Baseball is a game of numbers.
It’s also a game of nerds.
Though baseball is not an easy game – think of somebody attempting to throw a small sphere at you so you can swing and attempt to hit said sphere with a piece of wood. Once contact is made, other players must attempt to field this sphere and then throw it to another player, who will attempt to catch it to record an out.
That’s definitely a different way to look at baseball, but it’s the beauty of the game.
To quote the manager in Bull Durham –
“This is a simple game: You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. You got it?”
But baseball goes well past simple when it comes to the nerd side of things. I would argue that baseball, more than any other sport, is statistically driven. While all sports have statistics, the analytics and scrutiny in baseball is unlike any other.
Most casual fans of the sport will understand things like Avg., HRs, RBIs, ERA etc.
But then it can get crazy.
Do you know a pitcher’s WHIP? Or how many quality starts they had? And dammit, was that an earned or unearned run? Especially after this batter reached on an error, but it was fewer than two ours, and the next two guys singled, and the third guy scored, but would that be earned?
And those batters.
That third hitter’s GIDP rate is way too high. Especially because the guy before him has a high OBP, and the guy after him has an incredible OPS. They are just giving runs away!
See where I’m going here?
There are statistics for every little nuance of baseball. But that’s part of what makes it a great game. Keeping those stats is something many baseball nerds do. When I am at a game (and that doesn’t look like it will happen this year), I like to keep a scorebook. Baseball scorekeeping is very, very personal. There are certain things most keep, but it’s also something that allows you to put your own spin on it. You can have your own flare or style. Your own marks. Those most baseball fans can look at a scoresheet and figure out what is going on, there are some that make it very hard for you to figure out their way of doing things.
Baseball is definitely a game for nerds. I’m not saying you can’t just be casual – you for sure can. That’s the beauty of the game – it does not discriminate. When I’ve been to games, I’ve seen so many people of different lifestyles and it’s really awesome. Baseball is a game where anybody can enjoy it, understand it, and dissect it.
There’s a lot of sports out there, but baseball is the greatest in my eyes. And I’m proud to call myself a baseball nerd!
Can of Corn Challenge 6: Hey, Nerd!
The Can of Corn Challenge is a monthly blogging challenge that runs from February-October. You can see all information, as well as themes for 2020 by visiting this blog post. Feel free to join us for any and all themes! The linkup will remain live each month for about seven days.