Learning how to keep a baseball scorebook is a great way to really get into a game and ensure that you miss as little of the action out on the field as possible. Fans of baseball have been using baseball scorebooks from stadium bleachers since the late 1900s. Many modern fans of the game insist that keeping a baseball scorebook with pen and paper is the best way to notice the intricacies of a game, short of being out on the field yourself. Here is what you need in order to keep a baseball scorebook:
- Obtain and prepare your baseball scorecards. There are two ways to get your hands on scorecards for your scorebook. Most casual fans of the game seem to prefer to pick a program for the game at the stadium, and there are always a pair of scorecards in the program that will let fans record the game. However, you can also print out blank scorecards for free online and fill them out on your own before the game. Use one card for each team and list the batting lineup on the left hand column with jersey numbers and positions.
- Learn a general shorthand for scoring. Next, it is time to get a good handle on the basic shorthand that is used for scoring a game. Nearly all serious baseball fans eventually adopt their own method for keeping notes in their baseball scorebook, but it is recommended that you start off by using the basics if you are new to using scorecards. First off, learn the numbers associated with a player's position, such as one for the pitcher, two for the catcher, etc. Next, focus on learning batter shorthand, such as K for strikeout, BB for walked, 1B for single, 2B for double. Remember, you can always take a copy of shorthand scoring codes to games with you until you have everything memorized.
- Fill out your first baseball scorebook. Now that you have your tools and a general idea of how to keep a baseball scorebook, it is time to score your first game. Next to the batting lineup that you have listed on each team's scorecard, you will see a small diamond that you will use for each player who approaches the plate. With a copy of shorthand codes easily accessible, start by focusing on what is going on at home plate. If a player strikes out, simply place a K in the middle of the diamond. If a player receives an out while running bases from home plate, draw a 0 next to the diamond and write whether it is the first, second or third out in the diamond. Otherwise, indicate which base the batter ended up on on the diamond, or use an HR for a homerun, and move on to the next batter.
- Develop your own scoring shorthand. While the above is all that a fan really needs to know to record a game, most fans develop more elaborate forms of shorthand to keep track of the other details of the game. Nearly all baseball fans that keep a baseball scorebook eventually develop their own style of scoring. Once you learn how to keep a baseball scorebook, it is up to you to decide whether you want to include details about the pitches and other action of the game on your scorecard.
- Hold on to your scorecards. As you get used to keeping a baseball scorebook, you'll be amazed at how easily an old scorecard will take you back to a game that you attended months or even years ago. Most casual fans find it difficult to remember more than one or two plays from even the most dynamic and exciting games that they ever attended. A well-crafted scorebook will allow you to keep a record of all of the major plays of every game that you have scored.