Keeping Score – Playing Hardball

Take me out to the ball game.

Take me out to the ball game.

So now it’s time to learn me some baseball.

In the future, I think I’ll volunteer only for things I like to do (or can, actually, do.) Something like official team pizza eater. Or World of Tanks Game adviser. Or napping manager.

Even though being the hockey team treasurer took way more time than I thought it would, I wasn’t too stressed out about it, especially after The-prettiest-girl-in-the-world helped me through relearning Excel.

But this whole score keeping thing, man, that was turning out to be hardcore.

So, what do I do when faced with something hard?

First, I curl up into a ball and hide under my writing desk. I have worn a special place in the shag carpet there. It’s where I go when I receive a rejection letter.

But after that, it’s time to figure it all out.

Here’s my top 6 ways I will use to learn me some baseball.

  • Find baseball movies. Bad New Bears. Bull Durham. League of Their Own. Sadly, none of them deal with being a score keeper, though.
    There's no crying in baseball

    There’s no crying in baseball

    One might ask why? Maybe there’s a movie there. Maybe I’ll get Ryan Reynolds to play me. We kinda look alike. But the things I’ve learned so far…. there’s no crying in baseball. I learned sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. And I learned that this quitting thing is a hard habit to break.

  •  Look up score keeping on You Tube. Ok, I did that. I found a great site that explained a lot of it. I even found another one that had a clearer explanation of the terms and abbreviations and what exact is a ‘fielder’s choice.’ Never doubt the internet, folks. It’s just jammed packed with truths and explanations, and for some reason, lots of pictures of naked girls wearing only baseball caps (though that could have been a search problem).
  • Read the official scorekeeping book. Actually this didn’t help much. I think they keep it deliberately vague because only a moron who doesn’t completely understand baseball would ever volunteer to be a score keeper.
  • Ask for help. Ok, for me this is the hardest thing to do. But I emailed one of the parents who seemed to know a thing or two about the game. He agreed to help me out. He was even super nice about it.
  • Talk to other parents who’ve done this before. This, oddly, yielded some of my best information. I mean, sure, I got less pictures of naked women, but I did learn that I don’t have to sweat the more complex part of the game. Not at this level. There simply isn’t such a big concern with errors and RBIs and that mysterious passed ball thingee (which I still believe might be someone pooping a ball out.)
  • Go to a game. And bring a score sheet. I’ll see if I can figure it all out on the fly. Oh, how I wish I was in Victoria. I know a couple of people who could school me on this whole baseball thing.

So that was my plan.

I did my best studying everything that I could ahead of time, and then the game came. I was in a full body sweat, but everyone there was so nice, mostly because either they have done it before and remember the terror of that first game, or they haven’t done it before and hope I don’t bugger it up so badly that they have to do it next week.

horrible scorecardAll in all, with the help of my experienced baseball buddy, I did ok. I didn’t make any huge errors and recorded 99% of the game without any confusion.

But, ah, that 1%. Oh my goodness. When there’s actually a hit and then the fielders miss it, then mis-throw it, then mis-catch it, and the runners all get confused and run into each other and no one is sure where to go or where to throw and then, all of a sudden, it stops and one of the runners is walking off the field and another looks like he’s tagged the plate and I had to turn to ask,

“What the f*%# just happened?” I asked my guru. A zombie melee looked less chaotic.

“One run. 6-4 out at second. Runner one advanced to third. Hitter got a double. No errors.”

“Oh. No errors? Really? What abou…?”

“It’s ok. You got this.”

Thank God I had help. I would have either recorded that as 42 errors, one run and someone out somewhere, I’m still not sure where.

But I survived my first game.

Not that I won’t keep learning.

Wait is there an f…ing app?

Oh and for anyone interested in one of the great speeches of all time. Please be aware, there’s some NSFW language.


About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
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