I score minor league games for Baseball Info Solutions. BIS sends along a suggested way of keeping score, that I don’t use because (a) I’ve been scoring games for years using Retrosheet notation and (b) BIS’s system requires extra writing, especially when tracking pitches, which seems to me to be unnecessarily time-consuming. But I have no doubt that if I had never scored a game before, and started to work for BIS today, I’d use that system and be happy with it.
Like any curious-minded individual with too much free time, I decided to conduct an experiment. I sent a list of questions, a blank scorecard, and a link to an MLB Gameday/box score to 10 people, and asked them to score the seventh, eighth, and ninth inning of the game I’d scored for the stranger at Wrigley Field.
The participants were of varying backgrounds and skillsets, but none are professional scorekeepers. Their scoring experience ranged from six months to 25 years, though the average participant had eight years of scoring under his/her belt. Once I received all of the scorecards, I printed them and pinned them up around my office, all in a column, so I could review the results.
And then I laughed. A lot.
Of the 10 scorecards, there was only one that closely mirrored how I keep score, and I recognized the handwriting immediately: It was the scorecard of my best friend and frequent baseball seat-mate. The rest were incredibly different.