Are the hands part of the bat?

Ever hear someone say "the hands are part of the bat" when a batter is hit on the hands by a pitch?

This myth came about because someone once uttered that comment when a batter's hand was hit by a pitch while his hands were in the strike zone or while he was swinging the bat at the ball.

Contrary to this belief, a batter's hands are not part of the bat under any rule in baseball or softball.

If the batter is hit on the hands while trying to avoid being hit by a pitch and his hands are not in the strike zone when hit nor is he swinging at the ball in an attempt to hit the ball then he is awarded first base.

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