baseball scorekeeping

By Christian

Monday, March 20, 2006

I don't even remember when I first learned to keep score. It was long ago in a far away place!
I've actually never kept score much at major league games. I frequently start to, but eventually give up because I like to wear my glove and be ready to catch home runs or foul balls. I also never solved the problem of going to the restroom or concession stands and missing plays.

What's happened?
What do you say when somebody asks you this question? If you're like most people, you probably repeat the information that's available on the scoreboard along with a couple of the more memorable plays. Keeping score makes it possible to give an accurate, concise run down of the game's events. People seem to appreciate this. I've met a lot of new people this way, which adds to the enjoyment of a ballgame.

Baseball scorekeeping uses a quirky set of notations to denote everything of importance that happens in a particular game. For every pitch made, some type of record occurs. Any time a baserunner advances, an out recorded, a run scored, a player enters or leaves the game, an error committed, etc., something must be recorded on the scorecard. Other things that happen in a game, such as, the number of foul balls hit by a batter, ball and strike counts, the location where a base hit first touches the ground, and other such things, may or may not be recorded depending on the individual.

Baseball scorekeeping or amateur baseball scorekeeping is a fun way for the baseball fan or hobbyist to keep detailed track of what happens in a particular baseball game. The word "amateur" is used to distinguish this scoring from the work of the Official scorer of a game. The scorecard produced by the amateur scorer has no importance in the official record keeping of baseball statistics. Rather, for the amateur, the game is scored as a means of entertainment, to help a fan "keep his head in the game", to produce a unique souvenir of the game, or, just for the heck of it.