Magazine article Information Today

Score This. (Cyber Sports)

Magazine article Information Today

Score This. (Cyber Sports)

Article excerpt

Back in the good ol' days--and we're talking the really, really old days here--it seemed nearly everybody in the stands at a ballgame had a pencil and scorecard.

Of course, that was the time before ballparks had scoreboards bigger than the average dirigible, overwhelming you with every possible scrap of information on every player in the game. (One major league park--hint, it's named after something freshly squeezed--even features really obscure data on one of its display boards. Things like "Craig Biggio hit .239 last season with runners on second and third and one out in games played on Tuesdays.")

In the early era of baseball, you needed a scorecard--or a friend with one--to even know the score of the game. Now those really were the good ol' days, if you forget about the fact that you probably rode a horse-pulled streetcar or mule to the good ol' ball yard.

Like a lot of things in baseball (e.g., batters who can actually lay down a bunt), the art of keeping a scorecard seems to be fading away. But to the rescue rides a guy named Patrick McGovern and his trusty Web site, The Baseball Scorecard (http://www.baseballscorecard.com).

McGovern provides a well-written and readable set of instructions for keeping a scorecard, starting with basics like not forking over $4 or more for a program in the ballpark if you can avoid it. He's even gone to the trouble of posting a glossary of baseball terms (including the infamous infield fly rule," which is slightly less complicated than organic chemistry). And although he admits he doesn't like to figure out stats (at last, a baseball Webmaster who isn't a propeller-head), there's a page that tells you how to calculate them.

In case you're a rank beginner, the site offers some examples of score sheets that people have sent there, including a CubsCardinals game from 1984 in which Ryne Sandberg hit two home runs and Willie McGee hit for the cycle. There's also the scorecard from an 18-inning marathon between the Red Sox and Rangers in 2001 that demonstrates just how creative you have to be when games go very, very long.

If you're like me and are picky about just which scorecard to use, McGovern provides several that you can download, including one designed for kids. …

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