What’s pitch tipping, what’s sign stealing, and when are they illegal?

A few sideways glances by New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge this week have put pitch tipping and sign stealing back in baseball’s spotlight. The Blue Jays allege that a Yankees coach was spying on pitcher Jay Jackson’s grip and then relaying that info to Judge. Judge refutes that he and the Yankees did anything against the rules. Both sides might be telling the truth. Even if a coach or teammate was studying Jackson and sharing info via hand signals to Judge in the box, the Yankees may not be in violation of any Major League Baseball rules. In fact, legal sign stealing and pitch-tip hunting have been part of the game for generations.