Why does baseball give runs,hits,errors?

Why in baseball do they always give runs. hits and errors in the score rather than just give the score?

All I want to know is what the score is.

What does the hits have to do with the score. It has always puzzled me.
I remeber a while back Fox network covered hockey and they had a blinking coloured puck, why don’t they have a blinking baseball in the US or a blinking football?

Americans are so strange when it comes to sports. And why would anyone go to see that idiot Tyson or pay to watch him on pay=per=view, have people not realized yet what he is?

Well, ignoring that trollish (hopefully unintentional?) last paragraph, and the lack of thought about the blinking puck/ball, this is a pretty good OP.

Why give hits and errors?
First of all, they don’t always give that info, only in in-depth sports reporting. (At least that is the case here in the States.) This is a WAG, but I think it’s because it gives the viewer/listener a good idea of what kind of game it was. If there are errors, you will know that the pitching may have been pretty good but the defense wasn’t too hot. A large amount of hits with a small number of runs tends to indicate good defensive play.

It’s just because it’s the easiest way to comment on HOW the game was played without getting into a total play-by-play thing.

The whole point of baseball is to score runs - and a lot of news outlets do show only this - but it’s decidedly important to get hits to score these runs, and to not commit errors to not allow more runs.

Whereas in other sports, any things that one could keep for statistical purposes either does not have as much of a due on scores, or there are SO many variables to winning and losing that it’s pointless to pull out one thing which tells the secondary story as well as hits and errors in baseball.

For example, in football, total yards helps, but this does not include turnovers, also of importance. But other games have been decided by special teams, which does not show up in offensive/defensive stats.

In hockey, what else is there to say? How many icing calls rthere were? Same thing in basketball.

Also, and I just thought of this, baseball in the mainstream media predates all other pro sports. Anytime you read an old newspaper, you see quaint things which you just don’t see anymore. Maybe the terminology and bringing to attention of these periphery stats was a habit of the old reporting way that just didn’t (completely) die away.

Yer pal,

Far be it for me to attempt to counter the Eternally Damned One but it hockey there is a particularly vital stat namely number of shots on goal which is very commonly reported. Shots on goal tells you who good a particular team’s offense is, and how good the other team’s defense is. Also gives you a good idea on how good the goalie is playing. 1 goal for lets say 5 shots on goal would be pretty bad for the goalie but suggest the defense is playing well (or the offense is playing badly). 0 goals for 60 shots on goal would mean that the defense is playing badly the goalie is awesome and the offense is playing very well.

What more could you expect from somebody who lets people kick him to the head?

True, Glitch… But I think that the poster refers to the old broadcasting tradition of “x runs, x hits, and x errors.” I don’t often see an announcer say, “The Bruins had 2 goals, 23 shots on goal, to The Black Hawks, with 1 goal 18 shots on goal.”

I’m not a huge hockey fan by any means, but I see enough sports coverage in general to, I think, notice this distinction…

By giving runs, hits, and errors, you can evaluate what kind of game was played. Let’s say it’s the Houston Astros vs the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1. Just the score tells you very little. However, if the Astros had 15 hits while the Phillies had 2, with only 1 error by each side, you’ll then know that the Phil’s pitching stinks, the Astros’ pitching is good, and both teams provided very good fielding. It also means that the Astros aren’t very good at converting hits into runs. Now you have a complete picture of that game, and a better understanding of how good each team is.

A lot of it is tradition – they’ve been reporting hits, runs, and errors probably since baseball was first reported and that sort of thing lives on.

Scores don’t “always” give hits, runs, and errors. Newspaper articles rarely mention the numbers in their text (they’ll mention key hits and errors that led to the loss,and they’ll be mentioned in the box score, but not in any article about the game). TV and radio reports of the game don’t mention them either (they don’t have time). You just get the score.

Where you do hear the three statistics are at live broadcasts of the game. Note that they usually do this at the end of each inning, and not as much at the end of the game (they’ll mention it once, but won’t dwell on it).

That’s the answer here: The hits and errors (and men left on base) are a very good way to summarize an inning. A team may have no runs, but three hits, which shows that the team was hitting the ball safely, even though they couldn’t score. It’s a quick way to recap what’s going on in a particular inning.


Well that is a good start and I realize it is tradition but my point was not too clear I really meant why is it on the scoreboard on TV or at the ballpark?

I’m watching the game and I want to know the score. And what about the blinking baseball why don’t they have that?

If it’s tradition why doesn’t baseball move into the 90’s and change, afterall black people no longer have to sit at the back of a bus, times change things improve. If I’m watching the game all I want to know is what the score is.

