Pop Snyder, the all-time leader in fielding errors by a catcher

In baseball statistics, an error is an act, in the judgment of the official scorer, of a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or baserunner to advance one or more bases or allows an at bat to continue after the batter should have been put out. The catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his/her turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the (home) umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. In addition to these primary duties, the catcher is also called upon to master many other skills in order to field the position well. The role of the catcher is similar to that of the wicket-keeper in cricket. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the catcher is assigned the number 2.

The list of career leaders is dominated by players from the 19th century, when fielding equipment was very rudimentary; baseball gloves only began to steadily gain acceptance in the 1880s, and were not uniformly worn until the mid-1890s, resulting in a much lower frequency of defensive miscues. Other protective equipment for catchers was also gradually introduced; the first masks were developed in the late 1870s, with improvements in the 1890s, but shin guards were not introduced to the major leagues until 1907. The top 15 players in career errors all played primarily in the 19th century, and half of the top 52 played their entire careers prior to 1894; only five were active after 1920, and none were active after 1931. To a large extent, the leaders reflect longevity rather than lower skill; of the six catchers in the top 100 who were active after 1960, most were winners of Gold Glove Awards; Bob Boone, who leads all post-1931 catchers with 178 errors, won seven Gold Glove Awards for defensive excellence.

Pop Snyder, who retired in 1891 with a record 877 games as a catcher, is the all-time leader in career fielding errors by a catcher with 685, nearly four times as many as any catcher who began their career after 1915. Deacon McGuire, who ended his career in 1912 with a record 1,612 games caught, is second with 577, and is the only other catcher to commit more than 500 errors. Yadier Molina, who had 80 errors through the 2021 season to place him tied for 210th all-time, is the leader among active players.

Key

Rank Rank amongst leaders in career errors committed. A blank field indicates a tie.
Player Name of player
E as C Total career errors committed as a catcher
* Denotes elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame

List

Silver Flint holds the National League record of 436 errors as a catcher, but also held the league record for career assists for 15 years.
King Kelly, 10th all-time in fielding errors by a catcher despite playing over 60% of his career at other positions.
Oscar Stanage holds the American League record of 229 errors as a catcher; he also holds the league record for assists in a season.
Rank Player E as C
1 Pop Snyder 685
2 Deacon McGuire 577
3 Silver Flint 456
4 Doc Bushong 412
Wilbert Robinson * 412
6 Deacon White * 399
7 Jack Clements 394
8 Bill Holbert 393
9 Charlie Bennett 379
10 King Kelly * 368
11 Duke Farrell 366
12 John Clapp 364
13 Nat Hicks 352
14 Chief Zimmer 328
15 Buck Ewing * 322
16 Red Dooin 320
17 Jocko Milligan 304
18 Kid Baldwin 302
19 Barney Gilligan 299
20 Doggie Miller 285
21 Con Daily 283
22 Connie Mack * 281
23 Malachi Kittridge 264
24 Lew Brown 245
25 Emil Gross 242
26 Jack Boyle 237
27 Pop Schriver 235
28 Ivey Wingo 234
29 Fred Carroll 231
30 Charlie Ganzel 229
Oscar Stanage 229
32 Doug Allison 225
33 Bob Clark 223
Wally Schang 223
35 Steve O'Neill 217
36 Sam Trott 211
Farmer Vaughn 211
38 Johnny Kling 210
39 Jack Warner 205
40 Fatty Briody 204
41 Dick Buckley 198
42 Jimmy Peoples 197
43 George Myers 195
Charlie Reipschlager 195
45 Eddie Ainsmith 195
46 Boileryard Clarke 190
47 Jim Keenan 187
Heinie Peitz 187
49 Pat Deasley 186
50 Frank Bowerman 185
Rank Player E as C
51 Jack O'Brien 183
52 Scott Hastings 182
53 Bob Boone 178
54 Jack O'Connor 177
55 Morgan Murphy 175
Ray Schalk * 175
57 Lou Criger 170
58 Rudy Kemmler 169
59 Fergy Malone 168
60 Roger Bresnahan * 167
61 Paul Cook 166
Ossee Schreckengost 166
Joe Sugden 166
64 Tom Kinslow 163
65 Bill Bergen 161
66 John Grim 158
67 Dick Higham 157
68 Carlton Fisk * 155
69 Rollie Hemsley 154
Jack Ryan 154
71 George Gibson 153
72 Benito Santiago 151
Ed Whiting 151
74 Bill Rariden 150
Luke Sewell 150
76 Tom Daly 148
Bill Killefer 148
Gus Mancuso 148
Jack Rowe 148
Billy Sullivan 148
81 Jim Donahue 146
Chief Meyers 146
83 Bill Harbridge 145
84 Jason Kendall 144
Ed McFarland 144
86 Mert Hackett 143
Ernie Lombardi * 143
88 Iván Rodríguez * 142
89 Gabby Hartnett * 139
90 Walker Cooper 138
Lave Cross 138
Ed Sweeney 138
93 Jimmie Wilson 136
94 Rick Ferrell * 135
Otto Miller 135
96 Darrell Porter 134
97 John Kelly 133
Andy Seminick 133
99 Sam Agnew 132
Mike Grady 132

Other Hall of Famers

Player E
Ted Simmons * 130
Mike Piazza * 124
Al López * 122
Gary Carter * 121
Jim O'Rourke * 116
Mickey Cochrane * 111
Yogi Berra * 110
Bill Dickey * 108
Johnny Bench * 97
Roy Campanella * 94 (includes incomplete Negro league totals)
Biz Mackey * 74 (includes incomplete Negro league totals)
Joe Torre * 56
Josh Gibson * 35 (includes incomplete Negro league totals)
Craig Biggio * 30
Joe Mauer * 30
Jimmie Foxx * 5
Louis Santop * 5 (includes incomplete Negro league totals)

References