Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball by Paul Dickson
In this unique book, Paul Dickson celebrates one of the most unusual traditions in all of sportsthe 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.
Paul Dickson is the author of The Hidden Language of Baseball, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Baseball's Greatest Quotations, and Baseball: The Presidents' Game, among many others. He lives and keeps score in Garrett Park, Maryland.
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