The Ole Ball Game

Is it an error or fielder's choice---or both?

by Greg
(Santa Maria, CA)

Greg asked: Runner at first.

Batter hits ball to shortstop who fields the ball cleanly but overthrows 2nd Baseman.

I scored the play as a fielders choice for the batter and an error on the shortstop for the overthrow, that allowed the runner from first to reach second base safely.

Is that the proper scoring for this play?

Rick answered: Greg, thank you for your question.

A Fielder's Choice is the act of a fielder who handles a fair grounder and, instead of throwing to first base to put out the batter-runner, throws to another base in an attempt to put out a preceding runner.

You are correct in recording a fielder's choice as the reason the batter-runner reached first base safely.

An error is a misplay by a fielder or a team which is recorded in the error column of the players or teams record.

The scorebook has to record how the runner from first reached second safely, which was the error you recorded.

The scorebook has to be the record of how all things developed. Sometimes it can be a nightmare to sort out just what took place and how it should be recorded.

All correct!

Yours in baseball,


Comments for Is it an error or fielder's choice---or both?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 27, 2018
a tricky one? NEW
by: Anonymous

How about this one? Coed softball game, USSSA rules I believe. (If that matters here.) Female on first. Male batter hits a shallow fly ball to right field. Runner, who is no Jonathan Swift to begin with, holds up for too long, then starts to run as the ball drops in. The batter is just about at first by this time, so right fielder has no play on him. He throws to second in time to make a play on the runner, but the throw is muffed by the fielder and runner is safe.

There is seemingly conflicting language in the rules on scoring this one: "Runner is forced out by a batted ball, or would have been forced except for a fielding error" v. "Fielder unsuccessfully attempts to put out a preceding runner and, in the official scorer's judgment, the batter-runner would not have been put out at first base by ordinary effort".

Base hit or fielder choice for batter?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask The Baseball Coach.

Spalding, Old Time Bat Display

Louisville Sluggers. 1920's

Copyright© All Rights Reserved.
Copyright© All Rights Reserved.