The Ole Ball Game

Hit or error on infield pop fly?

by Greg
(Santa Maria, CA)

Fly ball priority, center fielder has priority over corner outfielders

Fly ball priority, center fielder has priority over corner outfielders

Greg asked: Scenario for High School Varsity Game:

Pop fly between first and second basemen.

Both are a couple of feet apart in position to catch the ball. Second baseman is in best position to catch the ball.

At the last moment, both players separate and the ball drops untouched between them.

I'm thinking this should be an error on the second baseman.

Is this correct?

Rick answered: Greg, thank you for your question.

The images above are not of your particular scenario; but the same rules apply, if neither player touches the ball. Who had the best opportunity to make the catch.

Based on the description of the player's location at the time the play occurred, I would say the 2B.

To be charged with an error, a player has to be able to have made the play successfully with normal effort, but did not.

If the 2B was in the best position to field it, and as close to the ball as he was, it would be his error.

There are baseball logistical factors which may have contributed to the miscue, such as which player actually called for the ball, the fact that the 2B is the infielder in charge in that particular scenario and should have called the 1B off. None of these logistical things make any difference in the awarding of the error; it comes down to who had the best opportunity to catch it.

Yours in baseball,


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