halfliner

It’s happening! I’ve just kicked off a kickstarter campaign to try and fund the larger scorebook design that’s been in the works for 2 years now. It’s a half season, double-O wire bound scorebook that has a larger scorekeeping grid and has more goodies like additional substitution slots, pitching lines and stat columns.

– It scores 12 innings
– There are 2 substitution lines per lineup slot
– There are 7 pitching lines
– Due to popular request, the boxscore is also now in this design!
– And it has the things that made the first scorebook unique, like places to note where you sat and who were the MVPs of the game.

The HalfLiner scorebook has a chipboard back, giving it a nice, solid writing surface.

I’ve made a promotional…

scorebooklarge2_3

Ok guys, I’m hoping to start a kickstarter to fund the creation of a new, larger scorebook! *confetti* I got a dummy made to I could check on size, shipping costs, etc, and the pictures are below. It’s going to be a half season scorebook-81 games, wire O bound and about iPad size in terms of width and height. 12 innings, more data columns… the idea is that this is for hard-core scorekeepers who need a little more than the pocket scorebook can provide.

Instead of trying to rush things for opening day, I think it’s better to shoot for a mid-season release, or to even wait till winter. There are some mistakes I made with the first scorebook’s kickstarter that I don’t wish to repeat, and trying to rush orders out and get shirts and caps produced without…

(This late post is brought to you by my inability to locate things like my scorebook, the basic reason for writing this.)

Thanks to my good friends Kelly and Gemma, I was able to make my first pilgrimage to Dodger Stadium last weekend to see Clayton Kershaw take on Kyle McClellan. It also gave me an excuse to wear my ‘42 Pelicans jersey and test out my Eephus League scorebook while sitting in seats close enough to touch Tommy Lasorda:

Frozen in baseball awe, I was unable to move from my seat and extend my hand. When finished with his duties as Pope of Baseball, Lasorda then stood at the top of the Dodgers dugout, took James Loney’s glove, and, I assume, proceeded to tell him how he should play the field. Lasorda’s still got…

Despite scoring 95% of all baseball games I’ve attended since I was seven years old, I still manage to make a scoring error in every game I go to. I’ve done it all: screwing up double switches, incorrectly labeling confusing 2-5-2-4-3 plays, or outright missing a play while ordering a hot dog, I don’t think I’ve ever been fully satisfied with a scorecard at the end of the game.

But if I had to score this play from Sunday’s Brewers-Nationals game, I’d probably give up the endeavor all together. From the Washington Post:

“Ben Trittipoe has been official scoring in some capacity for the past 30 years, but he saw a new one for him in Sunday’s first game of the doubleheader between Washington and Milwaukee. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 8-4 home win, the

scorebookset2

This scorebook is designed for baseball fans of all shapes and sizes, regardless of whether or not they have kept score before. Scorekeeping is a vital part of the gameday experience and it is time to bring it back to the masses. The Eephus League scorebook is small, easy to carry and allows you to document your entire gameday experience, including where you sat, what you ate and who sang the national anthem. The scoresheets are clean and simple, allowing you to keep score the way you want. Each book is 5″ x 7.3″.

Included in the set are:

The scorebook, which contains 20 scoresheets and has space for scoring 11 innings, pitching statistics and game totals.

A scorekeeping reference card which has common abbreviations used when keeping score and a diagram in case you forget…

Scoresheet-Master-1

I get sent customized scoresheets from time to time, and I’d like to start posting them more often and build up a scorekeeping section of the site to highlight different notation methods, scorecard layouts, and symbols and abbreviations that scorekeepers developed.

Tike emailed me the scoresheet he designed for himself in excel and I love the little bits of detail he chooses to document. He notes the time of the 7th inning stretch, when he arrived and left, and when the game became official. He also has a space for his ticket stub! Be sure to view it full sized so you can appreciate all the little details.

I’ve been getting a whole lot of requests for a way to document every pitch. If I could design separate sheets as a supplement to the book that would allow you to jot all this down and fit into the book afterwards, would anyone be interested?

Also, I cannot thank you all enough for the amazing response to the kickstarter project! It’s going to be important to keep spreading the word so traffic doesn’t die out after one day. I really feel like this is going to happen, and if it really keeps taking off, I’m definitely getting the larger scorebooks made right away.

20090826_SCORECARD_02BACK

Here’s one of my favorite scorecards, from my visit to Peoria, IL to see the mighty Peoria Chiefs (Class A minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) in 2009 during the Brother-in-Law (BIL) baseball tour.

It certainly ranks low in terms of ‘fancy’ but what I really like best about this one is the ‘instruction’ page…some scorecards have these, some don’t. This is one of the best ‘how to keep score’ instructions I’ve ever seen on a scorecard. Basic, to the point, and contains a great deal of info without going overboard.

