What Is Considered An Error In Baseball

9.12 Errors

Rule that applies to all leagues: This rule is the same across all leagues. Errors are statistics recorded against a fielder who, through his or her actions, has benefited the team’s offensive efforts, as defined in this Rule 9.12. (2) If a fielder’s misplay (fumble, muff, or wild throw) causes a batter’s time at bat to be prolonged, a runner’s time on the bases to be prolonged, or a runner to advance one or more bases, the Official Scorer shall charge the fielder with an error, unless, in the opinion of the Official Scorer, the fielder deliberately allows a foul fly to fall safe with a runner on third base before two out in order that the 9.12 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (a) A slow ball handling style that does not entail mechanical misplay will not be considered an error under this rule.

(1) Comment: For example, if a fielder cleanly collects a ground ball but fails to throw the ball to first base in time to retire the batter, the Official Scorer will not charge the fielder with an error.

It is the responsibility of the Official Scorer to determine whether a ground ball passed between a fielder’s legs or if a fly ball passed through a fielder’s legs and the fielder could have handled the ball with ordinary effort in the scorer’s opinion, the fielder is charged with an error.

According to the Official Scorer’s judgment, a fly ball that is allowed to fall to the ground is an error if it would have been caught by an outfielder at that position exerting ordinary effort.

  • Unless otherwise specified in a specific regulation, the Official Scorer is not permitted to record mental blunders or misjudgments as errors.
  • If a pitcher fails to cover first base on a play, enabling a batter-runner to reach first base safely, the Official Scorer will not charge the pitcher with an error.
  • Fielders who force another fielder to misplay a ball—for example, by knocking the ball out of the other fielder’s glove—will be charged with committing an error by the Official Scoring Officer.
  • (2) If a fielder muffs a foul fly in order to prolong the time at bat of a batter, the batter will be thrown out regardless of whether the batter eventually reaches first base.
  • If a fielder fails to tag the first baseman or the batter-runner, the fielder will be called out on a force play.
  • (7) Comment: For example, an outfielder whose accurate throw to second base hits the base and caroms back into the outfield, allowing a runner or a group of runners to advance, may be charged with an error by the Official Scorer since every base advanced by a runner must be accounted for.
  • A throw to second base, for example, must be reviewed by the Official Scorer to decide if it was up to the second baseman or the shortstop to stop the ball, in which case the negligent fielder must be charged with an error by the umpire.
  • (2) If the Official Scorer makes a wayward throw, he or she will only charge one mistake on the throw, regardless of how many bases one or more runners have advanced.
  • Comment on Rule 9.12(c): The Official Scorer shall not charge an error if, in the judgment of the scorer, the obstruction does not influence the course of the game.
  • Observation on Rule 9.12(d): When a fielder mishandles a thrown ball that would have completed a double or triple play if it had been held, the Official Scorer shall charge an error to the fielder who dropped the ball and attribute an assist to the fielder who made the throw.
  • In addition, any fielder who scores on a wild pitch or passed ball is eligible for the award.

Additional scoring regulations pertaining to wild pitches and passed balls are discussed in further detail in Rule 9.12(e) Comment: The Official Scorer is not required to charge an error when one or more runners are advanced as a consequence of a passed ball, a wild pitch, or a balk by the pitcher or by the batter.

(2) If the catcher recovers the ball after a wild pitch or passed ball on the third strike and throws out the batter-runner at first base, or tags out the batter-runner, but another runner or runners advance, the Official Scorer shall record the strikeout, the putout, and any assists, if any, and credit the advance of the other runner or runners on the play as a fielder’s choice.

(3) If the batter-runner is tagged out at first base, the Official Scorer shall 9.12 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (f) The extra scoring regulations for wild pitches and passed balls may be found in Rule 9.13, which is available here.

What Is an Error in Baseball? And How to Score Them

In the game of baseball, there are a plethora of defensive statistics to consider; nevertheless, the error rate is the one that is most usually employed. If you look at the surface of things, an error appears to be self-explanatory: when a player fails defensively, they receive an error, right? It’s not always that simple, to be honest. So, what exactly is an error in baseball terminology? When a player fails to perform a play that is deemed ordinary for the typical player, they are penalized for making an error in the game.

Fielders who allow runners to advance more than one base may also be penalized for their mistakes.

It is, in fact, a lengthy procedure, which you will be able to learn more about in the remainder of this article.

What Constitutes an Error in Baseball?

