Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Question of the Week

Larry, Los Angeles, CA
Subj: Letter of the law
Why does the letter “K” stand for a strike out on the official scorer’s card?

We have Henry Chadwick to thank for that. The revered sportswriter and amateur statistician was the first individual to develop a workable box score during the 1850s. According to his methodology, Chadwick used letters rather than numbers to denote action on the field. For instance, the letter “S” represented a single, the letter “T” was used to note a triple and the letter “I” signified an inning. By the time he was ready to assign a letter for a strikeout, the “S” was already taken so Chadwick instead used the letter “K” since he considered it to be the most prominent sounding letter in that word. More than 150 years later, the “K” is still used by baseball statisticians and regular fans in stadiums around the world.