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Baseball Scorekeeping (2003)

Andres Wirkmaa

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Do you care what your favorite player’s batting average is? Are his on-base percentage and his slugging percentage important to you? Then you owe a real debt of gratitude to baseball’s official scorers. All the statistics that are generated around the game of baseball depend upon the oft-maligned and seldom properly-appreciated scorers of the game.

And baseball scorers, as well as fans, owe a debt of gratitude to Andres Wirkmaa for writing this interesting and informative book.

Baseball Scorekeeping is a thorough and meticulous discussion of Rules 10.01 through 10.24 of baseball’s official rulebook, pertaining to “The Official Scorer.” It is an essential reference for any professional scorekeeper, and for anyone who keeps score seriously.

Until we read this book, we had no idea of the complex rules that go into keeping score, nor of the amount that a scorer must know to do his or her job properly. The scorekeeper must pay strict attention at all times to what is happening on the field, and must often use his or her judgment and discretion to apply the rules so that the resulting statistics will be meaningful and comparable.

Filled with examples and illustrations of complicated baseball situations, the book takes on the task of explaining not only what is required of the scorekeeper, but why. Despite the rigid format imposed by the rulebook, Wirkmaa manages some humor in unexpected places. We particularly enjoyed his explicatory subtitles (he refers, for example, to the “…Seemingly Pointless, Unnecessary and Incongruous Exception to Rule 10.05(e)”).

Wirkmaa clears up many misconceptions. A common one is that a fielder must touch the ball to be charged with an error. Not true! The difference between a misplay and an error, the difference between a plate appearance and an at bat, understandable explanations of a fielder’s choice, and how to calculate earned runs, all are here. In this surprisingly fascinating book, you will also find out how a runner can be caught stealing and still be safe on base, how a pitcher can be credited with a strikeout while the batter reaches first base safely, and how a batter may have his plate appearance charged to one pitcher but the run he eventually scores charged to a second pitcher!

If you think you understand all of baseball’s rules, buy this book and test yourself. Baseball Scorekeeping is a wonderful book to “dip into” occasionally just for fun. And when questions about scoring come up, you will find the answers here.

The book is printed on acid-free paper for a long shelf life.

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Baseball Scorekeeping

Written by Andres Wirkmaa

Published May 2003 by McFarland & Company

ISBN: 0786414480

Printed on acid-free paper

 

 

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