Author Topic: Scorekeeping as art form  (Read 1543 times)

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Offline natsfan1a

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Scorekeeping as art form
« Topic Start: June 01, 2007, 01:15:34 PM »
Whoops, I didn't mean to put it in minor league discussions...

I'm not sure whether this is the right place to put this topic, but I was curioius how many of us like to keep score during games. I used to listen to the radio and score along for every game but have gotten away from it a bit. It does help me to keep my head in the game when I do it. I do still tend to do it when I'm actually at a game. I remember seeing a Boswell quote at some point to the effect that one isn't a true fan until one has devised a unique system of scoring. Mine has evolved with time to where I'm pretty happy with it, but I still would like to revise the form that I'm currently using (from baseballscorecard.com).

Scorekeeping remains an art form
06/01/2007 10:00 AM ET
By Becky Regan / MLB.com

True baseball fans have followed their sport through decades of change. They've watched as the game shifted from swinging for contact to swinging for the fences, from complete-game pitchers to power bullpens, from crackling radio broadcasts to HDTV. But through the decades of change, one aspect has remained timeless -- scorekeeping.

Long before ballparks featured fancy scoreboards with instant replay, before players wore jerseys with their names scrawled on the back, the best way to follow America's pastime was with a piece of paper and pen or pencil.

Back then, the way to watch a game was to score it, and Giants announcer Jon Miller remembers the time well.

"When I was a kid, I used to buy a scorecard and keep score at the games. I don't think that many people do that any more, but you needed the scorecard back then," Miller said.

If scorekeeping were on the college curriculum, Miller would be teaching the master's course. Since those beginning days of scoring, Miller has become somewhat of an expert scorekeeper during his 33 years of announcing. "The Voice of the Giants" and longtime ESPN announcer is an authority on the art of scoring a ballgame. Like most announcers, Miller has diligently kept score at every game he has announced, which puts him right near 5,500 games scored, not counting Spring Training and recreational scorekeeping.

"Paying attention to details is what scorekeeping is all about," Miller said as he pulls out a large handful of scoring pens.

Before each game, Miller arranges a lengthy line of blue and red pens on the desk in front of him.

"That guy's my starter, and he's in the bullpen," Miller said pointing to the top two blue pens in the rotation.

Miller uses a finely tuned, color-coded system to keep score. It's always important to keep extra blue pens, Miller says, in case a rogue pen drops under the desk and he needs to bring in a reliever.

The red pens are for special occasions only, such as pinch-runners or defensive changes. An extra special defensive play can also earn Miller's red star of approval.

The majority of Miller's scorekeeping is done in blue and in extreme detail. Miller doesn't just record an out; it's marked as D78 for a deep fly to left center.

When Miller scores, he marks tiny horizontal lines to denote base hits, and he accounts for how each runner advanced. He notes when new players came in and even when a guy breaks a bat because it could be a trend. More than anything, that is what Miller's scorebooks are, a map to chart trends and unveil player patterns.

Most scorebooks don't stand up next to his, but Miller respects every scorekeeper's own style. Co-announcer Dave Flemming's style, however, is a little too messy for Miller's taste.

"I do mine the right way, but Jon doesn't like it because he can't read it," Flemming said.

In Flemming's defense, the tiny boxes don't leave much room to be tidy, but Miller manages.

"See this, that's the proper way," said Miller, flipping his book open to an immaculately scored game.

The way Miller keeps careful detail in his book is similar to the way he takes time to learn the correct pronunciation of every player's name. When it comes to baseball, Miller makes time for the details.

When Miller was 10, his dad taught him how to keep score at Candlestick Park. Dad bought his son a little scorebook and showed him what to do. Miller scored his first game one night when he was listening to a Giants game at home.

"I realized I enjoyed the game much more because I was totally involved now in the game," Miller said. "It was no longer just something in the background. I had to pay attention all the time."

Miller can see his childhood home where he scored his first game from his new scorekeeping perch at AT&T Park. When Miller looks out over right field on a clear day, a few feet left of the foul pole, across the water and up the hill a bit, he sees his old neighborhood where his love of baseball started.

Miller didn't keep score regularly back then, but started to when he took his first baseball announcing gig with the Oakland A's in '74. From there Miller went to the Rangers, the Red Sox and then the Orioles for 14 years before returning to San Francisco in '97. But no matter where he was announcing, Miller always had a scorebook with him. It was there for the 10 World Series he called and it's there for every Sunday night game he calls with Joe Morgan on ESPN.

