The Art of Score

I realized today that I have not yet extolled the glories of keeping score at a baseball game. It is really one of the best things in sports.

For those of you who don't know, scorekeeping is a way for baseball fans to keep track of what has happened in a baseball game using a series of symbols. Wikipedia has a pretty good explanation here, with pictures! Tommy has observed that keeping score jives well with my obsessive nature, and he right. But keeping score can be fun even if you don't feel the need to straighten up everywhere you go.

When you keep score you know what has happened in the game up to that point, but you are also able to pick up on game trends quicker. You can see that a certain player is pulling the ball, or that the pitcher is inducing a lot of ground ball outs. You might even notice that a certain All-Star is flying out a lot and decide to hold it against him for the rest of his career. When you keep score you get a sense of the story of the game.

Keeping score also helps pass the time a baseball game. I know that some people are prone to complain that baseball games are too long, and nothing happens. When you are keeping score you have plenty of things to keep track of: the last play, inning totals, substitutions, some people track every pitch. It can be overwhelming. I promise that the game will just fly by.

The most important about scorekeeping is that when you are doing it everyone in your section knows that you are better than them. They look over, see you with your book, and know that you are a bigger and better baseball fan than them. It is the sports equivalent of wearing the perfect ironic t-shirt at the Black Cat.

So let me encourage you to take up scorekeeping as a hobby. Here is a link to some free scorecards that you can print out on your company's dime. You will learn a lot about baseball, and before you know it you will be wasting time at work reading up on statistics rather than the dating lives of various Washingtonians!

I stole the picture from Tommy, here is the original.

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