Steve Rushin’s column in the new issue of Sports Illustrated is about Karl Cicitto, a collector of baseball books who has some 4,000 volumes in his house. As you can see even from the first paragraph in the free online preview of the column, Karl’s pick for best baseball book is Veeck As in Wreck by Bill Veeck, available from the University of Chicago Press.
The May 30 issue of Sports Illustrated had to be forwarded to my new address, so I only received it just today. So Steve Rushin’s column about keeping score at baseball games only just now came to my attention. This passage is of particular concern: “Those of us who keep score have joined Trekkies and train fanatics — known as ‘foamers’ in the railroad industry — in the pantheon of get-a-lifers.”
So let’s see: I know how to score baseball games and do it occasionally, Levi knows how to score baseball games and does it religiously, Levi has obviously seen “Star Trek” a few times since he often refers to me as James Tiberius Ellwanger for no good reason, and, of course, my enjoyment of trains has reached legendary status.
Levi: Aside from the personal slam, I have to take issue with this guy. At Wrigley Field, I regularly see people in my section keeping score. Some of them are the group of season ticket holders I’ve gotten to know over the past seven years, who are clearly dedicated fans, but I also see a lot of people with the scorecard and pencil they’ve bought on the way in, obviously not veteran scorers, but enjoying the game that way anyway.
Last week, I even had a stranger who showed up an inning late borrow my book for a minute fill in his card. I had to help him decipher my handwriting.