Keeping Score

I ordered my scorebook today. I often get asked what type of scorebook I use, so let’s talk about it.

(Warning: this is some serious baseball-geek talk. It’s OK with me if you just skip ahead to the links.)

To keep score during the game for broadcast purposes, there are certain features that I require.

In the lineups section, I need the space to be large enough to fill in several additional names for when there are in-game changes. But I don’t need extra lines at the bottom; nine spots is fine.

The pitching chart needs to have space for a lot of pitchers. Sometimes a team will use six pitchers in a game – in fact, if Tony LaRussa (or his Triple-A doppelgänger Tony DeFrancesco) is managing, a team always uses six pitchers in a game.

The book needs to be able to handle multiple extra innings. Carrying an extra-inning game over to a second scoresheet is highly annoying – especially when you are trying to fill-in all the names during a 90-second commercial break. 

The boxes need to be blank. I hate those scorebooks with the diamond in the background. Yuck.

The boxes need to be large enough for me to add additional details – for example, when there are runners on base I put a small notation in the corner stating where the runners are located after the play, which makes it easier to recap the game later in the broadcast.

I need room for a defensive chart. This is a broadcaster tool – something I can instantly glance at and check the name of the defensive player.

Space for notes. I need an area where I can write down any unusual occurrences, such as ejections or rain delays. 

My scorebook needs enough pages for 170 games, to cover the regular season plus any playoffs, and a few extra pages for when I screw up and ink my lineups on the wrong side (happens at least twice a year). Being able to carry the whole season around in one book is huge – I can’t tell you how many times each broadcast I look back and consult a previous game.

Fortunately I don’t have this problem (knock on wood), but for certain PCL broadcasters it would really help if their scorebook was soda-proof. Spill a Pepsi on your scorebook in April? That stain will be there all season long.

I used to create my own scorebook each year, and have Kinko’s bind it for me, but then I realized that a major league announcer was marketing cheaper, better scorebooks specifically for broadcasters. So now I order my scorebook each season from Bob Carpenter’s website, www.BCScorebook.com.

Here is a look at my scoresheets from July 4 of last year, when 15,247 patriotic Salt Lake City residents gathered at Spring Mobile Ballpark to watch their local nine get hammered by your Tacoma Rainiers, along with an exemplary display of Michael Pineda Domination Time.

My scanner added all of those weird colors – the scorebook is actually white, as you would expect, and is sized at a standard 8.5 x 11.*

Lots of links from the holiday weekend:

That’s it for today – tomorrow (sorry, delayed) Friday I plan to do a post on the corner infielders in the Seattle/Tacoma picture. In the meantime, have you downloaded the new Radiohead album yet? Yes? Well then, here are seven ways to listen to it.

* one of the keys to using the Bob Carpenter Scorebook is to skip past the first page. Bob’s “baseball resume” is on the inside of the front cover, and the last thing you want to see when you are sitting down to broadcast your billionth minor league game is the resume of a guy who’s been in the majors for 20 years.

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3 Responses to Keeping Score

  1. [...] if the simplified scorebook is not your speed — if you’re a pro — here’s a fun blog post from Mike Curto, who announces Tacoma Rainers games, holding forth on his scorebook of choice.  It’s serious [...]

  2. MacDice says:

    What is the word on the pending sale of the Rainiers?

  3. marc healy says:

    the age old questions, when a batter walks do you jot down a ‘w’ or ‘bb’? on a line out do you jot down a L-5 or P-5 for a popout or f-5 for a flyout…how detailed do you get? everyone has there own style.

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