The “Official Baseball Rules” of Major League Baseball (MLB) explain how mistakes are handled in accordance with Rule 9.12. “The Official Scorer shall assess an error against any fielder who fails to comply with the following rule:”

  1. Unless, in the opinion of the Official Scorer, such fielder deliberately allows a foul fly to fall safe with a runner on third base before two out in order that the runner on third base shall not score after the catch
  2. When such fielder muffs a foul fly to prolong the time at bat of a batter, when such fielder fumbles a foul fly to prolong the presence on the bases of a runner, when such fielder fumbles a foul fly to prolong The Official Scorer shall assess whether it was the responsibility of the second baseman or the shortstop to stop the ball, and if it was, the negligent fielder shall be charged with an error.”

There is a great deal to see, and with good cause. What constitutes an error is purely determined by the Official Scorer’s determination of what constitutes an error. It is necessary to establish the settings in this manner in order to reduce the impact of human mistake. The fact that mistakes are the simplest statistic to comprehend while having possessing the complexity of many other defensive statistics is due to this factor in large part, It is against the rules to intentionally make mistakes in front of players, and there are special restrictions when it comes to wild pitches and similar instances.

When it comes to first base, many teams seem uninterested in playing defense, despite the fact that they have almost twice as many opportunities to handle the ball defensively than they do at other spots.

A decent arm and a lot of range are required to play first base, whereas excellent range plus a fantastic arm are required to play third base, for example.

Who Decides if an Error Occurred?

As we previously stated, the Official Scorer is the individual who determines whether or not errors are, in fact, errors. At one point in baseball history, sportswriters were assigned to score games for their home clubs, which resulted in a great deal of home team prejudice. By 1979, the majority of newspapers prohibited their writers from scoring games, and the Major League Baseball has now hired independent scorers. The scorers are mostly responsible for making judgment calls. The most common decision an official scorer has to make is whether a hitter reached base as a result of a hit or as a result of an error.

Other decisions made by the official scorer include whether a pitch that goes past the catcher counts as a wild pitch or a passed ball, and which reliever gets the victory when a starting pitcher does not last five innings but exits with a lead that his team does not surrender to the opposing club.

How Do Errors Affect Other Statistics in Baseball?

The findings of a 2017 study revealed that MLB pitchers “whose teams erred behind them allowed hits at a rate of.273 for the duration of their work in that error-marred inning.” According to the MLB.255 batting average for 2017, this is a significant improvement.” Earned runs allowed, the most often used pitching metric, reveals the presence of errors as well (ERA). If a hitter advances to second base as a result of a fielding error and then scores, that is not considered an earned run. This is due to the fact that, as we previously discussed, in order to receive an error, you must fail defensively in situations where an average player would have succeeded with ordinary effort.

  1. Because it was just bad defense, not the hitter’s own bat or eye, that resulted in the batter reaching base on an error, the batter’s on-base percentage (OBP) is calculated as if they were out.
  2. Based on their other defensive measures, this metric informs us how many runs a defender would generally allow or prevent from occurring.
  3. Pitchers use the earned run average (ERA) statistic to keep track of how many earned runs they have surrendered.
  4. It’s a blow to the individual who made the mistake, to say the least.

Which Baseball Position Makes the Most Errors?

In today’s baseball, shortstops are the players who make the most mistakes. A variety of factors have contributed to this. Remember how the mistake is assessed based on what the typical player at that position is capable of accomplishing? As a result, when everyone’s defense improves at shortstop (SS), the overall average improves as well. This is especially underlined by the fact that both catchers and first basemen have twice as many defensive opportunities on average as shortstops, despite the fact that most clubs do not need first basemen to play defense at all times.

  • SS and 3B receive a disproportionate number of balls hit to them, which makes the contributions of players such as Andrelton Simmons and Manny Machado all the more significant.
  • Because they never take the field, the designated hitter (DH) is technically incapable of making any mistakes.
  • As baseball has evolved throughout its history, the importance of defense has constantly increased as a part of the game’s evaluation.
  • As a result of this increased emphasis on improved defense, mistakes are becoming more and more rare.
  • Do more or fewer errors indicate that a player is poor or excellent?

It is dependent on the situation. Because it doesn’t go deep enough to say anything other than what it’s designed to say, the error statistic fails in this situation as well. It’s an excellent starting point for further investigation into defensive statistics in more depth.

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Error (baseball) – Wikipedia

If a fielder makes a mistake that, in the opinion of the official scorer, leads to a hitter or baserunner being allowed to advance one or more bases, an error is committed. If a plate appearance is not completed after the batter should have been out, the error is called a misplay. In certain cases, the termerroris used to refer to the portion of a play in which an error was committed.

Relationship to other statistical categories

In baseball, an error does not count as a hit, but it does count as an at bat for the hitter unless the scorer determines that, despite the fact that the batter would have reached first base safely, he or she advanced one or more extra bases as a result of the fielder’s mistake. This will result in a hit (for the amount of bases the fielders should have been able to prevent the batter from reaching) and an error being recorded for the play. A hitter who is determined to have reached second base entirely as a result of a fielder’s error is counted as a “reach on error (ROE),” and his batting average is reduced in the same way as if he had been thrown out, decreasing his overall batting average.

