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
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.
Back to bookshop
Written by Andres Wirkmaa
Published May 2003 by McFarland
Printed on acid-free paper