Selected Resources for Serious Baseball Fans

Robert Milliman, Spring 2009

Monographs General: Koppett, Leonard. The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Baseball. Rev. ed. Hall of Fame Edition, 3. Wilmington, Del.: Sport Media Publishing, 2004. Lengthy: 442 pages. Covers numerous aspects of the game, both on and off the field. Detailed: Bakalar, Nick. The Baseball Fan’s Companion: How to Master the Subtleties of the World’s Most Complex Team Sport and Learn to Watch the Game Like and Expert. New York: Macmillan, 1996. Shorter: 210 pages. More detailed about the actual play of the game. Technical: Hernandez, Keith, and Mike Bryan. Pure Baseball: Pitch by Pitch for the Advanced Fan. New York: HarperCollins, 1994. Technical treatment of nearly every aspect of the play of the game, using the medium of a pitch-by-pitch analysis of two major league baseball games. Insider look: Bouton, Jim. Ball Four: The Final Pitch. North Egremont, Mass.: Bulldog Publishing, 2000. First edition: 1970. Subsequent editions every ten years (four in all), each with a new chapter added to the previous one. Selected by the New York Public Library in 1996 as one of the “Books of the Century,” the only sports book so recognized. A controversial, authoritative, entertaining, frequently irreverent, poignant look at the game. Dictionary Dickson, Paul. The Dickson Baseball Dictionary. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009. The most exhaustive baseball dictionary. Many articles actually are small essays. Rules Major League Baseball. The Official Rules of Major League Baseball. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2009. Bring to the park (pocket-sized: 6½ x 4¼ x ¾ in.). Online: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/ official_info/official_rules/foreword.jsp. Ground rules for all major league parks: http:// mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/ ground_rules.jsp. Formosa, Dan, and Paul Hamburger. Baseball Field Guide: An In-depth Illustrated Guide to the Complete Rules of Baseball. Rev. ed. Philadelphia: Da Capo Press, 2008. Accurate subtitle. Also clarifies esoteric language in the official rules, e.g., the infield fly rule. Wirkmaa, Andres. Baseball Scorekeeping: A Practical Guide to the Rules. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2003. Thorough interpretation of MLB rule 10, “The Official Scorer.” Indispensible resource for the serious scorer. Scoring General: Dickson, Paul. The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball. Rev. ed. New York: Walker and Company, 2007. Enjoyable apology, instruction, history, and inspiration.
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Selected Resources for Serious Baseball Fans

Robert Milliman, Spring 2009

Instructions and reference guides, in order of usefulness: Swingley, Christopher. “Guide to Scoring Baseball.” Swingley Development, June 28, 2005. http://swingleydev.com/baseball/full_tutorial.pdf. Excellent tutorial for an intuitive, comprehensive method combining the best features from all others. Glasco, Bill. The Scorekeeper’s Friend: The Most Complete Source of Instruction, Reference and Support for Baseball and Softball Scorekeepers. Independence, Mo.: William R. Glasco, 1987. Purchase at http://www.gametimescorebooks.com/HowToBooks.htm. Similar to Swingley, but slightly more (and unnecessarily) complex. Good reference book to bring to the park (8½ x 5¾ x ½ [dia. of spiral binding] in.). Ramzel, Carter, and Lee Tunnell. Keeping Score: A Baseball Handbook. Round Rock, Tex.: Austin-Greystone Press, 1994. Endorsed by USA Baseball. Very good instructional and reference book. Varies even more from Swingley. Extremely difficult to locate for purchase at a reasonable price. Glasco, Bill. Scorekeeping Basics for Baseball and Softball: An Illustrated Guide for Beginners. Independence, Mo.: William R. Glasco, 1994. Introduction for beginners and review for veterans, with exercises. Purchase: see above entry under Glasco. McGovern, Patrick. “Keeping Score.” The Baseball Scorecard, 1999 – 2005. http://www .baseballscorecard.com/kscore.htm. Brief introduction. Major League Baseball. “Baseball Basics: How to Keep Score.” MLB.com, 2001 – 2009. http://mlb .mlb.com/mlb/official_info/baseball_basics/keeping_score.jsp. Common, simplified approach. Listed here for the “non-serious” reader of these pages. S., Michael. “Baseball Scorecard Abbreviations.” Posted by Patrick McGovern. In The Baseball Scorecard, 1999 – 2005. http://www.baseballscorecard.com/downloads/ scorecard_abbreviations.pdf. Print out and bring to the game (8½ x 11 in.). Scorecards, in order of usefulness: Swingley, Christopher. “Baseball Scorecards.” Swingley Development, September 15, 2005. http://swingleydev.com/baseball/scorecards.php. Free downloads. Record the most information, including pitches, in the most useful way, allowing the best reconstruction of the game. Recommendation: http://swingleydev.com/baseball/scorecards/ mpost_scorecard_cyan_pitchers.pdf. Glasco, Bill. “Gametime Basic Scorebook.” Purchase at http://www.gametimescorebooks.com/ Scorebooks.htm. Simplified variation on Swingley’s, with both teams on the same, larger page. Spiral bound book. McGovern, Patrick. “My Scorecards.” The Baseball Scorecard, 1999 – 2005. http://www .baseballscorecard.com/downloads.htm. Free download. Basic, adequate approach. Each box contains only a diamond without “the clutter.” Same web page also lists other downloadable scorecards and resources.
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Selected Resources for Serious Baseball Fans