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When a hitter hits the ball to the outfield for what should be a sacrifice fly, and the outfielder drops it as a result of an error, the batter will still be given credit for the sacrifice fly as well as the run batted in.

In this case, no hit will be awarded to the batter and an error will be charged against the fielder.

Suppose a batted ball is hit on the fly into foul area with no runners on base for the batting team, and a fielder misplays the ball resulting in an error, it is feasible for the winning team to commit at least one error while still qualifying as having played a perfectly matched game.

In the case of a “wild throw” made by a catcher in an attempt to prevent a stolen base and the runner is safe, the catcher is not punished with an error, even if it is possible to establish that the runner would have been thrown out with “ordinary effort” It follows that the catcher’s attempt to prevent a steal is not considered to be a “fault” situation.

If the runner advances to a different base as a result of the wild throw, an error is charged for that extra base.

The run is labeled as unearned if it is scored by the conclusion of the inning despite the fact that it would not have scored if the error had not occurred. This means that it is not included as a run that was the result of the pitcher’s actions in terms of statistics.

Statistical significance

Kevin Youkilis played first base for the New York Mets during the 2007 season and didn’t make a single mistake in 1094 innings. Traditionally, the number of mistakes made by a fielder was a statistic that was used to evaluate his or her ability. According to research, the error rate is higher when the quality of fielding is questionable, such as the performance of an expansion team in its first year or the fielding done by replacement players during World War II, and lower when playing conditions are better, such as on artificial turf and during night games, as opposed to the former.

  • Notably, mental errors such as failing to cover a base or trying a force out when such a play is not possible are not regarded as errors in the game of baseball.
  • It is necessary for a fielder to have done something well in order for him to be charged with an error, such as being in the proper position to try the play.
  • Consequently, it is feasible that a mediocre fielder will make fewer mistakes than a fielder with a high expectation of success.
  • However, statistics that are dependent on mistakes, such as fielding %, are still useful in comparing the defensive talents of different players.
  • Runs scored as a result of an error are considered unearned and do not contribute to a pitcher’s earned run average.

Statistical records for errors

Herman Long owns the Major League Baseball (MLB) record for the most career errors with 1,096 during his 1889-1904 playing career. Besides Bill Dahlen, Deacon White, and Germany Smith, the only other players to make at least 1,000 mistakes throughout their MLB careers are Deacon White and Germany Smith. Almost all of these players competed in at least one season before the year 1900. Rabbit Maranville holds the record for the most errors made in a single century, with 711 mistakes. As of August 5, 2020, Starlin Castro, who has been a member of the Major League Baseball since 2010, has the most career mistakes among active players.


Tommy Johnwas one of a number of pitchers who made three mistakes in a single inning, including numerous others. Hippo Vaughn holds the big league record for the most mistakes committed by a pitcher in a career, with 64 errors. That is also the record for the National League. Ed Walsh now holds the record for the longest career in the United States. Jim Whitney holds the record for the most mistakes committed by a pitcher in a season with 28, which is also the National League record. Three pitchers, Jack Chesbro, Rube Waddell, and Ed Walsh, hold the American League record for most wins in a season with 15.

Cy Seymourin established the record for the most errors made by a pitcher in an inning in 1898, when he made three errors in one inning. Tommy Johnin 1988, Jaime Navarroin 1996, and Mike Sirotkain 1999 were all able to tie the record.


In his career, Ivey Wingo has committed 234 mistakes as a catcher, which is the most in the big leagues and the most in the National League. He made 59 mistakes while playing for the Cardinals and 175 errors while playing for the Reds. Wally Schang holds the American League record for most mistakes made while playing for five different clubs, at 218.

First basemen

Cap Anson owns the major league and National League records most mistakes by a first baseman, having made 568 errors throughout his career. Hal Chase has the American League record with 285, 240 of which came while playing for the New York Highlanders and 40 while playing for the Chicago White Sox. The record for the most mistakes by a first baseman in a season is held by Anson (58), while the record for the fewest errors in a season is held by Steve Garvey (0 errors).

Second basemen

Eddie Collins, a Hall of Fame second baseman, owns the American League record for the most career errors made by a second baseman. In his career, Fred Pfeffer has made 857 mistakes as a second baseman in the big leagues and 781 errors in the National League, which are both major league records. Eddie Collins, who is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, holds the American League record with 435 hits.

Third basemen

Jerry Denny has made 533 errors as a third baseman in his Major League and National League careers, which is a Major League and National League record. Jimmy Austin owns the American League record for most games played with 359 in his career.


