My knowledge about Major League Baseball Official Scoring comes from three primary sources:
1) Official Baseball Rules, published by Major League Baseball.
2) Official Scoring in the Big Leagues, written by Bill Shannon (2006). I had the distinct and unique privilege of being one of the “crash test dummies”, as Mr. Shannon painstakingly committed his oral pedagogy to paper, which turned out to be this book. I often respectfully refer to this publication as “The Book of Shannon“. Unlike the other attempts generally available in published form, the author of this publication is arguably the best Official Scorer in the major leagues. I personally value the time over the years that I have observed him at work as well as the time spent listening as he held court on many occasion.
3) My life experience of covering major league, minor league, and college baseball games – and getting the opportunity to observe and learn from others who have sat in the “hot seat”. I served as an Official Scorer in my first minor league baseball game in 2000, and my first major league game on September 5, 2004 – a game in which the New York Yankees were one-hit by Sidney Ponson and the Baltimore Orioles.
In my opinion, functioning as a competent Official Scorer requires a thorough knowledge of the Official Baseball Rules, as well as the secondary ability to be able to find anything in the rulebook quickly that one has not committed to memory. Functioning as a successful Official Scorer requires a competent evaluation of the level of “ordinary effort” of the players competing in that particular game, as well as the ability to make correct decisions without “committee” input. While the world we live in today is all about “consensus”, baseball official scoring is NOT.
Mr. Foley said it best, “We don’t make popular calls, we make correct calls”.