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Do you keep score at baseball games?


spyboy1

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Ever since my father took me to my first baseball game in 1970 at age 6 and bought me a scorecard, I have been keeping score of baseball games. I find it adds to my experience being able to know that a batter has been hitting well that day or that a pitcher has been getting nothing but ground ball outs or has a long hitless streak in progress.

Frankly, it also forces me to pay a certain amount of attention, something I lack when not keeping score. On those days I'll suddenly look up and say "Hey, we've got runners on second and third. How'd that happen?"

One problem I have is that way back in the day I learned how to score from an old Twins program and have stuck with my basic system ever since, evolving and refining it over time.

The basics of my system is -7 for a single, =8 for a double, three lines for a triple and ◊9 for a home run. (I found four lines got too hard to distinguish from three lines. In addition, I then draw a square in the lower right corner of the box for a batter who reaches first, upper right if he makes it to second, upper left if he stops at third and lower left if he scores. If he scores I then darken in all the small squares in the corners to make it very easy to distinguish the runs with the batting information still written in the center of the box.

What sets my system apart from nearly everyone else is that I 100% do not draw or use the diamond shape printed in nearly every scorecard known to man for the last 20 years. I really irritates me to find that so many scorecards you buy at games have that printed to boldly since it's just nothing but visual clutter to my system. It would be great if it were screened back to 20% for everyone. That way when you drew lines over the top it would stand out more and not bother my system so much.

One quick score keeping story while I'm at it. I was in Toronto for a game against the Yankees. Their was a Toronto runner on 2nd and a fly ball behind first base. The runner was sure the first baseman wasn't going to get to it and took off for third, only to find out the first baseman had in fact gotten to it down the right field line.

He now had to make it back to second to avoid being doubled off and the first baseman made a wild throw, which sailed past the second baseman into shallow left field. With the wild throw, the runner once more took off for third. The left fielder was in hot pursuit of the ball in front of him and moving to his right. He dove to cut it off and injured his shoulder, leaving him writing in pain on the turf as the ball continued to roll into foul ground.

The runner was now rounding third but looking over his right shoulder to see if anyone would field the ball and what the condition of the right fielder was. As he rounded third, looking back into left field, he ran SMACK into his third base coach, making face to face contact and knocking the coach out. The runner then staggered home with the run.

:blink:

I looked at the field. I looked at my scorecard. I looked at the field again and tried to take inventory of what had just happened.

The runner went from 2nd to 3rd and back to 2nd, then to 3rd and finally home. There were two people laying out on the turf, a throwing error and a dazzling catch. Wow.

The proper scoring of all that was simply "3, E3", but it just didn't capture the spirit of all the running around and subsequent carnage, so I went with "3, E3*" and put another asterisk in the margin and wrote the full story out.

For those of you interested, The Joy of Keeping Score by Paul Dickson. A fun little book for those into keeping score.

Does anyone else keep score? Have any unusual plays you've encountered while scoring? Ever do my dream of scoring a major league no-hitter as it happened?

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I'll occasionaly keep score at a baseball game. I used to all the time when I was younger, but have slowed down lately. I was actually trying to find a baseball game this summer that I would be able to watch the entire game and keep score. I think the Cubs game this afternoon might be the time. When I keep score I don't use the scorecards at the game. I usually use one of my dad's scorebooks, I like it better for the same reason. The one that you buy at a game is too cluttered.

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On the 4th I went to the Nats-Cubs game and bought a program specifically for the scorecard. They didn't have that diamond thing (which I don't care for either since I do something similar to your system, Spyboy). There weren't any wierd plays that game, but I do agree that it keeps you engaged in the game.

One thing that I need to figure out is a better way to deal with substitutions. In the late innings with pinch hitters in the same lineup spot it'd be nice to put it on the same line, but that's not possible if more than one player hits in a given spot. Oh well.

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I've made my own scoresheets with Quark Express but I don't have vertical lines drawn down for each inning. Since I'm a small-town sports editor, I see a lot of high school and junior college games and that means a lot of 10-, 11- and 12-batter innings. I don't draw the vertical lines until after the inning is over so that way those sort of innings don't automatically ruin my scoresheet.

I draw my own diamonds as the runner progresses. If a runner scores, I put the number of the batter who drove him in inside the middle of the diamond (If the runner scores and there is no RBI, I put the batter's number in parenthesis in the middle, so I know when he scored).