With 975 shortstops in 20 seasons, Bill Dahlen owns the major league and National League records for shortstops in both leagues. He made 443 mistakes with the Chicago Cubs, 260 errors with the Brooklyn Dodgers, 200 errors with the New York Giants, and 72 errors with the Boston Braves throughout his professional baseball career. (He also made 89 mistakes as a third baseman, eight errors as a second baseman, and eight errors as an outfielder during his career, for a total of 1,080 errors in his professional baseball career.) Donie Bush owns the American League record for most career strikeouts with 689.


A player from the nineteenth century As an outfielder, Tom Brown set a big league record by committing 490 mistakes, which is a major league high. In the American Association, he committed 222 mistakes, in the National League, 238 errors, and in the Player’s League, he committed 30 errors. When Brown was pitching, he made six mistakes, giving him 496 errors for his career. In contrast, the National League record of 346 mistakes is held by nineteenth-century player George Gore, while the American League record is held byTy Cobb, who made 271 errors in his career.

See also

  • The following is a list of the most costly fielding mistakes in Major League Baseball history.


  • A mistake by the BR bullpen is covered under Major League Rule 9.12, which is applicable to all mistakes.


Keith Allison’s photography website is keithallisonphoto.com. It’s the Captain, of course! As a result, there is no mistake! One of the most difficult decisions for scorers to make is whether or not an error should be charged on a particular play. Perhaps this article will assist you in understanding the mistake rule, which is detailed in Section 10.12 of the official scoring regulations (see below). When a hitter’s at-bat is prolonged, or if he gets on base instead of being out, an error is charged, when a runner (or the batter himself) advances additional bases as the result of a physical mistake by a fielder, an error is charged.

Here are a few crucial points: Even if a fielder does not make contact with the ball, he or she may commit an error.

For example, if a ground ball travels to either side of an infielder and, in the official scorer’s opinion, a fielder at that position exercising average effort would have retrieved the ground ball and retired a runner, the infielder will be charged with an error.” (It’s funny, because I don’t often see official scorers award Derek Jeter mistakes on these kinds of plays.

  • An outfielder diving for a ball and the ball deflects off his glove is not a play in which he could have “handled the ball with ordinary effort,” and as a result, no error should be assessed.
  • If a batter’s at-bat is prolonged, regardless of what occurs later, an error is recorded.
  • For example, on an infield hit where an infielder delivers the ball too late to first base and throws wild, there is no error, unless the batter ends up on second base as a result of the wild throw, in which case there is an error.
  • This rule also applies to stolen bases.
  • Consider the case where a throw strikes a sliding runner and bounces wild, enabling him or another runner to advance another base, or the case where the ball hits a base or the pitcher’s rubber and causes him or another runner to advance another base.
  • When attempting a double play, no mistakes are recorded as long as at least one runner is thrown out.
  • Even if a decent throw would have gotten the batter out, there is no charge for an error (unless the wild throw allows the batter to advance to 2nd base).

For wild pitches and passed balls, there are no penalty points assessed. Only in the case of a deliberate failure by an outfielder to catch a foul fly in order to prevent a runner from tagging up at third base and scoring is there an exception.

Baseball Errors

As a baseball fan, it is probable that you have heard the phrase “errors” at some point during your viewing experience. However, it is possible that they were mentioned in a context that you were unfamiliar with. So, what precisely are they, and what is the basis on which they are assessed against players, are we to understand? Although the rules may appear to be complex at first glance, the notion of mistakes is actually rather simple to grasp. For example, they are conceptually comparable to the concept of penalties in most other sports.

It is instead the case that a player’s activities end up aiding the opposition side in some manner, or that their efforts fall short of what would be anticipated of a typical player at that level, that the player is charged with making a mistake.

In baseball, this would be referred as as an error.

Who calls errors in baseball?

Only the official scorer can determine whether or not an error has occurred. The official scorer is the only person who has the power to determine whether or not a player’s actions deserve an error, and he or she does so with complete discretion. No one else has the right to contest or question the official scorer’s judgment in the case of a scoring mistake. It is only a fielding position player who may be charged with an error, such as a pitcher, catcher, baseman, shortstop, or fielder. The three most common mistakes occur when the player is fielding, throwing, or tagging the ball.

For example, by letting the batter to remain at bat for a longer period of time, the runner has more time to remain at or move from his or her starting point.

Types of Errors In Baseball

Whenever a fielder fails to catch the ball, this is referred to as a fielding error. An outfielder fumbling a fly ball, or an infielder mishandling a grounder, are two examples of what happens frequently. These factors may prohibit the basemen from getting the ball in time to correctly record an out in a game of baseball.