Miller keeps the years of scorebooks in his office at home. He doesn't go through the old books much, but knows he has a written record of 33 years whenever he needs it.

In 2005, before Miller spoke at the Juan Marichal statue unveiling, he went digging through those books searching for a memory of a Marichal game that he scored back when he announced for Oakland. The game Miller was looking for turned out to be the last game Marichal ever won. When Miller realized, he copied the scorecard and placed the piece of history in its owner's hands.

"It was 32 years after the fact that I actually realized, wow that was the last game he had ever won and I actually broadcasted the game," Miller said.

The game was on Aug. 11, 1974, and Marichal's Red Sox defeated the soon-to-be World Series champion A's, 2-1, in Oakland.

There are probably dozens of historic moments in Miller's books, like the day Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive game record in 1995.

President Bill Clinton was in the broadcasting booth with Miller for Ripken's 2,131st game and made the scorecard even more historic by signing it.

"That one with the president, I probably should do something with it," Miller said.

But after a lifetime of scorekeeping, who's to say which scorecard is the most important? Miller's been there for too many historic moments to pick just one, always ready with his blue pen poised and a backup in the bullpen.

Offline NatsAddict

  • Posts: 4095
Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #1: June 02, 2007, 01:28:37 AM »
I keep score for the games I go to any game.  I even have a heavy weight paper, on which I print about 50 copies of the the following score card each year.  I have a clipboard with a pencil holder (two mechanical pencils) and a flip top to hold the blank score cards.  I even track each pitch and pitch count so I can track first pitch strikes, and the more important 1 and 1 pitch strikes.   

The first time I tried to keep score was at a Tigers vs Senators game when I was 5.  I just wrote the line score in the first two rows.  Dad got me going better that day, but it was actually my mom who taught me how to score a game.

Offline natsfan1a

  • Posts: 6512
Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #2: June 02, 2007, 09:35:33 AM »
That's a good idea about the heavyweight paper. The score card I'm using right now is below (not sure how to make the type of link that you did). I'd like to modify it at some point to include more space for substitute players and for extra innings beyond 10. When they bat around the order it can get kinda messy. I'd also like to have a legend at the bottom with the position numbers (I tend to mix up the outfield numbers in the heat of the moment) and my indicators for hits, placed under or over the position number in question; i.e., flies (a downcurved overbar), liners (a straight overbar), and ground balls (an underscore).

http://www.baseballscorecard.com/downloads/Scorecard-h.pdf

That's neat that your mom taught you. I was impressed to see Barbara Bush scoring along at a televised Astros game at one point. I wasn't lucky enough to have a mentor but developed a method by using "The Joy of Keeping Score" and other resources.


Offline soxfan59

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Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #3: June 04, 2007, 11:03:49 AM »
I used to be very passionate about scoring games, and kept score of every game I attended as a kid.  I still have score cards from games that became more memorable to me because of the fact I was there and keeping score -- like when Dick Allen hit an inside the park home run, or the day Jay Johnstone hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 8th to beat help the White Sox beat the Yankees. 

Funny, my Dad berated me constantly for keeping score.  He opined that keeping score distracted you, and you might miss some important thing while you were immersed in your scribbling. 

I got away from keeping score when I got older, and was as into the socialization fo being at the game with family and friends as I was in watching the game.  Interestingly enough, my son (aged 10) now has taken an interest in scoring, completely on his own. 


Offline natsfan1a

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Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #4: June 04, 2007, 05:58:54 PM »
The cards do make nice souvenirs of special games. I wished later that I'd been keeping score at the Patterson complete game shutout in 2005.

Depending where you're sitting, I've found that keeping score can be a bit of a dangerous distraction (bats and balls may enter stands...).

Neat that your son is keeping score now. I often see kids who are learning to score at the games.



I used to be very passionate about scoring games, and kept score of every game I attended as a kid.  I still have score cards from games that became more memorable to me because of the fact I was there and keeping score -- like when Dick Allen hit an inside the park home run, or the day Jay Johnstone hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 8th to beat help the White Sox beat the Yankees. 

Funny, my Dad berated me constantly for keeping score.  He opined that keeping score distracted you, and you might miss some important thing while you were immersed in your scribbling. 

