why do they use the letter k for a strikeout


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The box score of a game is filled with all kinds of shorthand, which is necessitated by the desire for a concise encapsulation of the contest and by the constraints of print space, since box scores were found only in for the first century of their existence. As a result, baseball fans are familiar with the common abbreviations of the box score, such as E (error), HR (home run), DP (double play), and SB (stolen base). All of those have fairly obvious origins, but what about K, which stands for strikeout? The use of K has arguably transcended the box score to a greater degree than any other shorthand notation. The letter is often chanted by fans in a stadium when an opponent has two strikes, and placards with K on them are frequently displayed around a stadium to count how many strikeouts the home teamБs pitcher has tallied. However, most of these fans are likely not aware that the catchy abbreviation theyБre using owes its origin to a 19th-century Englishman who simply ran out of letters. That man, Henry Chadwick, was a writer who had transferred his love of cricket to baseball when he saw the new game played in 1856. While working as a baseball reporter, Chadwick created many of the now-common features of baseball scoring and statistics keeping, including the numbers used to denote defensive positions (1 for pitcher, 2 for catcher, etc. ). He had already chosen S to stand for sacrifice in a box score, so he used K for a strikeout, since that is the last letter in Бstruck,Б which was at the time the most popular way to refer to a batterБs being out after three strikes. (A backwards K has come to indicate that a batter struck out without swinging at the third strike. ) ChadwickБs box score of an 1859 game has been recognized as the first box score ever (although there are a number of sources that dispute this claim), and his choices made in it have reverberated throughout baseball history.


His impact on how we describe the game was so great that Chadwick became the only journalist officially enshrined in the. A pitched ball is ruled a ball by the if the batter did not swing at it and, in that umpire\’s judgement, it does not pass through the. Any pitch at which the batter swings unsuccessfully or, that in that umpire\’s judgement passes through the strike zone, is ruled a strike. Each ball and strike affects the, which is incremented for each pitched ball with the exception of a on any count with two strikes. That is, a third strike may only occur by the batter swinging and missing at a pitched ball, or the pitched ball being ruled a strike by the umpire with no swing by the batter. A pitched ball that is struck by the batter with the on any count, and is not a foul ball or, is in play. A batter may also strike out by bunting, even if the ball is hit into foul territory. A pitcher receives credit for (and a batter is charged with) a strikeout on any third strike, but a batter is The third strike is pitched and caught in flight by the catcher (including On any third strike, if a is on The third strike is foul and is not caught by a fielder. Thus, it is possible for a batter to strike out, but still become a runner and reach base safely if the is unable to catch the third strike cleanly, and he then does not either tag out the batter or him out at first base.


In Japan, this is called furinige, or \”swing and escape\”. In Major League Baseball, it is known as an. When this happens, a strikeout is recorded for both the pitcher and the batter, but no out is recorded. Because of this, a pitcher may occasionally be able to record more than three strikeouts in one half-. It is also possible for a strikeout to result in a. With the bases loaded and two strikes with two outs, the catcher drops the ball or catches it on the bounce. The batter-runner is obliged to run for first base and other base-runners are obliged to attempt to advance one base. Should the catcher field the ball and step on home plate before the runner from third base can score, then the runner from third base is forced out. In, a swinging strikeout is recorded as a K, or a K-S. A strikeout looking (where the batter does not swing at a pitch that the umpire then calls strike three) is often scored with a backward K, and sometimes as a K-L, CK, or Kc (the \’c\’ for \’called\’ strike). Despite the scorekeeping custom of using \”K\” for strikeout, \”SO\” is the official abbreviation used by Major League Baseball. \”K\” is still commonly used by fans and enthusiasts for purposes other than official record-keeping. One baseball ritual involves fans attaching a succession of small \”K\” signs to the nearest railing, one added for every strikeout notched by the home team\’s pitcher, following a tradition started by fans in honor of \”Dr. K\”,. The \”K\” may be placed backward in cases where the batter strikes out looking, just as it would appear on a scorecard.

Virtually every televised display of a high-strikeout major league game will include a shot of a fan\’s strikeout display, and if the pitcher continues to strike out batters, the display may be shown following every strikeout. The use of \”K\” for a strikeout was invented by, a newspaper journalist who is widely credited as the originator of the and the. As is true in much of baseball, both the box score and scorecard remain largely unchanged to this day. Chadwick decided to use \”K\”, the last letter in \”struck\”, since the letter \”S\” was used for \”sacrifice. \” Chadwick was responsible for several other scorekeeping conventions, including the use of numbers to designate player positions. Those unaware of Chadwick\’s contributions have speculated that \”K\” was derived from the last name of 19th century pitcher. If not for the evidence supporting Chadwick\’s earlier use of \”K\”, this explanation would be reasonable. Kilroy raised the prominence of the strikeout, setting an all-time single-season record of 513 strikeouts in 1886, only two years after overhand pitching was permitted. His record, however, is limited to its era since the pitcher\’s mound was only 50 feet (15В m) from the batter during that season. It was moved to its current distance of 60\’6\” in 1893. The modern record (1901вpresent) is 383 strikeouts, held by Nolan Ryan, one better than Sandy Koufax\’s 382. For 55 years, Walter Johnson held the career strikeout record, at 3,508. That record fell in 1982 to, who was then passed by Steve Carlton, before Ryan took the career strikeout record for good at 5,714.

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