Robert Milliman, Spring 2009

Statistics and History (roughly in increasing order of detail) James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Rev. ed. New York: The Free Press, 2001. The most helpful, interpretive, summary of historical baseball statistics available. The 2003 paperback version includes a thirteen-page postscript written following the 2002 season. Gillette, Gary, and Pete Palmer, eds. ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. 5th ed. New York: Sterling, 2008. “Successor” to Total Baseball series, ed. John Thorn and Pete Palmer. Most exhaustive source for baseball statistics covering its entire history through 2007. Complete statistics for individual and successive years: The Emerald Guide to Baseball. Each volume covers the year preceding the one written in the title. Free Emerald Guide downloads, 2007 – 2009: http://sabr.org/sabr.cfm?a=cms,c,2766,36,0. ———. The Emerald Guide to Baseball: 2007 [2008]. Detroit: 24-7 Baseball, 2007 [2008]; Philadelphia: Sports Reference, 2007 [2008]. “Successor” to The Sporting News Baseball Guide. 24-7 Baseball (Gillette and Palmer) produces the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. http://247baseball.com/web/. Sports Reference aim: “to be the easiest-to-use, fastest, most complete sources for sports statistics anywhere.” Public, online gateway to Palmer’s statistical databases. Baseball: http://www.baseball-reference.com/. ———. The Emerald Guide to Baseball: 2009. Cleveland: Society for American Baseball Research, 2009. Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) mission: “To foster the study of baseball past and present, and to provide an outlet for educational, historical and research information about the game.” http://www.sabr.org/. Dedicated to comprehensive attention to baseball statistics, cf. “sabermetrics” (or “sabrmetrics”): the analysis of baseball through objective evidence typically via computer-driven mathematical tools. Retrosheet, 1996 – 2009. http://www.retrosheet.org/. Aim: “computerizing play-by-play accounts of as many pre-1984 major league games as possible.” The nature and amount of information on this site nearly makes it an online baseball encyclopedia. Postscript—Ballpark scoring supplies with recommendations: Clipboard: Saunders Cruiser Mate Aluminum Portable Writing Surface & Storage Clipboard – Black, #21117 http://www.saunders-usa.com/core/ ?brand=70&model=87. Sturdy clip and non-glare finish; stores scorecards, rule book, scoring reference guide, pencils, sharpener, etc. Pencils: Plenty of sharpened, good-quality, HB#2 pencils with soft rubber, non-smear erasers. Sharpener: Good-quality magnesium or brass pencil sharpener (e.g., KUM Rotaré [magnesium sharpener with a waste container]).

Note well: All recommendations and opinions are those of the compiler, Robert Milliman

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