In this digital age of convenience and instant gratification, the classic act of "keeping the book" in baseball is becoming a lost art. But for a few, the tradition is still sacred. And for them we can be thankful that protectors of the game like Joe Palermo are still standing at post, selling the classic scorecard in stadiums of Major League Baseball. And, we know this because St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Dan O'Neill recently took time to profile Palermo as "Cardinal Scorecard Vendor Joe Palermo Marks 50th Year."
There is something soothing, almost zen-like in scoring a baseball game. My son learned to score from one of his teachers at school years ago during an immersio study of our national baseball game, and I have regularly "kept the book" at his games growing up, both as an asst coach and just a team parent. My wife has always appreciated when I keep the book because it calms me and keeps me from jawing on the umpires. It truly is an accent to the game, and I've enjoyed attending MLB games with a friend when one of us keeps score, and we discss the craft as we complete it. Keeping score represents true engagement with the game.
Thanks to Dan O'Neill and Joe Palermo for reminding us about the beauty of this aspect of the game.