When I learned of Craft Magazine's Stitch 'n' Pitch contest I knew that I would enter. Felt obliged to enter, based on the fact that it was combining two of my great interests in life: knitting and baseball. The only real question was, what to make? The rules state it must "center on the theme of baseball." Which, thus, requires me to know what the "theme" of baseball is.
The next day, as I was settling into my seat at Miller Park (while on a road trip that would take me to four baseball stadiums in seven days) that inspiration struck: If there is one thing that expresses the "theme of baseball" in one, handy package, it is the scorebook. For the scorebook is your personal record of the game; what happened to every batter that came to the plate. And, if it's my scorebook, other important details such as what the giveaways were that night, who I attended the game with, and where my seats were.
The scorecard itself ties you into the history of the game, for you are, in effect, recording history while it happens. In needle arts terms, it is the "pattern" of the game, and anyone who picks up your scorecard should be able to recreate the game, based on your recordings. It also allows you to remain and individual, for everyone has their own unique way of recording certain aspects of the game.
It also reflects the pace and pastoral sense of a baseball game. To try and record, in detail, what happens on every single play of a basketball, football, or hockey game, is ludicrous for the casual fan. Things happen too fast, and there is too much action going on at once. But one player at home plate, facing the pitcher and eight defenders. That is something you can track. While still knitting on a sock, talking with friends, and having a nice, cold beer.
If you are a fan of both major and minor league ball, as I am, you can also trace the history of individual players as they make their way through the system, hoping for their chance at "the show."
Scoring baseball games is also a great way to meet people while at baseball games. Frequently while scoring a game someone sitting next to me will lean over, either to ask what happened in a certain play, or to clarify that I scored a play correctly.
So yes, a scorecard is the way to express the "theme of baseball."
Only two more problems remained, which were both easily solved:
1. What game to score for my submission? Easy enough, my husband and I had our wedding rehearsal dinner at a minor league baseball game. Of all the games I've been to, this is the one I would most like framed and hanging on my wall. I've done just the home team page for now (due to time considerations), but the visiting team will come.
2. How the heck am I going to do it? I am a knitter. And this was not a knitting project. This was an embroidery project. The last embroidery project that I had done was a printed cross-stitch, completed over 25 years ago, which proclaims "My Dad Is My Best Pal." Thank goodness for a beginner category, and nearly two months until the deadline.
Combine all of those things together, and this is what you get:
Everything you see (with the exception of the matting) is embroidered. I first did a scorecard template (with help from the templates at baseballscorecard.com to create something simple enough for the project), and then went through and "scored" the game.
And thus, a contest entry is born.