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Monday 18th Dec 2017

Less than a week in, and I have it bad for scoreboard watching already.

Sigh. It is a disease and a sickness; a sickness and a disease.

I stare at my teams as the at-bats increase with each automated screen refresh. Although truth be told, I am not beyond hitting the button on my own just to make certain I have the most current totals.

It is not just about looking at my squads, mind you. In fact, I had not really thought about--aside from the basic addiction to looking--until earlier this week Jona Keri tweeted about how great the box scores are.

I replied noting that the only real studying I do is staring at the boxscores.

That reminded me of when I was seven, and first really interested not just in baseball, but baseball cards as well. 

There was something about the cards: something about holding someone's life and resume in your hands. I knew everything from them. Who the player was. What team. What position he played. New highlights, depending upon the year, like on the back of the 1960 edition of Topps, or sometimes fielding percentage, which was tracked in the mid-1950's.

Somehow, I could stare at them for hours, front and back, irrespective of whether the card was Willie Mays or Coot Veal. Because there was something within the numbers. Not just the stats, but even the number of the cards. In fact, I remember the epiphany that the cards such as 100 or 200 in the series were always mega stars, and the 50's, like 250, were big stars. Then came the 25 and 75 numbers, then the base ten cards, like 20, or 30, or 40, then half of that for the pretty good players.

And the rest were commons. Like Coot Veal.

As a kid, I could simply look at the backs and absorb everything about the player. My friends used to accuse me of memorizing those very numbers, but to me that would have been a waste of time. For the numbers did not need me to force the issue: they already spoke to me.

The same held true for the daily box scores, when I learned how to translate them, something that clearly still holds true today, and for sure, there was nothing better on a Sunday in the summer during my youth than turning to the transactions on the sports page where all the pitching and hitting leaders were captured as the season progressed. Only this was not just a Top 10, it was a top whatever of everyone who had been up or pitched to a certain threshold as the season progressed.

The same thing actually happens to me, when god forbid, I open the Baseball Encylopedia, and just as likely should I happen to open up the Baseball Reference site online, just to check something out. That one thing can lead to another and another, and suddenly two hours are gone and all I have done is stared at the numbers.

Just as the box scores still do. Not that top hitting lists, all sortable for anything don't cut it, But nothing beats the boxes.

Since the season has begun, large chunks of my evening are spent simply staring at the boxes on one screen while usually a game is flickering in the background.

Oh, there are respites during the week. Tuesday nights, in general, when the Biletones practice. Not to mention the days that I actually have to go to the ball park and track the numbers at the source, so they can go into the boxscore, and subsequently into the same stat base, both of which I will scour when I get home after the contest.

It's a living. Apparently, one that suits me pretty well, too.



0 #1 OaktownSteve 2013-04-08 16:50
Good for you for making a living out of it. For those of us for whom it's an obsession but not an occupation it's a tough affliction. But beautiful nonetheless.

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