Tagged: Collectibles

The Art of The Scorecard

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Braves_field_907

Reyes takes the hill tomorrow night to try
and improve his stock for a roster spot. And we’ll get to that. We’ll
talk about Reyes, his performance, and his campaign for Atlanta 2008
after we see how he fares against the Astros (who have had the Braves’
number this Spring).

In the meantime, I’d like to talk about
something we here at BravesBlog.net are proud to showcase as one of our
great baseball passions.

The Scorecard.

Ask most baseball fans and they’ll tell
you they haven’t even touched a scorecard. (Nor have they ever known
you can grab your last minute cards at the program stand for $1 w/ a
complimentary pencil).

So many fans have passed attendances at
exciting home openers in April, do-or-die playoff victories in October,
or even
“middle-of-August-seemingly-meaningless-Wednesday-night-playing-the-last-place-Nationals”
games… all without documenting a single play. What a travesty.

For me, JB, scorekeeping is a joy.

It’s a way to enjoy the game on a more
intimate yet transcendent level. Whether I’m seated just behind the
Braves dugout or up in the 405 bleachers with the skyscrapers, jotting
in each play and noting each detail of the game is an experience that
is on a level only other scorekeepers could understand.  But allow me
to try and convey.

My scorecards are my journals that
document games, lineups, players past and current, attendance numbers,
statistics, amazing plays, and all the myriad of captured experiences
that are somehow better for me than the bombardment of digital pictures
by which we now relive days at the ballpark. Somehow, I’m taken back in
time; perhaps because the art has come so close to extinction that many
see it as archaic. I’m taken to an era where I can enjoy the finer
aspects of the game and try to tune out all the loud and obnoxious
“jumbotron” prize winning games between innings.

My scorecards have been filled out in
Philadephia, Houston, Los Angeles, Boston, Rome (GA), and of course
time and again at Turner Field.

My scorecards have mustard stains, beer
stains, rain drop stains, creases, eraser marks, pencil scratches to
cover errors (on my part), doodles, commentary, folds, smudges, and my
various attempts to duplicate each visiting teams’ logos. 

My scorecards have recorded blowouts (both
by the Braves and upon the Braves), come from behind wins, home
openers, wins during tight pennant races, three game sweeps, extra
inning marathons, double headers (another lost art), pitching duels,
almost no-no’s, heartbreaking losses, and games that I used my card
more as a fan to cool myself in the hot Atlanta sun rather than a
document I will cherish.

My scorecards each have their own
characteristics and my fingerprints all over them. They are a tangible
objects with my handwriting (and sometimes my wife’s) and my drawings
and notes by which I can relive each game play by play.

There’s something entirely different for
me about looking at one of my old score cards as opposed to a photo I
snapped. Not that photos don’t mean something. But a scorecard is my
own imprint on the game. It’s something I create as I watch. While a
photo is something that everyone who visits that same game can
effortlessly snap in a second, my scorecards are my memories that I
actively played a part in designing. They are labors of love as I try
to get each detail correct and tenderly take them home with me, as mint
conditioned as possible, to place in my Braves’ shoebox.

As you can tell, scorekeeping is so much
more than filling in boxes so I’ll know whether Chipper’s 0-4 or 3-5 as
of the eighth inning. It’s about one of the many things that makes
baseball so beautiful to me.

So if you catch me at a game and my head
is down after a brilliant double play, it’s only because I’m scripting
“4-6-3 !!” on my scorecard.

Keep Choppin’

JB in ATL

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