The Joy of Keeping Score – Paul Dickson


“I’ve always loved scorekeeping, even though it ended my baseball career. True, my career wasn’t helped by the fact that I was much smaller than all my teammates (where was HGH back then?). Nor did my difficulty making contact with a decent fastball help. Nor did having such poor vision that after my eyeglasses fell off during an attempted diving catch, I couldn’t find either the glasses or the ball. Eventually, the center fielder came over to get the ball while I crawled around on my hands and knees searching for the glasses. Nonetheless, I blame scorekeeping for ending my major league dreams. … ‘A neighbor had a score sheet from the last game between the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers,’ says Paul Dickson, the author of The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball. ‘He recalled the whole game inning by inning, just looking at the scorecard. It was almost like watching a rabbi read scripture. Here he was recalling the whole game. It was kind of magic. It’s sort of an analog thing you do in the digital age.’ Is the digital age killing off scorekeeping? Walking through ballparks, I don’t see many fans keeping score anymore. One of the few I saw at a Cubs game earlier this season was a 75-year-old fan named Ron Swanson. … Similar to the ones we use today, [Henry] Chadwick’s scoring grid was nine batters deep and nine innings wide and was coded with letters for what the batter did and numbers for which fielders handled the ball. That system evolved over time, but at least one notation remains the same as it did more than a century ago: a ‘K’ in the scorebook means the batter struck out. Chadwick originated the ‘K’ because he used the last letter of an out — in this case, ‘struck” — as his way of identifying it in the book. Scorekeeping, thus, has been around for about 150 years; and like Mark Twain, Paul McCartney or the Dodgers’ pennant hopes on June 1, rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated. …”
ESPN
Scoring a game
amazon: The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball

About 1960s: Days of Rage

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