From SABR member Larry Granillo at Baseball Nation on June 27, 2013:
The neighborhood play. It’s what we call it when a middle infielder, in making the turn at second base during a double-play, gets the call from the umpire despite never actually touching the bag while in possession of the ball.
Ask any of the older men in blue, however, and they’ll tell you it doesn’t exist; umpires can (and will) call a runner out only if the fielder touches the bag after cleanly receiving the ball.
But we all know they’re lying. The neighborhood play was an accepted part of baseball for decades, no different than a hit-batsman taking first despite no effort to get out of the way or a pitcher running his hand through his greased-up hair before every pitch.
Read the full article here: http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/6/27/4468652/mlb-umpires-neighborhood-double-play-history
Originally published: June 27, 2013. Last Updated: June 27, 2013.