Speaking of nyerds, one of the nyerdest things to do is keep score at a baseball game (and if you are doing it at home, which I’ve tried on a few occasions, you are flat-out phreak). I never had the patience to do it when I was a kid. I also didn’t have anyone teach me either, and I think this is the sort of thing that is handed down from generation-to-generation. But about six or seven years ago, I started teaching myself how to do it. At first, I’d only last a few innings, but soon enough, I caught the bug. Actually, I think it appealed to my artistic nature, first and foremost. The idea of having a personalized record, complete with random notes, and little drawings, was appealing. Plus, it gave me a way to burn some nervous energy, doodling around, while I was at the game. I think I know the “correct” symbols to use now, but I still use half of my own notations, cause it’s just more fun that way.
Anyhow, I’ve come to appreciate people who keep score. Remember the story in the Times a few weeks ago about the woman who has been scoring Yankee games since the early 70s? Jay Jaffe has scorecards from when he was a kid, and I know Cliff is an expert scorekeeper. (Red Barber gives a lesson on how to keep score in his book “The Broadcasters” I believe.) A few days ago, Bob Ryan wrote a fun piece in the Boston Globe detailing his obsession with keeping score:
Why do I do this? If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand. Anyway, it’s a good way to meet people. People will see me with my book in a minor league park and say, “Are you a scout, or somethin’?” And I say, “No, I’m just a baseball fan who likes to keep score.”
It’d be great to run a series of people’s scorecards, don’t you think? If anyone has any good ones, make a j-peg of them and send it along to us. At least we could see what everyone’s penmanship is like.