One of the best parts of baseball is keeping score. In this post I will share with you my favorite baseball scorecards as pdf downloads.
As I have said many times baseball is a turn based strategy game, not an action game. What I mean by this is that there are distinct turns to be taken. A turn in the batters box is the defining play mechanic. Keeping score is a way of staying in the game and keeping up with all the various situations that can happen. From my perspective one of the best ways to follow a game is to keep score, especially if you track balls and strikes. It really gives you a flavor of the battle between pitcher and hitter.
To that end, I have a few different templates I use for keeping score at a professional baseball game. I use different cards for different levels of games. Little League All Stars has unique substitution rules so I have special cards for that. Club baseball, I use the cards that help me remember how to set the defense or pitch to an opposing player. All of my cards have one thing in common. They can be printed on one 8-1/2 by 11″ piece of paper and then folded in half.
I often use a half (5×8) clip board like the one shown here.
You can pick them up at Staples, or Office Depot, or on Amazon for a few bucks. I then use Duck Tape to create a pen holder on the back of the clipboard. Typically the easiest thing to do is take a 3×5 card, fold it in half, then duck tape it to the back of the board. This gives you a good surface to hold pens. The clipboard itself is too thick for most pen clips.
Finally, I use a few special pens. You can keep score with a mechanical pencil, at times I do it in pen. Here are the pens and pencils I use:
There are three kinds of pens I use, mechanical pencils, sharpie highlighters, and these multi-colored Japanese pens I order online from http://jetpens.com.
I often use a thick 0.7 or 0.9 lead pencils with a side click. I also use a Staedtler Mars 780 Technical Mechanical Pencil (2mm. 780BK) because it gives you a thick line like a #2 pencil but it can be sharpened.
I buy the 4 pack Sharpie Fine Point Pens, because I like to record outs in red. These do not bleed through paper and write on almost any surface. I break them out of the pack and then clip them onto the holder on the back of my clipboard so they are right there.
They are great, however changing pens is a drag so… I my favorite combines the best of everything… For < $20, the Uni-ball JetStream 4&1 Color is simply the best. This is not that cheap Bic pen you grew up with in school. This is a proper uni-ball gel ink pen with a pencil built in! I have only found this pen on JetPens.com. It has everything right there in the palm of your hands, no switching pens.
The Score Cards:
The first one I’ll share is a home and away scorecard on one sheet that gives you the classic diamond the middle. It is good for 10 innings with substitutions and extra lines for National League Pitcher substitutions (Hey I root for the Diamondbacks).
Another very simple scorecard I use often is this one:
This one does not have any extra information, just pitch count and what each player did at each at bat. There is enough room to record substitutions in each line. This care covers 10 innings.
And saving the best for last, this is my favorite scorecard because the information is printed in a slightly lighter color making the scoring leap out.
Here is one I use to keep quick score during a game I am managing. Not a lot of information, but it is focused on a 6 inning kids game. You print this, then cut the sheets out and paste them into a pocket notebook or onto a 3×5 card. You could probably even buy some Avery Label 3×5 card blanks and print directly onto those:
There are many kinds of scoreboards, and I can share some of how I keep score, but the bottom line is that you should have fun with it. And I hope that these tips help you enjoy the game of baseball more.
You can find many more scorecards at http://baseballscorecard.com.