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

Overview

In this unique book, Paul Dickson celebrates one of the most unusual traditions in all of sports--the baseball scorecard. 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, offering unique ...

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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

In this unique book, Paul Dickson celebrates one of the most unusual traditions in all of sports--the baseball scorecard. 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, offering unique insights and memorable anecdotes. Among the book's many illustrations is a gallery of historic scorecards, including Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, Babe Ruth's famous "called" home run, and Cal Ripken's record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game.

In addition, Dickson provides basic and advanced scoring techniques for beginners and experts alike, 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. For those who keep or have kept score, this book will be an elixir. For those who haven't, it will be a revelation. For baseball fans everywhere, it is a treasure.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A celebration of one of baseball's most divine and unique pleasures, the art of painting a picture of an entire game using only a No. 2 pencil and a blank program lineup sheet."--USAToday Baseball Weekly

"If you are scoring at home, mark this book down as an extra-base hit. Dickson has done it again."--Sporting News

"The definitive book on the subject."--Jon Miller, ESPN announcer

"No other American sport has anything that genuinely approximates the scorecard."--Thomas Boswell

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: 9780802715708
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 3/27/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 466,274
  • Product dimensions: 7.45 (w) x 8.05 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents


Introduction     1
Why Score?     7
How to Tend a Scorecard-The Basics     18
The Grid     19
The Code     20
By the Numbers     21
Further Basics     23
Advanced Scoring Techniques     25
Amplifications     25
Marginalia     26
Using Color and Diagrams     27
Asterisks, Exclamation Points, and Other Symbols of Defensive Prowess!     28
Scoring and Baseball History from A to Z     30
Is for Abbreviations and Scoring Symbols     30
Is for Box Scores     34
Is for Collecting Scorecards-Objects and Information     37
Is for Details, Details, and More Details     44
Is for the Eisenhower-Coolidge Continuum     45
Is for Scorekeeping in French     48
Is for Gems and Errors     49
Is for Hindsight     51
Is for I Score, Therefore I Am-The Scorer's Creed     52
Is for Judgment Calls     53
Is for K as in Strikeout     54
Is for L.L. Bean's System, the E.Z. Radio Baseball Score Card, and Other Attempts at the Great American Scorecard     55
Is for the Metaphor of Scoring...with a Lengthy Digression onScorecards, Hot Dogs, and Peanuts     59
Is for Numbers, The     63
Is for the Official Scorer     64
Is for Proving the Official Box Score     68
Is for Questions for and Answers from the Official Scorer     78
Is for Rules of Thumb     71
Is for Scorecards and Scorebooks     73
Is for Team Error     74
Is for Uncovering the Truth of the Horse's Teeth     76
Is for Vexatious Moments in Official Scoring History     78
Is for Writing Instruments     84
Is for X's and Checks     84
Is for Year-by-Year Timeline of Scoring Rule Changes     85
Is for Zamboni on Field and Other Zany (but Relevant) Scoring Notations     90
Scorecards of Historic Games     93
Acknowledgments     103
Bibliography     105
Index     111
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