer but still knocked in 2 runs.
4/26/1931 - In the first inning with Lyn Lary on first and two out, Lou Gehrig hit a home run into the centerfield bleachers at Griffith Stadium. However, the ball caromed back to the centerfielder. Lary returned to the dugout, evidently thinking the ball was caught. Gehrig was declared out for passing the runner and lost the homer. He ended the year tied for the lead in homers with Babe Ruth.
5/26/1959 - Joe Adcock lost a homer in Harvey Haddix' perfect game. In the bottom of the 13th inning, after Felix Mantilla reached on an error and was sacrificed to second, Hank Aaron was intentionally walked. Adcock then hit his home run. However, Aaron didn't know the ball left the park, so he returned to the dugout and Adcock was called out for passing Aaron.
4/21/1967 - Tony Oliva of Minnesota lost a home run due to a base running blunder. Playing in Detroit in the third inning, Cesar Tovar was the runner at first base. Oliva hit the ball out of the park off Denny McLain, but then passed Tovar between first and second. He was credited with a single and one RBI for scoring Tovar.
7/18/1969 - Don Buford hit the ball into the right field seats in Fenway Park in the eighth inning. Tony Conigliaro leaped and fell into the stands, but did not have the ball when he came up. The first base umpire, Bob Stewart, gave no signal. Dave May, running at first, hesitated, then started back to first base. Buford passed him and May was called out while Buford circled the bases. A five minute argument followed. Earl Weaver argued about Stewart's delayed home run call. Buford was credited with a run scoring single, and May with a run scored, even though those events never actually happened on the field. Home plate umpire Red Flaherty allegedly called May out, which was why he stopped running. The hit came off Ray Jarvis, who was ahead 6-0 at the time. May's run was the only tally of the game for the Orioles.
7/9/1970 - In the seventh inning at Tiger Stadium, Dalton Jones pinch hit for Jim Price with the bases loaded. Jones hammered the 2-2 pitch into the upper deck in right field for a grand slam. However, Jones passed Don Wert between first and second and was called out, thus ending up with a 3-RBI single. Vicente Romo had entered the game to face Jones.
6/19/1974 - Giant Ed Goodson hit a home run in the third inning off Bob Gibson at St. Louis with Garry Maddox on first and no one out. Unfortunately, Goodson passed Maddox between first and second. Goodson was credited with a single and a run batted in.
7/4/1976 - Catcher Tim McCarver of the Phillies hit a grand slam in the second inning of the first game of a doubleheader at Pittsburgh. The 375 foot homer came off Larry Demery. However, after rounding first base, McCarver passed Garry Maddox and was called out. He received credit for a single and three runs batted in.
6/24/1977 - Ralph Garr of the White Sox homered off Minnesota's Paul Thormodsgard in Minneapolis. It came in the third inning with two men on and no one out. Jim Essian, the runner on first, thought the ball might be caught by the Twins' right fielder, Dan Ford, so he retreated towards first base. Garr was watching the flight of the ball and passed Essian after rounding the bag. He was credited with a single and two runs batted in.
5/14/1982 - Pittsburgh's Lee Lacy batted in the bottom of the eighth inning as the first batter to face Tom Hume of the Reds. The bases were loaded with no outs and Lacy hit one of Hume's pitches out of the park. However, in the celebration during his run around the bases, Lacy passed Omar Moreno between first and second. He is credited with a single and three runs batted in. Luckily, Moreno's run won the game for the Pirates 8-7.
4/29/1985 - The Yankees had runners on 1B and 2B in the top of the fourth inning at Texas when Bobby Meacham hit a ball that just cleared the fence for a homer. He paid no attention to the fact that Willie Randolph stayed near 1B waiting to see if the ball would drop in. Meacham passed Randolph after rounding 1B and was called out. Randolph and Butch Wynegar both scored on the play and Meacham was credited with a single. Those runs put the Yanks up 4-0 but the Rangers won, 7-5.
9/26/1998 - The Pirates' Adrian Brown singled to lead off the top of the fourth in Cincinnati. Jose Guillen was hit by a Pete Harnisch pitch. Kevin Young then homered to LF and Guillen rounded 2B and passed Brown, turning a three-run homer into a two-run shot. The Reds won 6-2.
4/16/2006 - Javy Lopez of the Orioles hit a home run to left center as Darin Erstad attempted to catch the ball at the wall. The runner on first, Miguel Tejada, thinking the ball was caught, returned towards the bag and Lopez rounded first and passed Tejada. Lopez was called out and Tejada scored on the play, giving Lopez an RBI single over the wall.