Holiday Fun: Scoring a Baseball Game on Paper

Recently my family went together to a KC Royals baseball game, only my second live game of the season. Usually at the park I’m on my phone between innings (along with nearly everyone else!) but I decided it would be a pen and paper only game. I wasn’t interested in journaling during the game and the Royals have once again not give us much to be grateful for this season, so instead I decided I would learn how to score the game.

This is new to me. When my boys played little league I helped coach and I love to watch baseball. I just never had anyone teach me how to score a game. (And I was always a bit embarrassed about this when I was asked to help out at their games. Run the scoreboard? Sure. Score the game? Sorry, I don’t know how to do that.)

We arrived just before first pitch and I got the lineup info entered. Then I realized I had no idea what to do next. I asked the folks around me if they knew how to keep score, but no one did.

Luckily the internet saved me. The Art of Manliness, one of my favorite blogs, had a great article on scoring a game with pencil and paper. By the bottom of the 2nd inning I was in the groove!

It turns out watching baseball while keeping score is much more exciting than just watching. There’s so much more context! The ballpark also has a lot of little helps, hidden in plain sight, to help people keeping score. Not sure if that double play in the 4th inning was a 6-4-3 or a 4-6-3? Wait for the batter to come back up and the right score will be on the big screen.

Subtracting my phone from the game made it so much better. Adding in the great tradition of scoring by hand made the game come alive. Analog for the win again!


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