I also draw lines to indicate hits. Straight lines for line drives, curved ones for lazy fly balls. I put how far the runner advanced in the lower left of the box (i.e., BB, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR).

I don't know if I can truly explain how I do it. But the average joe should still be able to tell what happened when he looks at it.

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i kept score during the games as well, i'd kick myself if a no hitter happened and i wasnt keeping score. sometimes ill do it at home as well (usually when hamels pitches) i learned from my dad and the phillies magazine, i dont like the scorecards with the diamond on it either and thankfully the phils scorecards are just blank squares

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I do it just about every game. I haven't done it in a while, but I agree, it does help you pay attention to the game. I taught my girlfriend how to do it, but she gets distracted too easily.

I used to keep score all the time when I was coaching and otherwise involved with my youth teams. I used to teach the other parents how to do it, because it annoyed me when I was umpiring and the only things they would write were "HIT" and "OUT". I mean, c'mon.

My favorite story involves a good friend of ours -- a mother on my dad's team when he was coaching my brother. It was my dad's first year coaching (my brother was 9 at the time), and we had eeked through the season, finishing at 3-7, but winning our first round game to advance to the semifinals against a team that had finished 9-1, and was pretty cocky about it. It would be tougher still -- we had just nine players that day due to vacations and whatnot.

In the fourth inning, our team trailing by five runs, we had mounted a rally and loaded the bases. Our #9 hitter, Henry, a pudgy kid who had little talent, was to come up to bat. Unfortunately, the only thing that came up was the Egg McMuffin that he had for breakfast. Subsequently, he went home sick, and he was called out.

Carol, the mother who was keeping score for us that day, now had to find some way to accurately "score" the reason why Henry was called out. She wrote...

"BARF"

We ended up coming from behind to win the game 10-9 behind the hitting (and pitching) of a 9-year-old girl who could throw in the mid-60s, only to lose in the championship. But the game was one of our favorites, and hitherto that game is now known as "The Barf Game".

:grin:

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I used to keep score during Cards games all the time. Now I do it only sometimes. I'm gonna be going up to Wrigley August 20th and I will probably keep score.

I always use the scorecards at the stadium, I tried using one with diamonds already in it, but I didn't like it much. The only thing I hate is when they have more players play than there are places to put names. Ticks me off. Also missing the play and no one around you was paying attention either. I've had a couple scorecards with multiple question marks in it. Sometimes I just make something up if I missed it though.

In the fourth inning, our team trailing by five runs, we had mounted a rally and loaded the bases. Our #9 hitter, Henry, a pudgy kid who had little talent, was to come up to bat. Unfortunately, the only thing that came up was the Egg McMuffin that he had for breakfast. Subsequently, he went home sick, and he was called out.

Shouldn't you be allowed to have a pinch runner for someone who gets sick? Like if he got injured or something?

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I used to keep score during Cards games all the time. Now I do it only sometimes. I'm gonna be going up to Wrigley August 20th and I will probably keep score.

I always use the scorecards at the stadium, I tried using one with diamonds already in it, but I didn't like it much. The only thing I hate is when they have more players play than there are places to put names. Ticks me off. Also missing the play and no one around you was paying attention either. I've had a couple scorecards with multiple question marks in it. Sometimes I just make something up if I missed it though.

the same thing happens to me every now and then, i just make something up. as long as i know what it is thats whats important

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I think alcohol inhibits the ability to keep scores, mostly because baseball games are more of a social gathering of fans and friends based around a sports attraction, rather than hardcore fans who are there for the sports attraction alone, this all of course depends on a multitude of variables. My dad keeps scores at games, I however just enjoy the game as is. It's nice to know that some people continue to, and hopefully some day I'll keep score as well while my kids wonder why I'm wasting my time.

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I used to do it religiously. I learned at an early age and was keeping score for our Little League games. By high school, I was pulling double duty - keeping score (which I eventually passed off on our team manager... hell, she was cute and it was a reason to talk to her) and charting pitches. I've cut back in the last few years, but I'm starting back up because I want to teach my wife how to keep score. She's gone from a very marginal baseball fan to a pretty well-informed one who can grasp the nuances of the game far better than most. Happily, she picked up a lot of it on her own; I didn't have to compel her to watch with me, and she cultivated her own interest.

My system is my own, ultimately based on the diamond method. I've used methods with and without diamonds, and I prefer them, though I've heavily modified the "standard system".

