Just Another Scorebook

It is one of those days that marks the passage of time that although is somewhat meaningless, is still depressing when I contemplate it for any amount of time. At each Arizona Diamondbacks home game, I bring my scorebook and keep track of each pitch that is thrown. Each page tells a story. Some stories have happy endings like the previous two nights where the Diamondbacks have won the game and there are others that are tragedies such as Monday night when the fan interfered with a home run ball that Luis Gonzalez could have caught. Besides documenting a box score, I keep track of other pieces of information that I find myself interested in. I have listed who the home plate umpire is for each game so that I can yell at them by name during the course of the game. I keep track of the time of each ball game so that I can answer Whitney’s constant question of how long will this game take. I keep track of who I bring to each game so that at the end of the season I can answer the argument by the children of who went to the most games this year. Of course I also keep track of whether the roof is open or closed so that I know what our record is for each type of environment. This piece of information has allowed me to observe that the ball carries approximately eight feet farther with the roof open and twelve feet farther if the roof and the panel doors are open. Another tidbit of information in the scorebook is the jersey we wear for each home game. It is interesting that each pitcher has a specific jersey that they feel more comfortable with. For example, Armando Reynoso will only wear the white pinstripe jersey. Brian Anderson always selects the purple. Todd Stottlemyre is also partial to the purple jersey for each home game. Randy Johnson likes the black jersey best but after last season when he received no run support for five or six games, he has changed to the white pinstripe. Curt Schilling seems to prefer the sleeveless jersey although I have only one game to base this observation. The final piece of data that is kept in the scorebook is by far the most important since it is the one question I am asked every game. “Who won the hot dog races?” Before each race, I am asked that and have to give the results from the previous 3 races so the kids can predict who will win next.

Each year, before the season starts, I go to Sports Authority and purchase enough scorebooks to last an entire season. Based on the previous two years, I will need three scorebooks to complete the regular season with a few pages left for those unforeseen extra inning affairs. As the season progresses, I will complete a book and begin another. Usually, breaking in a new scorebook is exciting since it usually occurs during a new homestand. It is a new beginning where previous mistakes are forgotten and we are given a chance to start new. But when I begin the final book of the year, it is somewhat depressing. For the first time, I have to come to the realization that the season is winding down. I have only two months before baseball season is over and I am left with a lonely off season to reminisce about all of the games I have seen. So if you see a depressed little scorekeeper at the game tonight that is trying to keep his tears from smearing the score pages, it might be me. Then again, it might be a Mets fan who is getting abuse from the fans in the stands.

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