September 23, 2008 — Baseball
Send me your scorecards! Paper or digital, yours or someone else's, if it preserves baseball data in a unique way I'm interested. Below is the current collection.
Mark Davey, September 23, 2008
Minnesota Twins fan Mark Davey writes: "when we go to the games on Wednesday nights, they hand out 'Twingo' cards. Twingo cards are bingo cards with all of the spaces filled in with baseball plays."
When I heard about Twingo I fell immediately in love. Baseball bingo is a free-form method of scorekeeping that overlays a game on top of the baseball game (a "meta-game?"). And for those of us that can't get to Minneapolis on Wednesdays, Davey has created a full-featured baseball bingo card generator. You can even generate cards with Project Scoresheet notation! Below are some winning cards printed from Davey's web site.
David Riggs, May 19, 2005
Featured in Paul Dickson's book The Joy of Keeping Score (Harcourt Brace & Company, 1996), David Riggs uses a color-coding system inspired by Joe Garagiola's which increases readibility (and liveliness of appearance). Garagiola's system:
Riggs' scheme switches hit and walk colors and also adds orange:
- error, HBP, etc
Why the change? Garagiola considered a strikeout the ultimate "stop" by the pitcher and a hit the opposite: a "go" by the batter. Riggs' rationale is that a walk is closer to the opposite of a strikeout and more of a blemish on the pitcher's record. The addition of orange came after Dickson's book was written, as did the adoption (to my delight) of the Reisner Scorecard.
In the lineup and opposing pitchers areas, starting players' names, numbers, and in/out data are written in the team's dominant color (red for the Cardinals in the example here) and substitutes are in black.
Notice how quickly you can spot the strikeouts repeatedly breaking up chances for a big inning, as well as the scattered hits (and lack of walks).
Color Coding Detail
A home run, like all hits, is blue and a strikeout is red on this scorecard.
Seat Location Detail
Typed after returning home from the game, seat location is added to the usual game condition data.
Ken Brown, December 18, 2005
If we keep score at baseball games played on a field, why not at those played on a table top? Using a Reisner scorecard he modified to suit Replay Baseball, Ken Brown does just that. Space to record ratings of opposing batters and pitchers has been added as well as a steal chart for quick reference. He also tacked on an additional column of at-bat boxes and several columns of inning totals to accommodate those marathon games.
Player ratings can be recorded on this scorecard specialized for Replay Baseball.
Alex Reisner, April 8, 2004
You arrive at the ballpark with clever banner and oversized foam finger, but wait...you forgot to bring a scorecard! You can't buy one of those awful things from the vendor inside. It's time to improvise.
My goal was to see how much data I could readably record without the use of a pre-printed form. Benefits of the method:
- decide, at the last minute, what kind of data you want to focus on collecting, or change mid-game in response to what seems most relevant
- plenty of space for comments and annotation as well as the usual play-by-play codes
- substitutions are fast and easy to log
- very linear, readable approach (assuming one knows the Project Scoresheet codes)
- quickly see the relative lengths of each inning (and at-bat)
A few of the major downsides are:
- rewriting each batter's name
- not easy to add up or notate totals of any kind
- like Project Scoresheet, difficult to determine who's on what base during a given at-bat
- most games require more than two sides of paper
Clearly this method is not polished, but I think the benefits are worth examining for those interested in scorecard design. I, for one, was surprised by how quickly and readably one could notate offensive and defensive substitutions. If anyone tries this method or has any ideas for improving it I'd love to hear about it.
The notation is basically that of Project Scoresheet, plus:
- I use a subscript "L" or "R" to note the handedness of each batter
- Pitches (underlined only for data separation) use the current Retrosheet notation ("S" = swinging strike, "F" = foul, "T" = tipped, etc) with throws to bases ("1", "2", or "3") in superscript.
- A dot at the end of a batter's line means he scored, and open circles are for RBIs. Circled numbers are outs.
- Inning totals are indicated in the left margin ( R | H | E | LOB ) with game-so-far totals in parentheses. Obviously one could add pitch totals to these, but as I couldn't think of an especially readable way of doing so, I've omitted them.
A relief pitcher is notated within the strict chronological account of the game.
Piazza, batting 4th in the lineup, right-handed this appearance, sees the pitch sequence: ball, throw to 1B, ball, called strike, put in play. He winds up flying out to the left fielder for the 2nd out of the inning.
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