3 Local Scorekeepers Prepare For All-Star Game Spotlight
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Baseball players know the difference between a hit and an error. The trouble is, their opinion doesn’t count in the score book. Former Twins slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz has had his problems with the scorekeeper in Fenway Park.
“Scorekeepers here are always horrible,” he said after an error was given on a ball he hit earlier this year to Twins first baseman Joe Mauer. The scorekeeper gave Mauer an error, but later reversed the decision.
There are three official scorers for the All-Star Game — local author Stew Thornley, former Pioneer Press reporter Gregg Wong, and the Star Tribune’s Lavelle E. Neal III, who is also president of the Baseball Writers of America.
Thornley and Wong alternate keeping score at Twins games and they’ll work together for the first time on Tuesday night. Thornley isn’t sure if three heads are better than one.
“Is it going to be easier that you got two other people to consult? Maybe at that point you feel like ‘I can just make the decision myself,’” he said.
Teams and players put pressure on scorekeepers to keep batting averages high and ERA’s low. That’s out on Tuesday, considering the stats don’t count toward the regular season numbers. What about a call that could break up a no-hitter?
“That’s the thing I love about baseball, you never know about anything, and when you’re official scoring, you never know what’s going to come up.”
The three selected were notified about keeping score last month by the commissioner’s office. Thornley said for once the MLB decided to use two of the regular scorers at the host ballpark. Wong and Thornley are working the Future’s Game on Sunday, not Neal.
Thornley said this is the number one thrill for him as an official scorer. He said he’ll be more relaxed than usual because there are two others helping out, and that this probably won’t be any more nerve-racking than scoring a game by himself.