What is Airmail in baseball?

Airmail refers to a throw, typically from a fielder, that goes way over the intended target’s head, often with much more force than necessary. The term conjures up an image of the ball being sent high and far, as if it’s being mailed through the air.


The term derives from the early days of aviation when airmail referred to letters and packages being transported by airplanes, which was faster and over longer distances than traditional methods.

Usage in a sentence: The shortstop tried to throw the runner out at first base, but he airmail-ed it into the stands.

Is it always an error?

While an airmail throw is often seen as a mistake, it doesn’t automatically get recorded as an error in the statistics unless it allows runners to advance or reach base.

Is it exclusive to any position?

No, players at any position can airmail a throw. However, it’s most commonly associated with infielders or outfielders overthrowing bases or home plate.