I purchased a C.S Peterson’s Scoremaster Official Baseball and Softball Scorebook for $6.99, I slapped a Baseball Buddha sticker on it and I was itching to use it. I had considered emailing my buddy Eggo to get his opinion on what I should use, but I saw the scorebook at the sporting goods store and I bought it impulsively! I got to the Alabama game a half hour early (I usually show up when gates open). I wanted to grab a program and stat sheet but they were asking $2 for those. The guy asked if I was scout, I told him I wasn’t, I explained what I was doing. he wasn’t impressed, he gave me a stat sheet no charge, I was grateful for his generosity. I wanted to get to my seat to tune in the radio and make sure I had the starting line ups in the book.
I found a great seat in the general admission section and set up my area which I have been developing this system sub consciously. I will explain it another time. Since I was going to “keep book”, I knew from previous experience that I needed water, sharp pencils, and an eraser. I checked that I had everything since I wouldn’t be going anywhere during the game. I was short an eraser and water… I also forgot to buy some kind of cushion, my butt should be calloused up by now from all the sitting but it isn’t! Lesson learned, will have to not make to many mistakes and tough it out with no water during game. I tuned in the radio and I couldn’t find the station! Thought it was FM so I was using my IPhone, but “no dice”. I put on my headphones (Bose over the ears type) and listened to music as the game started. Two scouts came and stood close to where I was. It’s weird, that kind of thing is happening more often. I believe it is a pack mentality. One nodded to me, I nodded back. I felt important in a guilty kind of way. Even though, once I get my Stalker radar gun and the nicest stop watch you can buy for ten bucks that might alleviate some of the guilt.
“Can I ask if you are a scout and who you are scouting for?” I got this question from an Alabama fan. I would say that he was in his early 30’s, he was at the game with a group of young baseball players. They must have been T-Ball age, the kids had invaded my space with their gloves, popcorn, and soda (pop for my Northern Wisconsin friends).
“I am a scout but I would rather not say for who”, answering the question. I wasn’t in the mood to talk and didn’t feel like explaining, I was into the game again! He said very nicely that he understood, he was just curious (he had a big chew of tobacco in his lip. I instantly felt the urge to have one, I resisted, over 3 years no tobacco). The kids were entertaining and at times getting in my way as I viewed the game, but he made sure that they kneeled down when they forgot I was sitting there. I felt kind of bad for stretching the truth. It makes me feel good when people think I am a scout, don’t ask me why, it isn’t a glamorous job but one that has a certain appeal to for a lot of people.
I feel I am getting the hang of “keeping book”. But, figuring out all the pitching changes and who the run(s) should be charged to has confused me , I figure this is a process. I didn’t have enough space in the book for some things, but I am getting better. I am finding a lot of joy doing this. I make notes of players that impressed me with great plays and study them a bit longer than the rest. A few of the fans were looking at me when I did this and then they would point to the player. I didn’t know what they said since I was listening to music.
Alabama got smoked by Florida on this day, 13-3. I enjoyed the little fantasy world I was in. I will master “keeping book” before this journey is over. You would think I would get sick of going to all these games; however, it is the opposite. I can’t wait to get to the ball park every day. I have been reading some historical baseball books, that desire became even more intense since I met Mr. Willie. There is so much about this game that I am exploring. I know this sounds goofy, but I feel I have finally found my calling.
I need to thank my friend Jill (Campbell) Rodriguez and her husband, Shane, for letting me stay with them. I enjoyed reminiscing with Jill about our “middle school” memories and the gang from Beaser Park! Today I feel like one of the luckiest people in world to be able to do this. Tonight’s game is in Montgomery, Alabama. I get to throw out one of the ceremonial first pitches! I will let you know how I do tomorrow!
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