How I screwed up my first professional scorecard
Somehow I managed to mess up a major thing on my first scorecard I did for Chicago magazine. First, let’s set the scene (the mistake comes further down the blog post)
The anticipation runs high
The Cubs are about to play their first World Series game in 71 years. The moment everyone has been waiting for. And I’m about to fill out an official scorecard for Chicago magazine to be seen by hundreds of thousands of people!
First food for daughter AND World Series on same night
My scorecards for games one and two are ready. And we are now ready to feed our six-month-old daughter real food for the first time. Up to now she has been drinking only milk from her mom. Time to get our child onto real food! Sarah opted for squash, because it’s good for baby’s digestive systems, and bland enough to not cause bad reactions. 90 minutes before the Cubs first World Series game, we are feeding our daughter squash. I like to think it’s to help the Cubs squash the Indians!
Seeing her reactions to real food was fun. She sorta didn’t like it that much. It’s always fun to see baby’s reactions to various food. And now from this momentous occasion to another. The Cubs playing their first game the World Series since 1945!
Ready for the game
Before the game started, I looked up the rosters online (yes, they had been posted by now). Being overly anxious for both the game and to create a great scorecard, I carefully penciled in each name on the scorecard at my desk.
I’m all ready. Things are under control! The tv set is on with the pre-game show.
The Cubs were the away team, so they are the first to bat at the top of the inning. Dexter Fowler is up to bat. He becomes the first African-American player to play for the Cubs in the World Series. Incredible!
And now it’s time for the first pitch! Ball outside! A few pitches later Fowler strikes out. Let’s record the strikeout on the scorecard.
I went to fill in the first box of the game at the top of the scorecard with Fowler’s strikeout. But his name wasn’t at the top of the scorecard! What?! His name is supposed to be at the top of the scorecard.
I had written all the Cubs names at the BOTTOM of the scorecard. Oops! The Cubs are the away team, so their names are supposed to be at the top of the scorecard. The home team always appears at the bottom half of the card.
My first big mistake keeping score
I realized that I had written the Cubs at the bottom of the scorecard! But the Cubs aren’t the home team. They should be at the top of the card!
Oh boy. I haven’t even recorded my first play, and I already made a major catastrophic error on the scorecard. Maybe I could erase all the names and re-write them.
Nope. When I laid out the custom scorecards, I put the Cubs team roster at the bottom, and the Indians roster at the top. The very printed cards had the teams flip-flopped. We don’t have a printer at home, so I can’t quickly print out a new copy. Printing at the local library wasn’t going to happen, because the game is playing. There’s no stopping the game. I need to record it live, as it happens.
Thankfully I printed out two copies at work! Except my second copy has the wrong order printed too! Nothing a pair of scissors and tape can’t fix! I cut out the Cubs roster and Indians roster from my first scorecard, and taped them onto my backup print. Phew. Crisis averted.
Yes, I am a professional scorekeeper.
Normally when I keep score, the Cubs are ALWAYS at home. So the Cubs are ALWAYS at the bottom of my scorecard. But with the Cubs playing away, Cleveland is the home team occupying the bottom half of the scorecard. I just got used to the Cubs always being at home. Heh.
I’m also used to filling out a scorecard with a Cubs win. The Cubbies lost the game 6-0, striking out 15 times. Ouch. It’s rather strange filling out a losing scorecard and trying to herald moments of the game. But as I’ve been telling people this year, we should be celebrating our losses. And that’s what I did on this scorecard.
Factoid about my daughter
In the bottom corner of the scorecard, I did the same thing with the previous game where I included a little note about my daughter. Her first taste of real food 90 minutes before the first Cubs World Series game is just an amazing cross-over, so I included that.
“90 minutes before the game started, we fed our 6-month daughter her first food. We fed her squash, because we hope the Cubs squash Cleveland.”
You can notice the erase marks under “squash Cleveland.” I originally wanted to write “squash the Indians” but I thought that phrase might have some offensive undertones like, “HERE INDIANS TAKE YOUR THANKSGIVING FOOD AND STUFF IT”. So I used Cleveland instead.
I stayed up until 4:30am looking up trivia, and penciling everything in. I was so nervous about screwing up my scorecard during the game, that instead of writing all the factoids on the card during the game, I instead typed them out in a text document on my laptop.
Logically, after the game, I would look at my list and decide what pieces of information would go where on the card. As you can imagine, that’s a rather tedious project. Baseball is a rather slow game, so you normally have time during the game to casually write in observations as they happen in the game. But now I’m repeating the game all over again once it’s done by filling in all the details afterwards. Hence, being up until 4:30am. But: World Series scorecard. To be published on the homepage of Chicago magazine’s website. And promoted heavily across all their social media platforms? Totally worth it.
Adding a drawing
After seeing the scorecard online. It felt like something was very much missing. I had no large drawings on the card. Sure, it was LOADED with trivia and observations, but there was no art. In fact, Chicago magazine even said “Even our artist finds a bright spot in yesterday’s loss”. The “our artist” line got me thinking. I need to fill this scorecard out like an artist!
I got too overwhelmed by the historical nature of this game, and wanted to capture all the little details and factoids, that I lost sight of the artistic nature of the game.
Since Schwarber was one of the bright spots in the game, I decided to do a drawing of him. My original scorecard was at home, so I needed to do another quick last-minute fix-up job. I quickly made a sketch of Schwarber and photoshopped him into the card. (Thank you Ron Vesely / MLB Photos for the image reference). I sent the updated scorecard back over to Chicago magazine for a better version that might gather more attention by their readers.
