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The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball

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To Dickson and to fans everywhere, baseball without a scorecard or box score is unthinkable. And within the history of the scorecard are some of baseball's greatest moments. From the first scorecard introduced in 1845, to the scoring system devised by direct-marketing genius L. L. Bean; from presidential scoring habits to batting titles decided by official scorers to Phil Rizzuto's inspired scoring symbol "WW" (Wasn't Watching), Dickson delights in his subject. Henry Chadwick (the inventor of the scorecard), Ty ...
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The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball

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Overview

To Dickson and to fans everywhere, baseball without a scorecard or box score is unthinkable. And within the history of the scorecard are some of baseball's greatest moments. From the first scorecard introduced in 1845, to the scoring system devised by direct-marketing genius L. L. Bean; from presidential scoring habits to batting titles decided by official scorers to Phil Rizzuto's inspired scoring symbol "WW" (Wasn't Watching), Dickson delights in his subject. Henry Chadwick (the inventor of the scorecard), Ty Cobb, Mel Allen and Red Barber, FDR and Ike, concessionaire Harry M. Stevens, California Angels' official scorer, Ed Munson, and many others all play their parts in this history. Among this book's many illustrations is a gallery of historic scorecards, some of them from baseball's most memorable contests, including Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, Babe Ruth's "called" home run, and Cal Ripken's record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game. In addition, Dickson provides basic and advanced scoring techniques for fans who record the games they see, a year-by-year timeline of rule changes, a guide to baseball's quirkiest statutes, stories of famous scoring blunders, and many more unexpected rewards.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Scorekeeping in baseball was inaugurated nationally in 1863 by Henry Chadwick, who also invented the box score. Dickson (Baseball's Greatest Quotations) here teaches the rudiments of scoring, including how the players are numbered, some of the obvious symbols (e.g., SB is a Stolen Base) and some of the less obvious (K is the universal mark for the Strikeout). He explains the nuances of scoring a ball game and how to read a box score, and profiles some of the celebrities who liked to score games (Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, among others). We also see how it's done north of the border, from a Montreal Expos scorecard (a home run is un circuit); how the hot dog was invented; and how FDR introduced baseball lingo into politics. Dickson has written a testimonial to the joys of scoring that true ball fans will embrace. Photos. (June)
Wes Lukowsky
A singular rite of passage for young baseball fans is learning to keep score. When many attend their first games, they're too young or too distracted by the myriad sights and sound at the ballpark, but eventually they see the real fans around them scribbling away in those chipboard programs, and they want to join in. Keeping score is not only how baseball accumulates its mountain of statistics, it's also a way for fans to participate in the game while creating a personalized souvenir. Dickson, the author of "The Dickson Baseball Dictionary" 1989, provides anecdotes about scoring, instructions on how it's done, and a brief history of the arcane art. Along with instruction and entertainment, he makes the valid point that baseball's elaborate scoring system has enhanced the history of the game by providing a generally standardized way to gather statistics. Standardized, yes, but personal, too. Take Yankee broadcaster Phil Rizzuto, who introduced the unique notation "WW," which means "wasn't watching." Baseball fans young and old are certain to enjoy this book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802713070
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 7.75 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Dickson

Paul Dickson is the author of more than forty books, including The Joy of Keeping Score, The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Baseball's Greatest Quotations, and Baseball: The Presidents' Game. In addition to baseball, his specialties include Americana and language. He lives in Garrett Park, Maryland.

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