I got away from keeping score when I got older, and was as into the socialization fo being at the game with family and friends as I was in watching the game.  Interestingly enough, my son (aged 10) now has taken an interest in scoring, completely on his own. 



Offline CALSGR8

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Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #5: June 04, 2007, 08:07:58 PM »
I too try to keep score at every game I go to.  A while back I used an Excell spreadsheet to make one up.  I color code the grid according to who's playing who.  Print it off before going to a game.  I just do the basics.  I don't keep track of where the ball goes if its a hit.  Ks for all strikes.

I love it.  One time I was at a minor league game and a little kid saw what I was doing and started asking questions about it, so I showed him how to do it.  Passing it on as a part of the game.  :D

Offline NatsAddict

  • Posts: 4095
Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #6: June 04, 2007, 09:13:32 PM »
That's a good idea about the heavyweight paper. The score card I'm using right now is below (not sure how to make the type of link that you did). I'd like to modify it at some point to include more space for substitute players and for extra innings beyond 10. When they bat around the order it can get kinda messy. I'd also like to have a legend at the bottom with the position numbers (I tend to mix up the outfield numbers in the heat of the moment) and my indicators for hits, placed under or over the position number in question; i.e., flies (a downcurved overbar), liners (a straight overbar), and ground balls (an underscore).

http://www.baseballscorecard.com/downloads/Scorecard-h.pdf

That's neat that your mom taught you. I was impressed to see Barbara Bush scoring along at a televised Astros game at one point. I wasn't lucky enough to have a mentor but developed a method by using "The Joy of Keeping Score" and other resources.




I live in south Florida, and out west (2+ miles inland) it gets really humid.  The heavier paper handles it much easier.  Dolphin Stadium is way inland, in the middle of reclaimed Everglades, and the bugs want it back.  It's incredibly humid at those games, and it didn't take me long to make the switch.  DS is the only stadium I've ever seen people give up infield box seats to go to the upper deck to try and catch a breeze.   

Dad really loves the game.  He helped organize the Herndon VA Little League, which he did just a couple weeks after I was born.  He was determined I was going to play CF for the Yankees.  He's the one who taught me to play the game, but mom was the one who taught me to love the game.  It was a good thing, because when I was 14, I started battling bone cancer.  Dad realized that I wasn't going to live his dream, and didn't speak to me for 6 years.  Mom, though, not only kept score, but tracked pitches.  She would come down and tell us what a pitcher had and didn't have in each inning's warm ups, and as the inning and game progressed, she would provide updates.

I've taken what mom taught me about scoring, and modified it over the years.  I mark on the scorecard with dot for where the ball came to rest/fielded.  I use F-#, L-#, P-# on fly out, and just positions on ground outs (unassisted, though, I will record as something like G-3).  I never thought of the line system you use.  I'll apply that on the card I use.  I'd been wanting a way to record the type of trajectory on hits, but hadn't found a way to do so without cluttering the card.

As a runner moves along the bases, I indicate the number of the batter at the plate.  As the outs are recorded, I put the number inside a circle in the lower left corner of the box. 

The scorecard I use two squares for strikes, and 3 for balls.  I put the pitch number in the squares.  If there are two strikes, I put a "/" to indicate fouls.  For example, the the AB goes Ball, Strike, Strike, Foul, Ball, the two strike boxes would have 2 and 3 in them respectively, with the / just before the boxes.  The balls boxes would have a 1 and 5 in them.  With the numbers, you could determine the foul had to be on the 4th pitch.  Technically, the slashes aren't necessary, but help when calculating the pitch count/strike count for the inning.

If a run is unearned, after completing the  lines around the boxes, I drop a vertical line a bit below home.  I sometimes make footnotes if, for example, the official scorer makes a horrendous call (happens quite a bit in NCAA games).


It's always great to sit with another scorer and learn new things.  Former Expo (and current Marlins TV analyst) Tommy Hutton's son played for Florida Atlantic University.  Hutt came to every game if he wasn't on air, and would always keep score.  I picked up a few things that I use from him.  He keeps score with a pen instead of a pencil, and just goes with his call if the official scorer is an idiot.

My daughter (16) loves going to the games, but has not shown any interest in scoring, and she's now of the age where it is a social event.  Her and her friends know every inch of Dolphin Stadium.  Every once is a while I look up and see she's done something to get on the Jumbo-Tron.  My nephew (9), though, is coming along with the basics.  He even scores his computer games, so I think it's safe to say he's hooked.  We also have a game between ourselves, predicting the type of pitch and intended location.  Whoever gets the most correct wins a milkshake on the way home, but since he doesn't have any money, I end up buying for everybody.  But, even something like that has the makings of a tradition.

