By Lauren Jennings |Sports Editor|
For as long as I can remember, I have attended baseball games with my family, whether to see the Dodgers, Angels or my hometown team, the Quakes.
Baseball was always a family event for me, although I did not always sit and watch games the way I do today.
My main reasons for going to games were the mascots, food and fireworks. What happened on the field was the least of my worries as long as my team scored runs and won.
Over time though, I became more interested in the game itself and started watching them in person and at home on TV.
As I grew older, my dad decided it was time for me to learn how to keep score at professional baseball games, as well as at my younger sister’s softball games. If I did not have a scorebook, my parents would be to find other ways to keep me occupied.
Scorekeeping is not a task learned overnight by any means, but it definitely got me hooked right away.
For the first time in my life, something really made a lot of sense to me. Scorekeeping came naturally to me and I have loved it ever since.
The past few years, I have asked for scorebooks for Christmas. I scored at a lot of minor league and major league games, even some games for our Coyote baseball team.
All of my practice was worth it because I now work as a scorekeeper for the Coyote Athletics Department.
I approached Mark Reinhiller, the Athletics Department associate athletic director for media relations, with the sole purpose of starting an Instagram page for the school’s baseball team. He fully encouraged the idea and went on to ask me about my experience with baseball.
I explained that I had been keeping score for years at all kinds of games including some Coyote games.
He quizzed me on some of the basics of scorekeeping, a test that I passed with flying colors. He then asked if I would be interested in assisting him by doing some scorekeeping for the team.
Without hesitation, I said yes. Working for a team that I had previously kept score for just for fun was exactly what I wanted to be doing.
As luck would have it, by the time I contacted Reinhiller, the baseball season had just about wrapped up.
Instead of waiting for the season to start again, he had me help with player substitutions for soccer and do some work on social media for the volleyball and basketball teams.
I had a lot of fun; I learned so much working with other sports that I had never really been exposed to. Finally, it was time for baseball season again.
February had arrived and I was up in the press box at Fiscalini Field with the official scorebook sitting in front of me, and the Coyotes minutes away from taking on the Dixie State Trailblazers.
In the next few weeks, I was tasked with learning how to use the Stat Crew software that posts live play-by-play action online. It is a pretty straightforward system for the most part, but nothing comes easy.
Toward the end of the month, I had my first experience of keeping score without my boss offering tips and helping me keep track of what was going on in the event of a wild play.
Things went pretty smoothly that day and I have done two more days of games completely on my own.
I have also mixed in quite a few Coyote softball games, furthering my knowledge of the software and scorekeeping in general.
I find each game I work, I learn something new and that is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.
However, I think the most rewarding aspect of scorekeeping for the school is the that Reinhiller looked passed the fact that I am female and instead believed in my ability and saw my passion for the sport that led him to offer me such a huge opportunity.
Everything I have learned and will continue to learn while working for Reinhiller will no doubt help me with my future goals and for that, I am beyond grateful.