Some other factoids I didn’t include on the scorecard
- An Indians player has an ironic last name, Napoli, with his last name starting with the word “nap”. The broadcasters were talking about how he had sleeping issues, but now he’s got them resolved.
- Fittingly, I couldn’t really hear everything they were saying, because I had the TV volume turned down really low for Julia to sleep. While they were talking about sleeping, she was awake crying. I should have put that in my scorecard.
Factoids included on the scorecard from game 1
- Cubs introduced by Star Wars Imperial March #awesome
- Progressive Field, attendance 38,091 (103.4% full). 217 feet away, the Cleveland Cavaliers unviel their 2015-2016 championship banner that same night.
- First pitch of the 2016 World Series is a ball at 7:10pm
- 1908 vs 1948. Cubs unsuccessful World Series: 1910, 1918, 1929, 1935, 1938, 1945, 2016? Indians unsuccessful World Series: 1954, 1995, 1997, 2016?
- After 108 years, Cubs are 108 outs from winning World Series. A baseball has 108 stitches. Scheduled start time for game 19:08. If we wait another 108 years, it will be year 2124!!!
1st inning (top) Chicago Cubs batting
- Dexter Fowler becomes the first African-American to appear in a World Series game for the Cubs
1st inning (bottom) Cleveland Indians batting
- Francisco Lindor steals the first base of the 2016 World Series, getting him the Taco Bell award
- Brandon Guyer gets hit by pitch. He has 66 career HBP, and only 61 career walks (odd that he has more HBP than BB)
- David Ross slams into back screen making final out of the inning
2nd inning (top) Chicago Cubs batting
- Ben Zobrist’s double, he thinks about going to third
- Kyle Schwarber is the first Cubs DH in postseason history. (Strikes out in first at bat)
- Javy Baez has funny habit of pointing to first base umpire on check swing
- Chris Coghlan dives away from a strike
3rd inning (top) Chicago Cubs batting
- David Ross catches breath after running to first
3rd inning (bottom) Cleveland Indians batting
- Baez’s glove fringes tag out his buddy Francisco Lindor trying to steal second base.
- After 4-0 walk to Carlos Santana, the umpire brushes off home plate, so he can actually see it.
- Carlos Santana lays down in the outfield grass and takes a Gatorade break for a leg cramp. Jon Lester shoots laser beams at Santana.
- After last out in 3rd inning, Jon Lester chats wih home plate umpire
4th inning (top) Chicago Cubs batting
- Kyle Schwarber hits double off the wall.
- Kyle Schwarber becomes the first position player to get his first hit of the season/year in the World Series
6th inning (bottom) Cleveland Indians batting
- Brandon Guyer strikes out, argues with ump. Probably arguing that the ball on the outside hit him (he previously was hit by a pitch in the first inning)
7th inning (top) Chicago Cubs batting
- Kyle Schwarber on second base almost gets doubled up on Coghlan’s fly ball
7th inning (bottom) Cleveland Indians batting
- Francisco Lindor becomes third player under 23 with three hits and a stolen base in one World Series game (Ty Cobb 1908 & Carlie Hollocher 1918)
- Javier Baez playes around with Francisco Lindor
8th inning (top) Chicago Cubs batting
- With Cubs behind 0-3, Kyle Schwarber strikes out with runners on first and third.
8th inning (bottom) Cleveland Indians batting
- Carlos Santana strikes out at ball in dirt
9th inning (top) Chicago Cubs batting
- With Cubs behind 0-6, Willson Contreras hits a double. But he trotted and watched the ball, thinking it was a home run. Should have been a triple as the ball bounced off the outfield wall.
9th inning (bottom) Cleveland Indians batting
- Roberto Perez’s second home run makes it the first multi-homerun game from 9-spot in World Series history
- The only other Indians to his a pair of home runs in a World Series game are Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome
- Of 184 MLB players in 2016, Perez ranked 181st in slugging percentage (.294)
- Cubs struck out 15 times. Second most in World Series history
- Jon Lester allowed more runs in 4 innings than his 3 previous post-season starts (two runs in 21 innings)
- Cory Kluber’s nine strikeouts are an Indians World Series record.
- Kluber becomes third player in World Series to have nine strikeouts and zero runs
- First time this year Andrew Miller has allowed multiple hits and walks in a game.
- Still a series! Other teams with game one shutouts: 1983 Mil 10 STL 0 (STL won in 7 games); 1959 SOX 12 LAD 0 (LAD won in 6 games); 1945 CUBS 9 DET 0 (DET wins in 7 games)
- “When you see his name in the lineup, there’s some scariness to that—we can’t wait to have him back.” —Addison Russell on Kyle Schwarber
- “Tomorrow is a new day” —Addison Russell
Promos Chicago magazine ran on social media
Chicago magazine website
“Kyle Schwarber was productive in his return to the lineup, but the Cubs couldn’t quite crack Corey Kluber.”
“Our artist even finds a bright spot or two.”
“Game 1 of the #WorldSeries… not so great. But this hand-drawn scorecard brings it to life”
“We commissioned hand-drawn scorecards for each #worldseries game. Wish it had a happier result, but here’s Game 1.”
The game 2 scorecard covers the Cubs first World Series win since 1945! Stay tuned.