Offline kimnat

  • Posts: 7167
Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #7: June 04, 2007, 09:39:19 PM »
Wow!  What a story!  I didn't realize you had a similar feat as Andrew has had, battling childhood cancer.  You are one strong person.  It takes a lot of stuff to get through that!  And what an awesome mom!!!  Kudos to her!

Offline natsfan1a

  • Posts: 6512
Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #8: June 04, 2007, 10:00:50 PM »
That's great about passing on the knowledge on. Keeping the tradition going.

I too try to keep score at every game I go to.  A while back I used an Excell spreadsheet to make one up.  I color code the grid according to who's playing who.  Print it off before going to a game.  I just do the basics.  I don't keep track of where the ball goes if its a hit.  Ks for all strikes.

I love it.  One time I was at a minor league game and a little kid saw what I was doing and started asking questions about it, so I showed him how to do it.  Passing it on as a part of the game.  :D

Offline natsfan1a

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Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #9: June 04, 2007, 10:15:59 PM »
I don't think that I'd make it in south Florida, Natsaddict. I grew up in northern California and the Virginia heat and humidity is more than enough for me!

That's sad about your dad not speaking to you so long, and with all that you were having to deal with physically. He must feel very strongly about the game. Your mom sounds like a very knowledgable lady! How did she learn all that she did about pitching?

I got the line system idea from the Joy of Keeping Score, which is a fun little book. Your system sounds very sophisticated. I haven't evolved to that point yet. I will have to print out your answer and study it. I don't keep track of all the balls and strikes but do use two different marks (a check and an X) to indicate whether a pitcher has gotten to 2-0 or 0-2.

I hope that at some point I'll have the opportunity to sit with another scorer and pick up a few ideas. Maybe through SABR, which I recently joined.

That's funny about your daughter and the Jumbo-Tron. I'm guessing that she probably does the wave, too. Nice that your nephew is getting into the scoring. That's a great idea about the pitch game.

Offline NatsAddict

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Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #10: June 05, 2007, 11:27:51 PM »
I don't think that I'd make it in south Florida, Natsaddict. I grew up in northern California and the Virginia heat and humidity is more than enough for me!

That's sad about your dad not speaking to you so long, and with all that you were having to deal with physically. He must feel very strongly about the game. Your mom sounds like a very knowledgable lady! How did she learn all that she did about pitching?

I got the line system idea from the Joy of Keeping Score, which is a fun little book. Your system sounds very sophisticated. I haven't evolved to that point yet. I will have to print out your answer and study it. I don't keep track of all the balls and strikes but do use two different marks (a check and an X) to indicate whether a pitcher has gotten to 2-0 or 0-2.

I hope that at some point I'll have the opportunity to sit with another scorer and pick up a few ideas. Maybe through SABR, which I recently joined.

That's funny about your daughter and the Jumbo-Tron. I'm guessing that she probably does the wave, too. Nice that your nephew is getting into the scoring. That's a great idea about the pitch game.


The South-East Florida weather is the best in the state.  Once you get below Lake Okeechobee (the big lake near the bottom of the state), the weather is sub-tropical and comes in from the east.  The gulf is much warmer, and the weather much more humid.  Further, while the Gulf Stream is usually 7-10 miles out; off Boca it comes very close to the shore.  The reef comes in very close, too.  At one of our beaches there is a man-made reef extension that connects the natural reef to within a few yard of the shore.  You can walk out to snorkel.  We cook breakfast on that beach several times a year.  If you live within about 2 miles of the shore (I'm just under a mile from the ocean), you always have a nice easterly breeze.  It only took me a day to figure out why all the doors had a latch and hook to hold them open.  There are no mosquitoes, gnats, etc. as they can't fly in the breeze.The summers are much less oppressive than DC.  The humidity generally tops out at 70, we average 11 days a year that we even hit 90.  Only once in it's history has Boca had a temp below 40, and then only for a matter of minutes.  It's only reached triple digits twice.  Six months of the year, we turn off the AC and open all the windows.  But, once you reach the ancient reef, about 2 miles inland, things change dramatically, which is why the current location of the stadium is ludicrous.   On the other hand, we  diid lose our roof in Francis in 2004, and the we rode (actually just me and the cats - my wife and daughter evac'd) through Jeanne without one.  You know it's bad when Ivan was first tracked to also hit us head on, and while watching on a TV in the car as it was the only source with power, the weatherman bursts into tears and walks off screen saying, "I can't do this anymore."  If Ivan had come at us, I was going to tie myself to the remnant of a tree and do my Lt. Dan routine (from Forest Gump). We only had a rudimentary patch job of plywood and blue tarps when Wilma knocked the crap out of  us in 2005. In March, we finally got a roof for the first time in 2.5 years.

