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10 Common Baseball Scorekeeping Symbols

Updated on July 20, 2012

Learning how to keep score in baseball is a dying art. If you know how to score a strikeout, walk, single, double, triple, home run, run batted in, a sacrifice, and an error, you've got 90% of the game scored. Here are the 10 most common baseball score keeping symbols in baseball.

1. The Strikeout "K"

The strikeout is probably the most celebrated baseball score sheet symbol. So much so, that fans at major league baseball games displaying a "K" sign for each strikeout. The "K" is used to record a strikeout occurring as a result of the batter swinging and missing the ball for the third strike. A backward "K" is entered into the baseball scorebook to denote the batter struck out "looking" at the third strike without swinging the bat. A Strikeout is recorded as an official at-bat.

2. Base on Balls "BB"

More commonly known as a "Walk", it occurs when a batter receives four balls before being put out. The result is the batter is awarded first base. Base on Balls is not considered an official at-bat but this plate appearance is used in numerous baseball statistics. The symbol "BB" is entered into the players position in the baseball scoresheet.

3. Single "1B"

A single occurs when a batter reaches first base when a batter hits the ball in fair territory without the help of an error by the defense or a fielder's choice. The single is a hit and is recorded as an official at-bat. A single is calculated in the most popular offensive baseball statistic, batting average. Batting average is defined as hits/official at-bats. The symbol "1B" are entered into the baseball scoresheet; it represent First Base.

4. Double "2B"

A double occurs when a batter hits the ball in fair territory and reaches second base without the help of a error or fielder's choice. A double is a hit and recorded as an official at-bat. It is part of the calculation in determining batting average. Batting average is defined as hits/official at-bats. The symbol "2B" represents Second Base, and is entered into the players position on the baseball scorecard.

5. Triple "3B"

A triple occurs when a batter hits the ball in fair territory and reaches third base without the help of a error or fielder's choice. A triple is a hit and recorded as an official at-bat. It is part of the calculation in determining batting average. The symbol "3B" represents Third Base and is entered into the baseball score sheet as such.

6. Homerun "HR"

A homerun occurs when a batter hits the ball over the outfield fence in fair territory or successfully runs around all the bases after hitting the ball without being putout. Like the single, double and triple the batter must reach home plate without the help of a error or fielder's choice. A homerun is a hit and recorded as an official at-bat. The batter is credited with a run batted in (RBI) for each baserunner who scores on the play. This includes the batter himself. "HR" is entered into the batter's place on the baseball score sheet.

7. Run Batted In "RBI"

An RBI occurs when a batter's plate appearance results in a run being scored. The major exception to crediting an RBI to a batter is when a run has scored due to an error made by the defense that resulted in the run scoring. The symbol "RBI" is entered into the baseball scoresheet. If more than RBI is credited on the plate appearance the number precedes "RBI". For example, if the batter drives in two runs the entry into the score sheet is 2 RBI.

8. Sacrifice "SAC"

A Sacrifice occurs when a batter deliberately bunts the ball for an out in order for a baserunner to advance a base. The sacrifice is not considered an official at-bat. The objective of the sacrifice bunt is move baserunners into scoring position with less than two outs.

9. Error "E"

An Error occurs when, in the determination of the official scorer, a fielder's error on a hit ball resulted in the batter reaching base safely, when the play should have resulted in a putout. Errors are considered official at-bats. The symbol "E" followed by the defensive position number is entered into the baseball scoresheet. Here is more on the defensive position number and defensive position.

10. Fielder's Choice "FC"

A fielder's choice can only occur when there are runners on base. The play involves a fielder choosing to try to get the baserunner out even though the fielder had a clear opportunity to get the batter out at first base. This scenario was end with the batter reaching first base safely. Fielder's Choice is considered an official at-bat. The symbol "FC" followed by the defensive position numbers of the players involved are entered into the baseball scoresheet.

There are a lot more baseball symbols used when scoring a game of baseball. These statistics can be categorized into offensive, defensive and pitching baseball statistics. They are used to find trends, baselines and analytics to get a competitive edge against opponents.

baseball symbols
baseball symbols

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    • profile image

      BRENDAN 

      8 years ago

      I'm only 10 yealdrs old and my dad is a High School JV baseball coach. He is teaching me how to keep score so I can keep his score. :)

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