Throwing Errors

In the case of a wayward throw, the shortstop is often charged with a throwing error. During a baseball game, a wild throw happens when the shortstop passes the ball to a teammate but the pass is “wild” or imprecise. A player will be thrown out for throwing an incorrectly hit ball if the ball strikes a base, runner, or umpire, even if the hit was completely unintentional.

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Tagging Errors

Tagging mistakes are called when a fielder fails to tag a base or a runner when, under the circumstances, it would have been reasonable to expect them to do so.

Tagging errors are common in baseball. It is yet another case in which a team manages to progress and earn points not so much as a result of exceptionally strong play as it is as the result of a mistake committed by the opposing team to advance and gain points.

Consequences of Errors

It is impossible for errors to have any effect on the outcome of the game. An outfielder’s error will not exclude a hitter from scoring a home run; nevertheless, the batter will still be regarded to have hit a home run and will be awarded the proper number of points for doing so. Errors, on the other hand, have an impact on the player’s statistics, and as in any other sport, statistics are a critical aspect in determining a player’s professional future.

What Is An Error In Baseball?

It is defined as an error when the batter should have been put out (for example, due to a third strike), but has not been declared out due to the decision of the official scorer, or when a fielder has misplayed the ball, allowing the batter or baserunner to advance to the base immediately following that point in time. Take a look at the Mistakes in Baseball Stats in this 2017 Fielders Statistics for the Major League Baseball before we delve into more detail about errors.

The History of Errors in Baseball

Errors in baseball were once considered a statistic that could be used to “quantify” the fielding abilities of players. Previously, errors were entirely due to interferences from the environment or the surrounding area. After World War II, as baseball grounds grew more costly and well-maintained, factors such as smooth artificial grass, access to heavy equipment for field improvement, and the use of artificial lighting during night games of baseball all combined to reduce the number of mistakes made by fielders.

An inexperienced fielder would most likely avoid making the error altogether if they believe that failing to go for the play will result in them being marked as an error.

Run Batted In (RBI) and Hits On Error

If you score a run on an error as a hitter, you do not earn an RBI; however, any runners that come in before you who are already out on bases are not subject to this restriction, and any of their run scores are counted as RBI as well. If you score a run purely as a result of a fielder’s mistake, your run will be recorded as a “hit on error,” which decreases your batting average because it is essentially the same as if you were struck out or fielded out, respectively. This may have an impact on your Earned Run Average (ERA).

Errors and Fielder’s Choice

If you have a runner fielded out but judged safe due to an error, and you, as the batter, have already reached a base, the entire play might be designated as afielder’s choice.

Although you will not be awarded a hit, the opposition side will be penalized for an error on the play.

Errors on Catchers

Balls and sand were passed. Because they are regarded as “Acts of Pitching” rather than misplays by fielders, wild pitches are not considered mistakes, nor are they considered errors on catchers, contrary to common perception. A catcher, on the other hand, can commit an error if he does something that interferes with a batter’s performance in some way, such as having his glove touch the bat during a swing, being too close, or making other small mistakes that could have a direct impact on or hinder the performance of a batter.

Check watch this video of Major League Baseball Little League Home Runs on Errors to make it even more interesting: allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen “The Dark Knight Rises: What Went Wrong?” is the title of the article.

What’s an error in baseball?

It is not necessary to understand what a mistake is in order to recognize that it is undesirable. After all, it is a clerical error! Billy Shindle, a shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies, earned 122 of them in 1890, the most ever earned by a major league player in a single season. So, what exactly did Shindle do that was so heinous? Simply described, an error is a mistake made by a fielder that benefits the other side. For example, an error might allow a hitter to stay at bat for longer, lengthen the time a runner is on base, or cause a runner to advance one or more bases while on base.

  1. The official scorer is in charge of allocating mistakes and is also in charge of keeping track of the number of hits, strikeouts, walks, and other statistics.
  2. During a baseball game, a fielding mistake occurs when a hitter hits a grounder, line drive, or pop up to a fielder who fails to properly handle the ball, either by bobbling it or dropping it completely.
  3. A fielder, on the other hand, will only be penalized if the play could have been performed with “ordinary effort,” which means that a player of average talent could have caught or fielded the ball given the field and weather conditions.
  4. Consider the following scenario: a shortstop fields a grounder and, in an attempt to force the batter out, tosses the ball over the head of the first baseman.
  5. Throws that take an abnormal bounce on the ground, hit bases, strike runners or umpires can all result in mistakes for the player who made them, even if the situation appears to be unfavorable to him or her.
  6. Suppose a third baseman fields a grounder and throws it to first base for an out, but the first baseman fails to tag the base, resulting in an out and the first baseman being charged with an error by the scorer.
  7. A player can make a mistake at any level: big league baseball, college football, high school football, and even Little League baseball (though coaches don’t normally record statistics on young children).
  8. Errors are also a significant component of a player’s overall fielding performance.

