Every club should have its regularly appointed scorer and he should be one who fully understands every point of the game, and a person, too, of sufficient power of observation to note down correctly the details of every innings of the game.
It will be observed that each player is numbered on the score, from one to nine, and his position, in this respect, and also in reference to that he holds in the field, remains unchanged on the book throughout the game, no matter how many times his position is changed as a fielder. Therefore, instead of writing the name of the player we wish to designate, we simply use the figure that precedes his name. In order, also, to record the movements of each player during the game, a series of abbreviations are adopted, those we use in scoring being as follows:
|A for first base.||D for catch on the bound.|
|B for second base.||L for foul balls.|
|C for third base.||T for tips.|
|H for home base.||K for struck out.|
|F for catch on the fly.||R for run out between bases.|
|H R, or h r for home runs.|
|L F for foul ball on the fly.|
|L D for foul ball on the bound.|
|T F for tip on the fly.|
|T D for tip on the bound.|
The above, at first sight, would appear to be a complicated alphabet to remember, but when the key is applied it will be at once seen that a boy could easily impress it on his memory in a few minutes. The explanation is simply this--we use the first letter in the words Home, Fly, and Tip, and the last in Bound, Foul, and Struck, and the first three letters of the alphabet for the first three bases.
To illustrate it, we will suppose Messrs. Leggett, Price, and Pidgeon, respectively of the Excelsior, Atlantic and Eckford clubs, to be the first three strikers of the opposing nine to that recorded in the "diagram of a score book:" and that they were to be put out in succession as follows; Leggett at first base, Price by the left fielder on the fly, and Pidgeon by a tip on the bound. The ordinary way of recording the play would be this: "Leggett 1, first base; Price 2, left field fly; Pidgeon 3, foul bound catcher." Now if each player retained his position in the field throughout the game, this mode of record would do, clumsy as it is; but when scarcely a game is played wherein changes are not made, it of course becomes entirely unreliable, as it does not designate the fielder who put the striker out, but simply records the position on the field. Now, by using the figure that precedes the name of each striker, to designate him, in connection with the above abbreviations you can accurately and rapidly record the play, thus: Leggett 1, 3 A; Price 2, 7 F; Pidgeon 3, 1 L D; these figures occupying very little space, and requiring but a moment of time to record them.
It will be noticed that we make a distinction between a "tip" and a "foul ball." A "tip" is, strictly speaking, a foul ball, but what is generally understood by a "foul ball," is, any ball that is hit outside the lines of the bases, (see section 8 of the rules) a "tip" being confined to those balls that are barely touched by the bat, and fall behind the stiker and not far from the position of the catcher. No fielder but the catcher can possibly put out the striker by a tip, whereas the pitcher, short-stop, and first and third basemen frequently catch foul balls.
To fully illustrate the above method of scoring, we will describe three innings of an imaginary game between the following nine and the nine recorded in the diagram:
|FIELDING NINE.||BATTING NINE.|
|1 Leggett, catcher.||1 Masten, catcher.|
|2 M. O'Brien, pitcher.||2 Creighton, pitcher.|
|3 McKinstry, short stop.||3 Pearce, short stop.|
|4 Price, first base.||4 Pearsall, first base.|
|5 Brown, second base.||5 Oliver, second base.|
|6 Beach, third base.||6 Smith, third base.|
|7 P. O'Brien, left field.||7 Russell, left field.|
|8 J. Oliver, center field.||8 Manolt, center field.|
|9 Whiting, right field.||9 Grum, right field.|
The innings recorded are the first three played by the "batting nine." In the first innings, Masten was put out at center field, on the fly, Creighton at first base, and Pearce made his first base, but Pearsall, being the next striker, struck the ball to short field before Pearce had made his second base; the consequence was that Pearce was third hand out, the ball being sent to second base before Pearce reached it. In the second innings, Pearsall again took the bat, being the next striker to the third hand out--and was put out from a foul ball on the bound by the third base man. Oliver was put out on the fly at the left field, and Smith tipped out on the bound. In the third innings, Russell was put out at right field on the bound, Manolt at short field on the fly, and Grum made a home, the others following with runs until it was again Grum's turn to strike, when after striking at the ball three times and missing each time, he was put out by the catcher holding the ball on the bound after the third time of striking. Grum thus "striking out."