Trivia / Records & Feats
[The following material is reprinted with permission from Dan Schlossberg's Baseball Gold: Mining Nuggets from Our National Pastime, a $14.95 paperback published in March 2007 by Triumph Books. Copies may be ordered from www.triumphbooks.com.]
By Dan Schlossberg
Most fans follow their favorite players and teams by reading baseball boxscores daily. Here's how they've changed over the years:
- 1845 - first boxscore, in New York Morning News, shows game's cricket roots
- 1850 - boxscores expand to show fielding and baserunning
- 1887 - Henry Chadwick starts keeping won-lost records for pitchers
- 1898 - inning-by-inning linescores included in boxscores
- 1912 - earned run average for pitchers introduced by NL exec John Heydler
- 1920 - runs batted in becomes an official baseball statistic
- 1958 - vertical runs batted in column added to official boxscores
- 1960 - AP streamlines boxscores to save space in papers
- 1964 - AP starts including seasonal HR totals in boxscores
- 1969 - "save" becomes official statistic for relief pitchers
- 1990 - STATS, Inc. adds batting averages to boxscores
- 1992 - L.A. Times starts using more comprehensive boxscore
Writers usually serve as official scorers. The job is not easy. After Sacramento official scorer Steve George awarded Joe DiMaggio a questionable hit that extended his minor-league hitting streak to 60 games in 1933, angry fans stormed the press box. George needed a police escort to leave safely.
Forty years later, a scorer's decision deprived Nolan Ryan of the California Angels of a no-hitter. The New York Yankees made just one hit that day-a pop fly that dropped between two infielders.
Both called for it, then both backed away, fearing collision.