A high number of mistakes may result in a fielder losing his starting spot on the team, whereas a low number of errors may result in a specific honor or prize, like as the Gold Glove Award for defensive prowess in the big leagues.

Author’s Note

I’ve always understood what an error is, but what struck me when I was researching and writing this post was how many various ways you can make a mistake. Bobbling a grounder, dropping a pop fly, overthrowing the first baseman – even rolling the ball to the pitcher’s mound when you believe there are three outs but there are only two – are all examples of mistakes that may happen in baseball. If the discomfort of making such blunders in front of a group of people wasn’t enough, the term “error” just helps to emphasize the fact that you truly messed up in the first place.

Related Articles

  • “Official Baseball Rules,” published by Major League Baseball. Martinez, Michael. 2011. (Aug. 4, 2012)
  • Martinez, Michael. “When John makes a mess, the Yanks clean it up.” The New York Times (July 28, 1988)
  • Vass, George (August 10, 2012)
  • The New York Times. “Weak Defensive Players: A large number of players have earned the reputation of being ‘good hit, no field’ performers.” Baseball Digest, published in July 2003.

Error – BR Bullpen

“It is possible that things may get worse. Consider the scenario in which your mistakes were counted and publicized on a daily basis, similar to those of a baseball player.” – Unidentified


When a fielder makes a mistake that allows a hitter to reach base, or a runner to advance an extra base, or permits an at bat to continue after the batter should have been put out, the error is judged by the official scorer’s judgment. In most circumstances, a hitter who reaches base as a consequence of an error is charged with anat bat, although any runs that he ultimately scores are deemed unearned in the majority of cases.

Categories of Error

Throwing errors are throws that cannot be caught by the players for whom they were meant, either because they are off target or because they strike a baserunner or an umpire, and are thus considered errors. If a fielder makes an unnecessary throw that allows a runner to advance, the fielder will be punished with a throwing error. Dropped fly balls that should have been caught but were not, as well as ground balls or base hits that either pass by a player or are not handled cleanly, enabling a baserunner to advance to third base are all typical fielding error types.

Despite the fact that no out was recorded, the fielder who made the throw gets credited with an assist in this instance.

Even more uncommon is the catcher’s interference, which occurs when the catcher touches the bat as the batter is swinging at a pitch and causes an error to be recorded against him.

If a fielder is found to have committed obstruction and the umpire gives at least one base to any baserunner, the fielder is additionally punished with an error.

Shortstops and third basemen are typically the positions that commit the most errors since they are required to make lengthy and difficult off-balance throws on a frequent basis, which increases their chances of making a mistake.

Non Errors

The majority of misplays do not result in an error. Most of the time, errors in judgment are not counted as errors. For example, if a fly ball that is eminently catchable falls between two fielders without either of them touching the ball as a result of confusion or miscommunication, no error is charged since it is hard to tell who is responsible. Additionally, if an outfielder decides to make a tough play at a base in an attempt to retire a running ball and fails, rather than attempting an easy out on the batter, the play will be recorded as a fielder’s choice rather than an error.

  • A wild throw was made in an attempt to prevent a stolen base from being reached, even though a good throw would have retired the runner. It is only if the throw is so errant that the runner manages to move to another base that an error is recorded. The throwing of a wayward pass in an attempt to accomplish a double or triple play. It is only if the throw is so errant that it allows any runner to advance an additional base that an error is assessed. In the event that the fielder muffs or fumbles a ball but recovers to record a force out at any base, he is not penalized for the mistake, even though flawless play would have resulted in a double play. In the event where a fielder intentionally lets a foul ball to drop in order to avoid a sacrifice fly, no error is recorded
  • A wild pitch or passed ball does not result in an error, even if it permits the hitter to reach first base safely on a dropped third strike.

Further Reading

  • The New York Times published an article by Benjamin Hoffman titled “Baseball’s 500,000th Error Finds Jose Reyes” on September 17, 2012. Tom Ruane’s article “Do Some Batters Reach on Errors More Than Others?” appeared in The Baseball Research Journal, volume 34 (December 2005), published by the Society for American Baseball Research in Cleveland, Ohio, pp. 113-120.
  • Major League Baseball’s Rule 10.13 and Rule 10.14, which deal with mistakes


In baseball, an error is defined as the act of a fielder misplaying a ball in such a way that a batter or baserunner is able to advance to one or more additional bases when, in the opinion of the official scorer, such an advance should have been prevented with ordinary effort on the part of the fielder. In addition, when a fielder muffs a foul fly in order to prolong the time at bat of a batter, it is considered an error, regardless of whether the hitter advances to first base or gets struck out.

