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Absolutely he can cross the plate if he wants to. The reason they walk behind the umpire is just out of common courtesy. When you step over the plate, you risk the chance of kicking dirt on it.

The batter can only switch boxes if he is a switch hitter and a new pitcher comes in. Otherwise a batter must remain on the same side of the plate for the entire At-Bat.

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โˆ™ 2010-10-23 00:50:03
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Q: When a batter switches boxes can he cross the plate or does he have to walk behind the Umpire?
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