Thursday, June 26, 2008

If you’re scoring at home…

…or even if you’re by yourself. - Keith Olberman

Whenever I go to Fenway, I always make sure to score the game. I do this for many reasons. The first is to use at the game. It’s great to be able to look at the scorecard and see how many hits Manny has already, how many strikeouts Beckett’s accumulating, or how many flyballs Coco ran down. I find that it definitely keeps me more in the game when I’m in the stands. Judging by the number of people who ask me questions during games, it’s pretty useful for others too.

Another reason I like it is to look back at games I’ve been to. It’s nice to look and see that I saw David Ortiz when he was with the Twins, or Manny with the Indians. I can look-up the exact line-ups that I saw several years ago, so I can chuckle at some of the players that played for the Sox. (Sometimes I wonder which is sadder…that the Sox tried to make the playoffs with some of those line-ups, or that they actually did.) I can see just what happened during Derek Lowe’s no-hitter, or any of the other games I attended. It’s great record of every game I’ve ever been to, and the players involved in them. I look them over every now and then, just to remember what I’ve seen.

The problem I’ve had is finding a scorecard I liked. I’m not willing to plunk down $2 for the Boston Baseball magazine. Nor am I going to toss in whatever the official scorecard goes for these days. But, the scorebooks you find at sporting goods stores aren’t great either. They all have problems that make scoring more difficult. Lots of books only have places for two players per batting order position, a starter and a sub. How often does a player get taken out for a pinch runner, and then have a defensive player take over in the field? All the time? Clearly, at least three spots would be great. They usually also only have three or four spots for pitchers in a game. Have they been to a Yankee game in September? After the starter, lefty specialist, set-up, closer…I’m already at four. That’s for a smooth game, without a lot of pitching changes. The scorebooks at stores are also usually set-up for Little League games, so they have lots of batting order positions, and few innings. I only need nine batters, but would love a few extra innings. I need some space if the game goes past nine innings, or a team bats around. I was at a loss.

I decided to solve the problem by creating my own. It has all the features I need, and none of the features I don’t. (I’ve included a picture of the finished sheet.) So, if any of you have the same problems I do when keeping score, or if you’ve never done it but would like to try, you can have your very on copy of my official section-36 scorecard. Just send me an e-mail and I’ll get you a PDF version you can use and share with your friends. From there, you can print up a copy to bring to a game, or print up a bunch and get someone to bind them into your very own scorebook. From there, enjoy.

Hope you score.

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