  • In most cases, an error does not count as a hit unless, in the scorer’s opinion, the batter would have reached first base safely if it were not for the fielder’s error, and one or more of the subsequent base(s) reached was as a result of the error.
  • Similar to this, when runs score as a result of an error, a hitter does not earn credit for an RBI unless the scorer determines that the run would have scored regardless of whether the fielder committed a mistake.
  • The play will be scored as a fielder’s choice with no hit credited to the hitter and an error charged against the fielder if a runner should have been thrown out and the batter reached base safely, but the runner is safe due to an error.
  • Given the possibility of an error resulting from a batted ball hit on the fly into foul area while the batting team has no runner(s) on base and a fielder misplaying such a ball, a team on the winning side of a perfect game may make at least one mistake.
  • Although it is possible to claim that the runner would have been taken out with “ordinary effort,” it is not considered an error when a pitcher throws “wild” in an attempt to prevent a stolen base from being reached by the other team’s batter.

Because of this, the catchers who attempt to prevent a steal are in a type of “no blame” situation. If the runner advances to a different base as a result of the wild throw, an error is charged for that extra base.

Statistical significance

Traditionally, the number of mistakes made by a fielder was a statistic that was used to evaluate his or her ability. When the quality of fielding is suspect, as in the case of an expansion team’s first year of play or the fielding done by replacement players during World War II, research has shown that the error rate is higher; however, it is lower when playing conditions are better, as in the case of games played on artificial turf or at night. Minor league baseball, where players are still learning the mechanics of the game, has a higher rate of errors than major league baseball.

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Notably, mental errors such as failing to cover a base or trying a force out when such a play is not possible are not regarded as errors in the game of baseball.

An ineffective fielder may “avoid” making several errors merely by failing to catch balls hit or thrown inside his or her area of responsibility.

It has recently come to the attention of official scorers that a fielder’s purported “exceptional” effort or placement should be taken into consideration when determining whether or not the play should have been successful based on ordinary effort.

Statistical records for errors

Between 1889 until 1904, Herman Long held the Major League Baseball record for the most mistakes made in a career, with 1096 during his time in the league. Bill Dahlen, Deacon White, and Germany Smith are the only other players in MLB history to have made at least 1000 mistakes throughout their professional careers. Rabbit Maranville holds the record for the most mistakes in a season in the twentieth century with 711; all of these players played at least one season before 1900. As of the completion of the 2006 season, José Valentn was the most error-prone player among active players, with 273 mistakes.


When it comes to baseball, errors can be a difficult concept to grasp. Some newcomers to baseball may find it difficult to comprehend the regulations around how they are scored and how they contribute to statistics like as batting average and earned run average (ERA). In this post, we will look at the following concerns that arise when there is an error:

  • Is an error considered an at bat
  • Is an error considered a plate appearance
  • Does an error affect your batting average? Is a mistake taken into account when calculating the on-base percentage? Is it possible to count a mistake as an RBI? Is it possible for a mistake to destroy a no-hitter? Is it possible for one mistake to destroy a flawless game? Is it possible to charge an error on a foul ball? An unforced mistake in baseball is defined as follows: Baseball Error Number Codes – a Comprehensive Guide

In Major League Baseball, an error is determined by the official scorer assigned to that particular game.

Some official scorers may make errors at a higher rate than other official scorers in a given game. However, in general, the idea is to award errors for plays that would have been frequently made by the typical professional baseball player if the rules were followed.

Does an error count as an at bat?

In baseball, an error counts as an at-bat, which is correct. When a batter reaches base as a result of an error, it counts as an at-bat for the hitter, but it does not count as a hit or as time on base for the purposes of calculating on-base percentage (OBP). Everything that occurs as a result of the batter’s time on base, on the other hand, is recorded in the scorebook. A batter will be credited for any runs scored or bases stolen, for example, if the batter advances to the next base. A reached on error (ROE) counts against the batter in the same way as if the fielder had made the play and the batter had been out, the ROE counts against the batter.

  • Is a hit by pitch considered an at-bat? Is a sacrifice fly considered an at-bat? What counts as an at bat is a fielder’s choice. Is the catcher’s interference considered an at bat? In baseball, is a walk considered an at bat?

Does an error count as a plate appearance?

In baseball, an error counts as a plate appearance, which is correct. A plate appearance is recorded for every time a player steps to the plate, with the exception of situations in which a baserunner is caught stealing for the third out or the winning run for the game is scored in the middle of an at-bat. The occurrence of a mistake, on the other hand, is considered more than just a plate appearance. Similarly to what we described before, a player who reaches base on an error counts the plate appearance as an at-bat, but not as a hit or as a contribution to the player’s on-base percentage.

There are some errors, such as those committed on a foul ball, that do not result in the end of a plate appearance, but rather the extension of it.

