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Keepers of the Final Score

Greetings readers,

It’s been a while. Over two weeks to be exact. Where have I been? Working. Lots of working, including a new sportscasting project in Miami County. The other is a retail job to brush up on my selling skills. Anyways, I’ve been busy and I do feel bad for not updating like I normally do. Anyways, it’s time for a brand new post!

To introduce you to this topic, I started keeping score for baseball broadcasts during my first year as the WWSU Sports Director. At the station, we had a NCAA scorebook, which was used once before. I gave it a whirl and thought about how it improved my broadcast.

Late into that Wright State Baseball season, the SID at the time gave me a Bob Carpenter scorebook worth $40. That was when I really took it seriously and vowed to use it at every single game that I could. There I noticed that I livened up completely on my baseball broadcasts. I got the job again the next year and I improved each and every time in the book.

As I look to begin broadcasting baseball and softball, I found that old Carpenter book and looked back on how much I filled it out as time went by. There’s still things I can work on, but I think it’s some solid work.

Recently, I was asked by a friend on how to keep score in baseball. I figure this is a nice little way on explaining how to.

I’m going to say right now, you don’t need the expensive scorebook. There are cheaper ones out there, close to $6 if you look closely enough. Find one that will fit what you need it for. If you like to fill everything out, get one that gives you plenty of space to do so. I like to recommend that you find one that gives you more than nine innings to keep, because extra inning games can be common. Remember this though: the only person that matters in buying a book is YOU. What are you going to use it for? How much do you want to spend? What do you want to fill out?

How do you ACTUALLY fill out a scorebook? Well, you have your area for stats which you should fill out (but if you don’t want to, that’s your choice.) Next is actually filling it out during the game. Usually, you will find an example page in the scorebook itself. What I do is very basic, I just say “Hit” or “Walk” and draw a line with a dot on where that at-bat landed the batter (first base would be single or walk, second base double and so on…) If they advance, draw from that dot to the next base (but don’t dot it.) Runners crossing the plate receive a circle around their at-bat, but make sure to put a RBI somewhere for the batter that drove in the run.

For strikeouts, you could use the K and Backwards K, but I don’t do that. I write “SoL” (strikeout looking) or “SoS” (strikeout swinging) along with the count. For walks I use both BB and Walk. Stealing bases is a little tricky, since you don’t have that much space to write “Stolen Base” or “Caught Stealing.” I write the initials and put a little circle around it in the box. Passed Balls and Wild Pitches are the same story. If the runner is erased by being caught, I put an X near that base to simulate that event.

I’ll be honest, I have never seen a balk before. I have seen Batter’s Interference and Catcher’s Interference before, but I write that at the top of that player’s at-bat because those are rare to see.

For other outs, I will write “Line #”, “Pop #”, “Fly #”, “GO (groundout) #-#”, and “Foul #.” The numbers represent the defensive numberings on the field (1-9.) Errors are about the same setup, minus the whole base-runner.

For pitching changes, batting changes, and end of innings, I draw lines. For the changes, they are wavy lines.

This is a way that works for me. It’s clear, it’s precise, and it helps me keep track of every at-bat. You might follow along closer to the books tell you to do, instead of writing hit and whatnot. The point is, you need to keep score in a way that helps you.

Until next time (hopefully it isn’t another two week wait),

-Lee

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1 Comment

  1. Jay Sorensen says:

    I try to use as few letters as possible to make space. 🙂
    Some of mine are Ks (for swinging), Kl (for looking), L#, P#, and F# for line, pop, and fly, and #-# are assumed to be groundouts. Keep up the good work on the blog, Lee. 🙂

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