What is the E in MLB?

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of professional baseball in North America and is home to some of the most talented players in the world. One of the most recognizable symbols of the sport is the letter “E,” which stands for “error” and is used to signify a mistake made by a fielder. The letter “E” is often seen in box scores and other official documents related to MLB games, and it serves as an important reminder of the mistakes that can happen during a game and how they can affect the outcome.

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Origin of the “E”

The symbol of the letter “E” has been used to signify errors since the late 19th century, when the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs (known today as Major League Baseball) was founded. The first recorded use of the “E” was in 1894 in a New York Giants game, where a fielder made an error and the official scorer marked it with an “E.” Since then, the letter “E” has been used to signify errors in official documents and box scores.

How an Error Affects the Box Score

An error is recorded when a fielder makes a mistake that allows a batter to reach safely or advances a runner to an extra base. For example, if a shortstop drops a routine ground ball, the official scorer may rule it an error and award the batter a hit. This means that the batter’s batting average will go up by 1 hit, but the pitcher’s earned run average will go up by 1 run.

The Impact of an Error

Errors can have a significant impact on the outcome of a game. While a single error may not seem like much, it can be the difference between a win and a loss. For example, if a fielder makes an error that allows the winning run to score, the official scorer will credit the win to the team that made the error. Similarly, if a fielder makes an error that leads to multiple runs being scored, the team that made the error will be credited with the loss.

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Errors and the Fielders

Errors are not always the fault of the fielder. In some cases, a fielder may make a perfect throw but the runner is able to reach the base safely due to a misplay by the fielder. In these cases, the official scorer will not record an error, since the fielder did not make a mistake.

Errors and Statistics

Errors are an important statistic in baseball and are used to evaluate the performance of fielders. Players are often judged based on their fielding percentage, which is the number of errors they commit divided by the number of chances they had to make a play. This statistic allows coaches and scouts to evaluate players and make decisions about who to put on the field and in what positions.


The letter “E” is an important symbol in Major League Baseball and an important reminder of the mistakes that can happen during a game. It serves as a reminder of the impact that errors can have on the outcome of a game and the importance of fielding percentage in evaluating a player’s performance. The letter “E” is a symbol of the game and the mistakes that are part of it, and it serves as an important reminder of the importance of playing the game the right way.