"We should hand out a scorecard and a pencil to everyone in attendance," said a friend one day a couple of weeks ago at a minor league ballpark when the stadium scoreboard lost power before the game and didn't appear to be coming back on any time soon.
"Oh, I like that idea," I said. "But I wonder how many people would know how to keep score? Isn't that a dying art?"
As a boy, I learned to keep score by simply following the instructions that accompanied the scorecard. Some of the markings didn't make sense to me and I didn't see the point in tracking certain things, so I adopted my own hybrid methodology and I continue to tweak it to this day.
You can see from the scorecard in the picture above that I track result, count, and speed of pitch (for hits and strikeouts). I also circle the result whenever a player gets on base so I can quickly scan the scorecard to see how many base runners a team had during any given inning.
When I keep score, I'm far more engaged in the game.
I'm interested in hearing if you keep score when you attend games.
If you do, how did you get into the habit? Who taught you to do so originally? Do you have your own way of keeping score or do you do it strictly by the book? Do you track every pitch or do you just track each result? What's the benefit for you of keeping score?
If you don't keep score, why don't you? Would it be too tedious? Are you there for the atmosphere instead? Or is it just something you never learned to do?
And, from your experience, do you believe scorekeeping a dying art?