Walk around the Coliseum during any given game and you’ll likely see a couple dozen fans keeping score. They’ve got their score-keeping notebooks on their laps, headphones on to listen to the radio broadcast and a keen eye for plays, errors and the minutiae of the game.
Why do they do it? The answers vary… I’ve heard everything from “it’s a habit” to “it keeps me focused on the game” to “it’s a nice souvenir to remember the day” to “it makes watching a baseball game a little less boring.” I personally have never tried it. I don’t think I sit down for long enough periods of time or am able to pay enough attention on a consistent basis. Maybe after I “retire” from the hosting job!
Long-time A’s fan, Michael Leslie, recently dug through his parents’ boxes of old score-keeping notebooks and found a particularly cool card from the A’s 1986 season: his very first A’s game at the Coliseum when the team happened to be playing the Baltimore Orioles! He scanned it and emailed it me as a neat piece of fan memorabilia.
Michael’s parents, Richard and Kathy, have been longtime A’s season ticket holders who fastidiously kept score at every single game. If you look closely at this card from August 31, 1986, you’ll see that both Jose Canseco (his rookie year) and Carnie Lansford hit homeruns for the A’s and that Cal Ripken Jr. was in the starting lineup for the Orioles.
I asked Michael what he remembers from that particular game and nothing specific came to mind, but he adds, “I almost want to think you could smoke in the Coliseum.” 1986? Probably. He does remember especially likely the Orioles that season since that was his Little League team and idolizing Ripken Jr.
Thanks to the Leslie family for sharing this cool piece of their A’s history with us. And let’s hope for a repeat of that 1986 game today, our 4th and final against Baltimore. An A’s 7-0 win over the Orioles sure would be nice! Let’s Go Oakland!