Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Keeping score

Last night, I went to the ballgame with Pele and her not-so-new boyfriend. Even though this fellow has been on the scene for quite a while (seven months? more?), this is only the fourth time we've met. Of course, we know quite a bit about each other, though I possibly have the edge on him. We are inclined to think positively about each other but we've yet to make an independent connection.

I also knew that going to the game wasn't going to be our moment. First, it would be noisy. Second, Pele would almost certainly sit in between us, making conversation minimal.

As expected, it was too loud to talk to anyone but your immediate neighbor, and mine was Pele. She relayed some conversations between the two of us and we shouted a little at each other about our past ownership of Chevy Malibus. His was an early '80s model, mine a 1970. He conceded that mine was much cooler, but both had V-8's, which is nothing to sneer at. I don't fault Pele, she tried to facilitate conversation--and under other circumstances, it might have worked--maybe next time.

I anticipated this outcome, so, for the first time this season, I brought my scorebook. That's right, I own a baseball scorebook.

In the old days, in Seattle, I developed the habit of keeping score. I found that I paid much closer attention to the games and got a lot more enjoyment out of them if I kept score. I usually went to games with my mom and she thought my habit was adorable--she even admired my mastery of the symbolic scoring language. The only problem with keeping score is that it's a bit anti-social. If you stop paying attention and talk to your companions, you miss things--vital things.

When I was dating Joe, my old Seattle boyfriend, we loved to watch baseball together. We went to a few games and watched (and listened) to many more. The summer we dated, I loved to come home, turn on the game, lie on the floor and do the crossword. Joe liked to do the crossword puzzle too. For his birthday, I got him the package where you get your name on the screen. You also got a souvenir ball (which we lost playing catch). His mom and step-dad were visiting for his birthday and we put everyone in the Malibu (it sat six, easy) and drove down to the Kingdome to catch the game. What a great day.

I'm not sure what the occasion was, but Joe bought me some baseball paraphernalia that I still own: the scorebook and an official rulebook. We used the scorebook when we watched games at home and the first few pages are filled with Joes neat handwriting--much nicer than mine.

I've wanted to keep score at the Nats games, but to get a scorecard you have to buy the program--which is $10! Crazy. I'm not paying that much. In Seattle, you could buy a scorecard for .75 cents (it went up to $1 after 1991--who knows what it costs now--my last Seattle card is from 1997 and it's still $1). The card would have a handy list of the players for each team and their stats. Each scorecard was printed on heavy stock for ease of use.

Also, I go to the games with friends, so I try to repress my anti-social urges. But, last night, I knew I wouldn't be able to fully participate in a conversation and this way, I'd be sure to have a good time.

I scored the entire game, including pitching changes and pinch hitters. The Nats lost, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Maybe it is anti-social, but I sure love keeping score.

Grateful for: my scorebook

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