Dad an I made our amends, and are fine.  I made just as big a mistake.   Actually, a couple of them.  In high school, dad was helping with the bases setting down 3b while I was taking batting practice.  I lined one off the top of his head, fractured his skull, and knocked him cold.  I looked at him for a second or two, resumed my stance and waited on the next pitch.  I have a bunch of guys who still remind me about that one.  Then when I was in my mid 20's and had a setback, I got a call from my girlfriend that mom had left a message on my answering machine that they were wanting to come from Herndon to vist me in Crofton since they hadn't heard from me for a while.  Since I couldn't make a long-distance call from the hospital, I had to have my girlfriend call them and tell them I was fighting things once again, and had just never found a reason to tell them.    Last year dad had a stroke (and didn't have the decency not to have it at a time when he would not have screwed up spring training - he's gotta learn to plan those kind of things better).  Anyway, I knew they'd be spending more time at home, so I bought them MLB Extra Innings (it's now destined to be a Christmas present forever).  Now we even watch games while talking on the phone.   

I had a perfect childhood - it was centered all around baseball.  My dad and our neighbor (a Red Sox fan of all things) built a baseball diamond in our back yards.  We had a real home plate, pitches mound, bases, full catcher gear, an a trash can full of bats, balls, etc.  We even took the ashes from the charcoal grills and made batters and catchers boxes.  Our dads even put up flood lights so we could play into the night.  We had 15-20 kids our there every afternoon, and about 6 or 8 adults joined in after dinner.  The whole neighborhood ate at the same time so we would all be back together.  A couple years ago, the neighborhood (11 houses ) had a 40th anniversary of when we all moved in together party, and 9 households were fully represented.  It was baseball that made all of us close friend, and has kept us that way.  Mom didn't have a choice but to learn the game, and she studied it thoroughly.  She knew that my biggest weakness was a change-up (I'm all in favor of a rule against them), and was especially alert to the potency of the pitcher's change, and on what counts he was throwing it.  If I was ever at bat, and heard a cow bell, I knew to look for a change.  She was right probably 80% of the time.  Mom would excel at the pitch game.  One of my favorite pictures is of her and Casey Stengel with their arms around each other, standing cheek-to-cheek, at Griffith Stadium.

I just ordered "The Joy of Keeping Score."  Thanks for the tip.

The scorecard I use has a lot of the things pretty much laid out, so it makes keeping the details pretty easy.  The toughest part is after a long inning counting up pitches and strikes before the next inning starts.

I hope your SABR chapter is better than the alleged one down here.  It almost has to be.  In fact, I think this one disbanded.

Offline PC

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Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #11: June 06, 2007, 05:48:27 PM »
Why does baseball have a "name" for the study of its statistics.  No other sports does and statistics are important in the understanding and enjoyment of almost every sport.  Football, for example, the "numbers" are very important.  In a football game, you can look at the score and tell who's leading but you look at the statistics to tell who's winning.

I've always thought this was kinda pretentious for baseball numerologists.

Offline natsfan1a

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Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #12: June 06, 2007, 06:35:51 PM »
I think that you may be referring to sabermetrics? Maybe someone who is well-versed in that can answer your question. I joined SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) because of my interest in the game and its history. I was also drawn to the publishing-related aspects of the organization, as someone who works in that field. I believe that while the SABR acronym was an inspiration for the coining of the term, SABR the organization encompasses many more aspects of the game than just sabermetrics. I don't do sabermetrics, I just like to keep score. :)

Why does baseball have a "name" for the study of its statistics.  No other sports does and statistics are important in the understanding and enjoyment of almost every sport.  Football, for example, the "numbers" are very important.  In a football game, you can look at the score and tell who's leading but you look at the statistics to tell who's winning.

I've always thought this was kinda pretentious for baseball numerologists.

