Why I keep score at home

This is post #2 of 13 daily blog posts covering my World Series scorecards. Every day a new blog post in the series will be posted.

I’m still in shock that the premier magazine in Chicago is commissioning me to create scorecards for all the 2016 World Series games. A lot of the thanks and credit has to go to my twin brother Erik who designed this scorecard. My family are big scorecard keepers at the ballpark. We love to keep score.

Selection of Erik's past scorecards
Selection of Erik’s past scorecards
Selection of Matt's past scorecards
Selection of Matt’s past scorecards

(Archive of past scorecards from previous years: Erik’s scorecardsMy scorecards)

During the second game of the 2016 playoffs, broadcaster Bob Costas remarked how nobody keeps score at home anymore. When my brother heard Costas say this is a dead art form in the houses of America, he took that as a challenge.

We always keep score in the official scorecards sold at the ballpark. The official format makes you feel like you are part of the tribe. Plus, it’s only a couple bucks for the scorecard.

2015 NLCS scorecardBut the scorecards for the playoffs come bundled in a program that costs $10. If you wanted to score an entire seven-game series, that would run you between $40 to $70. Ouch!

Erik encountered this premium cost first-hand last year at Wrigley Field’s NLCS. He questioned the vendor why the scorecards cost so much. The vendor explained that the Chicago Cubs don’t make the postseason scorecards and programs. MLB takes control of that. That night of the Bob Costas comment, Erik started designing his own scorecard.

He has the credentials to do so as well. Erik is the Director of Design for Crossway, publisher of the most distributed translation of the Bible in the world. You might say my brother designs the most popular books in the world. Along with our family’s love of scorecard keeping makes Erik exceptionally qualified to produce one fine quality scorecard.

Erik intentionally designed the scorecard to fit onto one 8.5×11 page, much like how the scorecards at Wrigley Field are designed.

collage of Erik's 2016 NLCS scorecards
Erik’s complete set of 2016 NLCS scorecards that he scored at home.

Scoring at home might sound odd, but Erik found it very enjoyable. He shared with me how keeping score helped him to stay focused on the game while the kids are in bed. Since my twin brother had so much fun keeping score, I thought I’d join in. The timing was perfect. The Cubs were one game away from going to the World Series, this card could potentially become a record of the Cubs winning their first pennant since 1945!

Tomorrow’s blog post

How did I make these scorecards for the World Series? Stay tuned to tomorrow’s blog post on 57hits.com to get a behind-the-scenes look at how I create these scorecards. Many, many visuals are included.

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3 thoughts on “Why I keep score at home”

  1. I’ve always been a fan of Bob Costas dating back to the Sandberg Game in 1984. That game made a big impression on me as an 8-year old kid. (It led to me collecting Sandberg’s baseball cards… about 750+ individuals and counting.) The NBC Game of the Week was a big, big deal in those days and none was bigger than Costas calling those two slammers from Chicago’s soon-to-be MVP off the best relief man in the game.

    Then in junior high/high school I related to Costa’s wit and accessible introspection on his talk show, Later with Bob Costas. It was fun at that age staying up late past Letterman to watch good TV. I really did like that show a lot. But I was also a kid who watched the Home Shopping Network just to guess how low they’d be willing to go on their prices, so there you go.

    And of course there’s always Costas’ presence during all the Olympic Games for the past 20+ years on NBC. And any one who knows the Maldre family knows our love for the Olympics. The bridal party intro song for Andrea and I on our wedding day is testimony to that. (NBC’s Olympic theme song!) Classic. We should have invited Bob to be our DJ for the introductions.

    It was quite a treat to watch him call the 2016 NLDS Game Two on MLB Network, especially when Travis Wood hit that historic homer. Great game!

    Then Costas, in his trademark snarkiness, questioned whether people keep score at home. It struck a nerve. It wasn’t so much a challenge as an opportunity. Designing a custom scorecard was always on my list. What better opportunity to dig into it following Costa’s comment during a Cubs playoff game?

    The next couple days I researched vintage scorecards for inspiration which led to my design which I used for each game of the 2016 NLCS and World Series. And of course the rest of that story skyrocketed as detailed in this blog post. And the best part of it all is the Cubs winning the World Series.

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