"The box score, being modestly arcane, is a matter of intense
indifference, if not irritation, to the non-fan. To the baseball-bitten,
it is not only informative, pictorial, and gossipy but lovely in aesthetic
structure. It represents happenstance and physical flight exactly
translated into figures and history. Its totals - batters' credit
vs. pitchers' debit - balance as exactly as those in an accountant's ledger.
And a box score is more than a capsule archive. It is a precisely
etched miniature of the sport itself, for baseball, in spite of its grassy
spaciousness and apparent unpredictibility, is the most intensely and satisfyingly mathematical of all our outdoor sports. Every player in every game
is subjected to a cold and ceaseless accounting; no ball is thrown
and no base is gained without an instant responding judgement - ball or
strike, hit or error, yea or nay - and an ensuing statistic. This
encompassing neatness permits the baseball fan, aided by experience and
memory, to extract from a box score the same joy, the same hallucinatory
reality, that pickles the scalp of a musician when he glances at a page
of his score of Don Giovanni and actually hears bassos and sopranos,
woodwinds and violins."
__ Roger Angell, in "The Summer Game".