One of my duties during Spring Training is to serve as Official Scorer during Reds home games at Goodyear Ballpark. In fact, each of the 30 clubs provides one of its media relations staffers to work as Official Scorer when their team is the “home” team; true in both the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues.
The Official Scorer has to (obviously) keep score, determine what’s a hit and what’s an error, total up pitching lines, time the game, determine the pitchers of record, etc, etc.
I have yet to talk to any of my media relations colleagues that relish the thankless task of officially scoring a Spring Training game. It’s a duty especially painful when dealing with a cantankerous frosty-headed broadcaster who has no qualms about giving an on-air tongue-lashing to a scorer and his decisions.
I’ve been around the game long enough that I think I can recognize an error from a hit and vice versa. They’re all judgment calls based on opinion. “That guy should’ve made that play” or “that ball was scorched.” It doesn’t matter, someone will always disagree with how you saw it. I’ve been “officially scoring” Reds Spring Training tilts for a few years now and it’s definitely made me appreciate the folks who score big league games during the regular season….although, I will allow that regular season scorers don’t have to deal with 100 different substitutions during their games – blech!
Whether we’re officially scoring a Cactus League game at home or working a regular season game on the road (at a ballpark with a real-life professional Official Scorer), a Reds media relations staffer is always on hand documenting the game in the department’s scorebook. Every game the Reds play in 2012 will be recorded in that binded bundle of glory.
Here’s what our scorebook looks like…
One of the many beautiful things about keeping score in a book or on a card is that people can and will do it differently. I developed my scoring style directly from my boss, Rob Butcher. He keeps a meticulous scorecard and has passed his method down to me and my fellow Assistant Director of Media Relations Larry Herms.
A few folks on Twitter have asked to see what my scoring style looks like…so I took a photo of the scorebook page from Thursday’s game against the Brewers. See for yourself…
Probably not the most exciting stuff in the world, but I thought maybe some of you would find it interesting. I actually do take pride in keeping a clean and precise scorecard…sometimes, however, I’m an error and not a hit.
Thanks for allowing me to share this with you!