Baseball Hidden Ball Trick

While baseball is not necessarily known for trick plays, there are still a select few trick plays that teams use to gain an advantage. Read on to learn more about the hidden ball trick in baseball, including what it is and how to execute the trick.

What Is the Hidden Ball Trick?

The hidden ball trick in baseball is a deception play where a fielder pretends he does not have the ball, secretly retaining it to tag a base runner out. Sometimes, in order to pick runners off, infielders will deceive runners. They will pretend that they do not have the baseball, by hiding it or pretending to throw it and then quickly tag the oblivious runner off when he steps off the base. This is a pretty rare feat and not something that is commonly practiced.

How Do You Do the Hidden Ball Trick?

  1. Catch ball hit by batter or thrown by fellow infielder.
  2. Hide the ball without pocketing it or pretend to throw it to a fellow infielder.
  3. Run toward or stand by a nearby runner.
  4. Make sure the pitcher does not assume their position on the mound.
  5. Quickly tag the nearby runner once they have stepped off the base.


The hidden ball trick is considered a legal maneuver in baseball. However, the pitcher is not allowed to assume their position on the mound unless they have the ball in their glove. Thus, player’s attempting the hidden ball trick must make sure the pitcher does not assume their position on the mound or risk a balk. They also cannot hide the ball anywhere within their uniform.