Also, who can resist the direction to “sit back and watch the game”?

Front

Back

You can read about this particular game by checking out this entry at The Baseball Enthusiast.

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Another easy one. What famous walk off home run is this?

Hey guys. I just spoke to my printer about the scorebooks again, and well, the problem is I’m going to have to order a lot of these things to cover production costs and have them be affordable. Like thousands. So, I need your help.

1. I need to get the word out about these. Tell your buddies, tell the baseball communities you frequent, everything. If you know a site that sells or advertises baseball gear, send me a link so I can beg them to carry it.

2. I can’t change the orange color on the inside of the book depending on your team, or the stitching down the spine, as that’s just going to multiply the cost exponentially. But I can change the reference card and band on the outside to match team colors. I can’t however brand them…

1594832scorebook

Patent# 1,594,832

Patenting a scorekeeping method isn’t something I thought was possible… until I stumbled across this patent. This patent was granted on August 3rd, 1926 and was filed by John F. Hassler and Rex Way Rogers(!) of Detroit. The goal was threefold:

1. Simplify the way score is kept.
2. Allow a scorer to score both teams without flipping the page.
3. To speed up end game tallying at the end of a game.

The scorekeeping grid is centered around a crosshair-ish system which represents the four bases. Lines are drawn connecting the hatches when a player advances. I would tell you more about the scoresheet but this patent has one of the most convoluted descriptions I have ever seen. For instance:

“A base ball score card comprising a
sheet having main vertical columns,

mystery1

I thought it would be a fun exercise to recreate some of the most memorable moments in sports in scorecard form (please correct any errors in my scorekeeping form). If you’ve got some moments you would like to see relived through the scorekeeping grid, shoot me an email and I’ll do them up, or even better, sketch them out and submit them yourself!

So, this one is pretty obvious… What famous World Series moment is this?

23ways

There are (arguably) 23 ways to get to first either as a runner or a batter, but how do you score them? I’m trying to figure that out myself. The chart above most likely contains several errors, so I was wondering if any of our more knowledgeable scorekeeping aficionados would mind shedding some light on how to denote some of the stranger occurrences on the list. Here is a list of the 23 ways to first (courtesy of Eric Enders, who works for the MLB Hall of Fame) as I understand them. Please note that this is a rather controversial list and I am merely using it as an exercise.

1. Walk
This is simple enough. You are awarded first base if during an at bat you accumulate four balls.

2. Intentional Walk
If the opposing team deliberately walks…

scorebooklarge

I’ve been working on an alternate scorebook design that’s a bit larger and a little more down to business. There are more slots for tracking stats and an additional inning per games, and the grid is a bit larger, so you have more room for notation. I’ll also be able to put a lot more cards in a book with this size, probably at least 40 games. These will be 7×10, which is bigger than the pocket size but it’s still purse sized for the ladies and less cumbersome than a 8.5 x 11 spiral bound beast.

Dunning 6

One of my favorite aspects of researching scorebook designs is coming across makeshift scoresheets. Some poor fan finds himself at a game and has no official means to document it with, so he grabs a nearby scrap of paper or notepad and makes it work. My friend Nick Sherman (a fellow historical typography nerd) showed me this blog from Columbia University Libraries that has images of William Archibald Dunning’s makeshift scorebook. In 1870, when he was a young man, Dunning converted a bankbook into a scorecard for tracking baseball games.

The book is not only a fascinating look at the ingenuity of a 13 year-old boy, it also depicts a wildly different game than we see today. There is one column per inning, each dot represents a run scored, and the numbers are for the outs (1…

Picture 18

If a player is able to reach first after striking out due to the catcher misplaying the ball, it’s scored a KD3 (shorthand for Strike 3 Drop). If that same player were to see his luck even out, and get caught in a rundown later in the inning, you score the putout in the order of the players who receive the ball. In this case, the catcher threw to the second baseman (the runner obviously got a terrible jump and realized pushing his luck was a mistake), who threw to the first baseman, before it went back to the second baseman who applied the tag for the out.

pencils 2

Fans of baseball have always had a hunger for a codified method of evaluating a player’s performance on the field, making scorekeeping a necessity. Scorekeeping is the backbone from which all baseball stats, from simple counting stats to complex sabremetrics, are born. Many methods to keeping score have evolved over the life of the sport, but there are some universal elements that a new scorekeeper can keep in mind.

The foundation to keeping score on a scorecard is being familiar with the shorthand used by scorekeepers. Players are designed by a numbering system, not abbreviations like “SS” for shortstop or “1B” for first basemen. This is to prevent confusion with other common abbreviations, like calling a single a “1B”. Figure 1 shows an illustration of the numbering system to help you remember which positions have which number designation. Many…


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