Here is an example of a beautifully conceived and executed baseball trick play. This comes to us from a playoff game between Beal City High School in Michigan and Muskegon Catholic Central. You have to watch the video carefully to actually see what’s happening (cause it’s crappy high school baseball video).
Beal City’s pitcher Ty Rollin whirls and appears to throw to second base in an attempt to pick off the Muskegon base runner. It looks like an errant throw by Rollin that gets by the second baseman, causing Rollin to throw his hat down in disgust.
Reacting to the fielders, who are all acting like the ball got away, the base runner gets up and tries to go to third. What the runner doesn’t know is that the pitcher Rollin still has the ball because he never threw it. He only pretended to throw it, and the fielders only pretended to miss it. The hat spike was a beautiful piece of trick play selling by the pitcher.
This is one of the better “fake getting mad” trick plays I’ve seen. You see those in football occasionally where the quarterback will pretend he can’t get the signals, and act like he’s barking at the sidelines to try and get the defense to relax, and then the center will snap the ball to someone else. But you don’t see it in baseball.
I have to wonder, though, if the hat spike even did anything. The runner probably got deeked by the fielders more than the pitcher. But it was a good job by the pitcher anyway. Way to follow through on the fake.