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The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball
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The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  185 ratings  ·  40 reviews
In this unique book, Paul Dickson celebrates one of the most unusual traditions in all of sports--the baseball scorecard. Within the history of the scorecard are some of baseball's greatest moments. From the first scorecard introduced in 1845, to the scoring system devised by direct-marketing genius L. L. Bean; from presidential scoring habits to batting titles decided by ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by Walker Books (first published 1996)
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Garry Wilmore
This book was just plain fun! I almost let it slip by me, however. Years ago I read another book with the same title, and I didn't realize this one was different until I downloaded a sample to my Kindle. Then I downloaded the entire book. It was an easy read that I finished in two days and would have completed sooner if I had not been reading two other books at the same time.

This delightful little volume is chock-full of stories and trivia, and I was especially amused to learn (1) that Grace Co
Keeping score at a ballgame is a rare pleasure for a nerdy baseball fan. I'll admit a certain satisfaction in being able to turn to a friend and remark that a right fielder just made his seventh putout of the night and has gone three-for-three so far. Jotting down abstract symbols on a scorecard is a great way to follow a game, lending a level of understanding to a sport that spends much time, as Ken Burns puts it, "pondering inaction".

Dickson's slim volume is a mixture of history, humor, and pr
Had this one forever, dug it out for baseball season. It's very much a product of its time, with an emphasis on wins and ERA for pitchers and batting average for batters. More specifically, it's so bitter about the strike, player salaries, and the player's union, that at times the prose, generally profuse in praise, is soured to far.

Most of the book's text is just so-so, but the stories (like how a team cheated to give a player an 8 for 8 day or LL Bean--yes, THAT LL Bean--trying to create a new
Quick read yet thorough look at the history of recording baseball games and statistics. The love the author has for the game comes through in his writing, as well as his admiration for not just the players but also those who have watched the sport avidly all their lives. The history of fans' use of the scorecard is examined throughout the book, but the very beginnings of this art are focused on in the first chapter.

The basic "rules" for scorecard notation are given in the second chapter and are
This book was a gift from my daughter's Little League coach. He taught me the basics of scoring the games in a way that gives information which is useful to him. But like all scorers, as Dickson points out, I found a scoresheet I like and adapted from the many different scoring variations available on the internet which I think also works best for me.

Following the hits, misses, and idiocyncracies of the meandering line to such commonly accepted notations as the "6-4-3 DP", the book also includes
Apr 01, 2014 Dan added it
What a great book to read at the start of baseball season! It was an entertaining, quirky look at one of the more unique aspects of baseball. As someone who did not grow up with a passion for the sport, it helped me understand why so many have developed that passion.
Jim Blessing
This looked like it might be an interesting read for a baseball fan like me. Unfortunately, there just not enough to talk about in this area and the most interesting info to me was a listing of all changes in baseball scoring rules since the 1860's.
Kelly Sage
A good history book, but I was hoping for something a bit more "technical" for those of us that already ARE scorekeepers. Seeing different styles, abbreviations, scoresheets, etc. would have made it more interesting.
I knew my method was official all along. Four stars if you only have a casual interest in baseball.
Keith Gerlach
A baseball lover and scorekeeper's delight!
John Shirreffs
This really gave me good insight into scoring. If you really want to learn baseball, learn to score. If you want to learn scoring, start with this book. You will only learn to score by practicing. Practice watching live games and televised games. Then try your hand at scoring from the radio. This book will give you the tools and the history.
I am a baseball scorer. I love the art of it. That there was a book written about this old-time lost art just thrilled me. I loved reading about my hobby.

Dickson has done a good job explaining the art and particularly the history scoring baseball games.

This is a must-read for anyone interested in the pursuit of scorekeeping.
Pretty insightful to the history of score keeping but lacks the direction on HOW to keep score that I was seeking. The book stated many times that there were multiple ways to keep score and even reproduced a few historical games... but the pictures were hard to read the plays and there was no translation to what was written or why.
I picked up scoring games a number of years ago, and find it very entertaining. While this book was great for refining technique, it was infinitely more fascinating for learning the history of scoring and some really great anectdotes. Doesn't sound like it would be a good read, but it's short and exceedingly fun.
Very quick fun book! My friend Kevin recommended it to me when he found out I liked keeping score at ballgames. This book reminded me of a few things I'd forgotten, gave me a little history, and was fairly entertaining. My favorite new code to use while scoring a game is "ww" -- "wasn't watching"!
carl  theaker

An enjoyable little book. I originally purchased it for my wife who keeps score at all the Round Rock Express
baseball games we attend as well as some of our softball games we play. Small enough to take to the game and browse through between innings, or pitcher changes.

I loved reading about the history of keeping score in baseball, and especially enjoyed the timeline of rule changes during the 1880s. But the thing that hooked me was the method that official scorers use for "proving" the scorecard. Now I want to score every game I watch.
The Bible of baseball scorekeeping. "The Joy of Keeping Score" provides a complete history of scorecards, from the beginning of the game up to present day. It also has pictures of classic scorecards and explanations of various scorekeeping techniques.
Paul Bond
Informative, entertaining, nostalgic, at times even poignant. In same vein as the essays of John Thorn or Bart Giamatti. As much about how baseball connects us as it is about the history and mechanics of scoring. A majorly enjoyable work in a minor key.
Gina Long
I am a baseball scorekeeping geek, so I enjoyed the book. It was brief and highlighted different scorekeeping systems and their origins.I don't recommend the ebook format because the illustrations don't render well and are very hard to read.
Holly Cline
Fun & quick. Some neat facts about the history of scoring and why people do it. Don't expect this to teach you HOW to score, but if you already know how, it's cute. I suddenly want to start scoring games from my couch as I watch on tv.
One of my nerdy pleasures is keeping score at baseball games. This book does a great job of the history of keeping score, why people do it, different ways of doing it, all the while keeping it non-technical and entertaining.
Loved learning how to keep score. I learned so much more about the game and the Yankees. But I kept burning dinner, trying to keep my score sheets accurate. Great summer replacement for knitting while watching tv.
This helped me enormously in evolving my own scorecard-keeping technique. I later designed my own, based on what I learned from this book. A must for baseball nerds intent on reviving this dying language!
Everything I want or need in a book about scorekeeping: a well written historical overview with examples of a variety of scorekeeping styles, and interesting and helpful illustrations and photos.
It's nice to read a book in which the author really likes what he's writing about! At first I thought it was going to be just okay, but Dickson had me pleasantly suprised!
I found this book to be mildly interesting. To be fair, the author covers his subject well. If you think you would like this book based on the title alone, you will.
Ted Ryan
Quite enjoyable. A little forced at times, felt like the author added text where it wasn't necessary but overall it was worth the read.
The best part of this was the photograph of a scorecard for a game played by WW2 servicemen on a remote Pacific Island.
If you are a baseball geek and have a love of score keeping, this is a must read. I really enjoyed it.
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Paul Dickson is the author of more than 45 nonfiction books and hundreds of magazine articles. Although he has written on a variety of subjects from ice cream to kite flying to electronic warfare, he now concentrates on writing about the American language, baseball and 20th century history.

Dickson, born in Yonkers, NY, graduated from Wesleyan University in 1961 and was honored as a Distinguished A
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