Does an error hurt your batting average?

Yes, making a mistake will lower your batting average. Despite the fact that the hitter reached base, they did not do so as a result of a hit or a walk, and as a result, the batter is deemed 0-for-1 after that at-bat. The batting average of a player is computed by dividing the number of hits the player has had throughout the season by the number of official at-bats the player has had during the season. If a player advances to second base as a result of an error, the player was given an official at-bat but did not receive credit for a hit.

Does an error count for on-base percentage?

On-base % is affected by errors, and errors have a negative impact on the overall percentage. It does not count as time spent on base; instead, it is treated as if an out had been recorded. When it comes to baseball, the on base percentage (OBP) of a player reflects how frequently a hitter reaches base. It is possible to compute a player’s on-base percentage (OBP) by dividing the total number of plate appearances a player has by the total number of hits + walks + hit by pitch (HBP). As a result, even though the batter reached base as a result of an error, their on-base percentage (OBP) would be negatively affected by the error, even when they reached base as a result of a hit, a walk, or an HBP.

If OBP is just the frequency with which a player reaches base, and if a player reaches base when an error is made, it stands to reason that a reached on error (ROE) would contribute positively to that player’s overall base percentage (OBP) and vice versa.

However, due to the way in which errors are assessed, this is not the case.

Does an error count as an RBI?

No, in the vast majority of circumstances, an error does not result in an RBI if a run scores as a result of the mistake being committed. As you are undoubtedly aware, when a run is scored as a consequence of a player’s plate appearance, that player is generally recognized with an RBI for his or her contribution. The majority of the time, this is not the case when a run scores as the result of an error. When a run is scored in every other plate appearance, the player is either credited with a hit or a sacrifice bunt; however, when a run is scored as a result of an error, the hitter is granted one at-bat with no hit and no RBI is awarded.

Typically occurs when a batter hits an extremely long fly ball, and the scorer finds that the run would have scored even if the player had caught it.

Does an error ruin a no hitter?

No, in baseball, an error does not void a no-hitter. No of how many times the batter gets on base or how many runs the batter scores, an error does not alter the status of the no-hitter. Because a mistake does not constitute a hit, the no-hitter remains intact. A no-hitter happens when a pitcher completes a game without allowing a hit, regardless of how many walks, hit-by-pitch attempts, sacrifice flies, or errors occur throughout the game. Several pitchers have thrown complete game no-hitters while still losing the game, and this is most typically the case when batters reach base either by walking or making an error.

Does an error ruin a perfect game?

In baseball, it is true that an error may sabotage a perfect game. There’s more to a perfect game than merely a well-pitched competition. There must be 27 hitters at the plate and at least 27 outs in a row for there to be a perfect game, with no one reaching base in any fashion. In the case of a mistake, the perfect game is still broken since the player progressed safely to first base (even though it wasn’t the pitcher’s fault) and so the perfect game is wrecked. As previously stated, one error does not sabotage a no-hitter, but a perfect game is sabotaged by one.

Can an error be charged on a foul ball?

In baseball, a foul ball can be charged with an error, and this is true. When a player drops a foul ball, an error can be charged against him, but the error does not count against the batter because the at-bat is still going on. An error on a foul ball is simply treated as a dead ball, which means that the plate appearance continues but no player on the bases may advance because the ball was foul. The hitter does not receive any points for some plays in baseball, such as an error on a foul ball or a wild pitch, and simply resumes his at-bat once the defensive player who made the play does so.

For example, an outfielder may grab a foul ball but then make an erroneous throw while attempting to throw out a baserunner who has advanced to second base.

What is an unforced error baseball?

In baseball, an unforced error is not counted as part of the official statistics. Instead, it is the perspective of someone who is simply observing the game. When a baseball player commits an unforced error, it is typically referring to a mistake that might have been prevented if the player had not been influenced by an outside source at the time. In baseball, these unforced errors are sometimes referred to as “official errors” rather than “unforced errors.” Suppose a baserunner commits a costly error on the base paths and ends up stranded on first base with an easy out.

The fact is that the vast majority of baseball errors are “unforced,” which is why they are classified as errors.

Baseball Error Number Codes Explained

An mistake is represented in the official scorebook by the capital letter “E,” which is followed by the number corresponding with the position of the player who committed the error, as shown below. A wild pitch would be recorded on the official scorecard as E1, for example, if a pitcher delivers one. Baseball position numbers are as follows: pitcher (1), catcher (2); first baseman (3); second baseman (4); third baseman (5); shortstop (6); left fielder (7); center fielder (8); right fielder (9); pitcher (1), catcher (2); pitcher (2); catcher (2) (9).

If more than one player makes a mistake on the same play, each error is counted as a single point.

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