Offline natsfan1a

  • Posts: 6512
Re: Scorekeeping as art form
« Reply #13: June 06, 2007, 10:30:32 PM »
I've not been to that part of Florida but it sounds lovely. The storms sound hairy, but in California we had earthquakes so choose your poison. That's funny about the Lt. Dan routine.

Good that you and your Dad are fine now. Hope he's come back okay from his stroke. I remember how hard it was for my mom to come back after her major one. MLB Extra Innings sounds like the perfect gift. That's neat about watching games while talking on the phone. I should try that with my baseball buddy in Chicago.

The baseball-centered childhood with backyard diamond sounds idyllic. Nice that you've stayed in touch as well and that the sense of community has endured. Sounds like your Mom really did her homework on the game. I'm still learning and think that I have my work cut out for me in that regard. Was your mom from Brooklyn, by any chance (the cow bell makes me wonder)? The picture with Stengel sounds great!

I hope you enjoy "The Joy of Keeping Score." I really found it helpful and it's a fun read.

I need to get my ideal scorecard laid out to make keeping track of details easier, too.

I think that my local (DC) SABR chapter is quite active. I seem to recall reading that one of the officers was a founding member. I went to a SABR chapter program at RFK last month that was interesting and fun.

I live in south Florida, and out west (2+ miles inland) it gets really humid.  The heavier paper handles it much easier.  Dolphin Stadium is way inland, in the middle of reclaimed Everglades, and the bugs want it back.  It's incredibly humid at those games, and it didn't take me long to make the switch.  DS is the only stadium I've ever seen people give up infield box seats to go to the upper deck to try and catch a breeze.   

Dad really loves the game.  He helped organize the Herndon VA Little League, which he did just a couple weeks after I was born.  He was determined I was going to play CF for the Yankees.  He's the one who taught me to play the game, but mom was the one who taught me to love the game.  It was a good thing, because when I was 14, I started battling bone cancer.  Dad realized that I wasn't going to live his dream, and didn't speak to me for 6 years.  Mom, though, not only kept score, but tracked pitches.  She would come down and tell us what a pitcher had and didn't have in each inning's warm ups, and as the inning and game progressed, she would provide updates.

I've taken what mom taught me about scoring, and modified it over the years.  I mark on the scorecard with dot for where the ball came to rest/fielded.  I use F-#, L-#, P-# on fly out, and just positions on ground outs (unassisted, though, I will record as something like G-3).  I never thought of the line system you use.  I'll apply that on the card I use.  I'd been wanting a way to record the type of trajectory on hits, but hadn't found a way to do so without cluttering the card.

As a runner moves along the bases, I indicate the number of the batter at the plate.  As the outs are recorded, I put the number inside a circle in the lower left corner of the box. 

The scorecard I use two squares for strikes, and 3 for balls.  I put the pitch number in the squares.  If there are two strikes, I put a "/" to indicate fouls.  For example, the the AB goes Ball, Strike, Strike, Foul, Ball, the two strike boxes would have 2 and 3 in them respectively, with the / just before the boxes.  The balls boxes would have a 1 and 5 in them.  With the numbers, you could determine the foul had to be on the 4th pitch.  Technically, the slashes aren't necessary, but help when calculating the pitch count/strike count for the inning.

If a run is unearned, after completing the  lines around the boxes, I drop a vertical line a bit below home.  I sometimes make footnotes if, for example, the official scorer makes a horrendous call (happens quite a bit in NCAA games).


It's always great to sit with another scorer and learn new things.  Former Expo (and current Marlins TV analyst) Tommy Hutton's son played for Florida Atlantic University.  Hutt came to every game if he wasn't on air, and would always keep score.  I picked up a few things that I use from him.  He keeps score with a pen instead of a pencil, and just goes with his call if the official scorer is an idiot.

My daughter (16) loves going to the games, but has not shown any interest in scoring, and she's now of the age where it is a social event.  Her and her friends know every inch of Dolphin Stadium.  Every once is a while I look up and see she's done something to get on the Jumbo-Tron.  My nephew (9), though, is coming along with the basics.  He even scores his computer games, so I think it's safe to say he's hooked.  We also have a game between ourselves, predicting the type of pitch and intended location.  Whoever gets the most correct wins a milkshake on the way home, but since he doesn't have any money, I end up buying for everybody.  But, even something like that has the makings of a tradition.