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I used to do it religiously. I learned at an early age and was keeping score for our Little League games. By high school, I was pulling double duty - keeping score (which I eventually passed off on our team manager... hell, she was cute and it was a reason to talk to her) and charting pitches. I've cut back in the last few years, but I'm starting back up because I want to teach my wife how to keep score. She's gone from a very marginal baseball fan to a pretty well-informed one who can grasp the nuances of the game far better than most. Happily, she picked up a lot of it on her own; I didn't have to compel her to watch with me, and she cultivated her own interest.

My system is my own, ultimately based on the diamond method. I've used methods with and without diamonds, and I prefer them, though I've heavily modified the "standard system".

When I was sitting the bench in high school, which was frequently, I did the same thing. I had one clipboard for score keeping and one for pitch charting. The reason I started doing it was because my coach had a rule that everyone who wasn't playing wasn't allowed to sit on the bench. They had to stand and watch the game. But if you were keeping score/charting pitches you got to sit on a bucket next to the bench coaches. My lazyness is what lead me to score keeping.

I enjoy doing it at every live baseball game that I attend, although the scorecards are hard to find at Columbus Clippers games. I will not do it however for games I'm watching on TV or listening to on the radio. I have a friend who's Dad has 162 scorecards, one for each game of the 1983 Chicago White Sox season. Talk about following a team.

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I take diligent score every time I get to a game. And I keep the scorecards in a file in my basement with the tickets and things of that nature. I have the card for Game Two of the World Series in 2005 and I am going to get it framed with the papers I saved. The scorecard is pretty illegible because of the rain, but I am happy I did it because it looks awesome.

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Also missing the play and no one around you was paying attention either. I've had a couple scorecards with multiple question marks in it. Sometimes I just make something up if I missed it though.

When I'm forced to go get a coke or visit the restroom I take my scorecard with me. At the major league level you can usually follow the action on a monitor or hear the radio call in the restroom.

Sometimes I test my friends by playing dumb and asking "How did that guy get on base while I was gone?" They just go "Uh, um, he got a, ah, hit." Nice. I can see that. Hit it where? Are you even at the same game? :therock:

If I do miss an out, sometimes I just put "X" in the box for a generic out. The book I linked to tells of Ernie Harwell or someone that puts "WW" for Wasn't Watching. :D

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I keep score at every ball game I announce on the radio, so I hadn't ever done it at a game I attended for fun until earlier this summer (it seemed like doing work while on vacation - does that make sense?). Anyway, it was different. I went to a collegiate wood bat league (the Duluth Huskies of the Northwoods League, who play at historic Wade Stadium) game, and kept score. Considering I didn't know any of the players, it definatly got me more into the game than I would have been had I not kept score... I'm sure I'll do it again.

Now, I'm leaving in the morning for my West Coast baseball trip (games at all the California MLB parks + D-Backs), and I don't think I'll keep score at any of those games. The main point is to see the parks. I don't want to be tied to my seat (or feel like I'm doing work on my vacation)...

Moose

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I keep score completely at every game I go to. It wouldn't be a full experience without it.

I never use the scoresheets in the programs on sale at the ballpark. I like to keep the programs unmarked for my collection. But I do have a clipboard/binder-type thing that I keep my pre-printed scoresheets in.

Before every game, I go online and get all the stats for both teams and print them out. Then I print out a few of my custom-designed scoresheets, and I'm ready.

My scoresheets do have little pre-printed diamonds in each box, but since I designed the sheets myself it is exactly how I want it. Unlike commercial scorecards, which for some reason have 12 or 14 innings available, mine are just 10-inning scoresheets. That way, if the game goes extra innings, I just use another sheet, with the 11th inning in the column for the first inning ? just like the scoreboard does.

My scoring system has evolved over the decades, probably as has everyone's. I used to prefer blank squares instead of a pre-printed diamond, but since I designed my own sheets, that has changed. (If anyone wants my version in pdf format, I will e-mail it to you.)

When I worked as a sportscaster, I used a different kind of scoresheet. This one was two-sided ? one side for each team. At the side of the page, there was a big diagram of a field where I put the opposing team's defensive array. That way, if there was a pop-up to short, in case I forgot the shortstop's name, I could look down at the diagram and see exactly who was making the catch.

But a baseball game without a scorecard just isn't complete.

The book I linked to tells of Ernie Harwell or someone that puts "WW" for Wasn't Watching.

By the way... It was Phil Rizzuto who used the "WW" on his scoresheet.

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