July 11, 2008

THERE ARE THOSE MIDDLE YEARS WHEN YOU HAVE A BEER IN EACH FIST...:

Keeping score is a long-lost tradition for baseball: Tracking a game can be as easy as accessing a cellphone. But for some fans, using a pen and paper is still the best way. (Chris Hine, 7/11/08, Los Angeles Times)

Dave Eisenberg had just witnessed baseball history -- his Dodgers became the fifth team ever to win a game without getting a hit. There was only one problem for Eisenberg, aside from the Dodgers' hitting woes.

"I didn't keep score," said Eisenberg, a six-year season-ticket holder. "But I really wish I had. The game was unbelievable."

After the improbable 1-0 Dodgers' win over the Angels on June 28, Eisenberg changed his ways, and began keeping score.

When history was nearly made again on Monday -- as Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda took a perfect game into the eighth inning -- Eisenberg was ready. Not with a pencil and game program, but with a $50 software application on his hand-held computer.

"I was keeping score Monday. It was one of the most exciting games I've been to in a long time," he said. "I kept score for the chance to record history. We were disappointed that it didn't happen, but we were thrilled for Kuroda."

Eisenberg has embraced a time-honored task that requires a fan to pay reasonably close attention to an entire game -- in an era when the stadium-going experience is full of reasons not to. There are long lines at the bathroom or the beer stand, distractions on the scoreboard and in the stands, and, at least among Dodgers fans, a long-standing tradition of leaving early.

And the attentiveness requirement isn't the only impediment. There's always the danger of ridicule.

"People laugh at me, and they look at me really strange and they say, 'Why do you keep score? What are you going to do with that?' " said South Pasadena resident Kelly Wallace, who keeps score at approximately 30 Dodgers games a season.


...but before you're 18 and after you're about 25, what's the point if you aren't keeping score? The sports where you can't are, by definition, crappy.
Zemanta Pixie

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 11, 2008 8:18 AM

I've got a good friend who lives in Jackson, Mississippi, and back in the day I personally saw him hand-scoring whole minor league games (the Jackson Generals, I think, then) while at the park.

Posted by: Twn at July 11, 2008 9:37 AM

I score any baseball game I watch. I honestly don't enjoy the game as much if I'm not keeping score. I don't care if it's little league or the World Series. I got the bug in high school when I was our team's manager.

Posted by: Bryan at July 11, 2008 9:44 AM

My wife and I keep score of all games too. Minor League, Major League, it doesn't matter. It's hard to find just a scorecard at major league games anymore though. We have a spiral notebook with scorecards printed on the pages (like you use in Little League). I'm not paying $7.00 for a program just for two pages.

Posted by: Bartman at July 11, 2008 9:49 AM

I use the Scoremaster brand notebooks. My dream job has always been to be one of the official Major League scorekeepers.

Posted by: Bryan at July 11, 2008 12:07 PM
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