Yes in hockey they tell us the shots on goal but when they post the score on the screen they just say the score. The stats are something that is reported throughout the game and then in the newspaper,it’s just something that has always bugged me about baseball since I guess baseball is not our national sport in Canada but I still like going to a game occationally.

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There’s no blinking baseball because no one has any trouble seeing it. It’s difficult to pick up a hockey puck on a TV screen, but no one’s ever complained about seeing the baseball, especially with the camera work they have today.

I’m curious about why the RHE bothers you. It’s merely a way to recap the inning. So what if they show it on the line score? It’s not like the space is needed for anything else.


Uh, how exactly does the RHE keep you from enjoying the game, why would it be an “improvement” to dispense with it, and how is it even remotely comparable to the other thing you mention here?

Just because you’re either a) a casual fan or b) a lazy jackass, don’t expect everyone else to be, also.

“I love God! He’s so deliciously evil!” - Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

Perhaps Satan can confirm this: Didn’t the Yankees, about ten years ago, play a game in which their pitcher threw a no-hitter only to LOSE because the other team got four unearned runs? Imagine that box score:

Visitors 4 0 0
Yankees 1 5 4

(Hope that comes out right)

Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

FOX should not carry sports. They are way too caught up in the animation in an effort to try to enhance the viewing pleasure. I cannot stand those two robots facing off after every goal in hockey. The announcers did a great job covering the Red Sox vs. Indians, but that’s about all. Baseball too, was accompanied by swooshing sounds and fancy wipes. I personally did not care for the streaking Hockey puck, but I do think it was a good idea.

A fascinating comment, snetho, but not particularly germane to the topic. Perhaps you should start a conversation in the BBQ Pit.

I agree (somewhat more diplomatically) with pldennison. Having the extra information on screen doesn’t detract from enjoying the game; sometimes it even adds to the enjoyment.

A box score is a form of encryption. A game is translated from reality into a tiny rectangle of numbers and letters and anyone with the experience and the know-how can decode it; can bring the game back to life again, can re-enact it in finer and finer detail the more information is given, the less compression is used.

As the scores flash along a ticker you’ll see maximum compression. “LA 1 SF 5” - now I know to rejoice and not despair. Add a little more information - “LA 1 SF 5 F11” - and now I know that a Giants player hit a walk-off Grand Slam. That’s a lot more information. If I see the R H E final, then I get more, and more and more up to the full box score and the how they scored log, or the score book, which is almost the entire game encoded, for anyone to decode. All you need then is a little magic to recreate it. If you see in the dry score that Ted Williams hit a home run then you know that the Williams shift was on and you can imagine the fielders nervously taking their unfamiliar positions in right field … if you read the line for Bobby Thomson on that fateful day in 1951 you can hear Russ Hodges tell us four times that “The Giants Win The Pennant” …
“I’m reading the box scores, Scully. You’d like it. It’s like the Pythagorean Theorem for jocks. It distills all the chaos and action of any game in the history of all baseball games into one tiny, perfect,
rectangular sequence of numbers. I can look at this box and I can recreate exactly what happened on some sunny summer day back
in 1947.”

– Fox Mulder, “The Unnatural”


I will research the particular question to get my facts strraight.

I CAN answer the question in general terms, however. Games such as this WERE considered no-hitters. Now they are not.

Baseball, a few years ago, decided to change the classifications for a no-hitter. This distinction involved taking away no-hit status to games where unearrned runs were scored and also took shortened games due to rain out of the books.

It was a retro-active decision, so tons of no-hitters were washed from the annals of baseball history because of it.

As a side note, they took away Harvey Haddix’s (I think 1959) perfect game designation due to the fact that it went 13 innings. He was perfect through 12+ innings, gave up a hit and lost the game in the 12th 1-0. Since he went nine perfect innings, they counted it until the new rules came in.

Nonetheless, his performance still stands as one of the great pitching performances of all-time, and has not lost any of it’s lustre due to it’s losing perfect game & no-hitter status.

I do remember the rules were changed, Satan, I just wanted to remember if that game had actually been played the way I recall.

Back in '91, I went to a Dodger game against the Expos that was even wierder: A DOUBLE no-hitter. Both pitchers pitched no-hitters for nine innings. The Dodgers won in the tenth on a bases-loaded single, IIRC.

That was on a Friday. The following Sunday, Dennis Martinez pitched his perfect game. I didn’t see that one, but I think a double no-hitter is even more rare but it won’t be in the history books as such because both teams got hits in the tenth.

Hope I didn’t make you work too hard.

Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

Yes, the situation happened pretty much as you described it. I don’t remember the score, but it definitely was the Yankees.

Being the losing pitcher in a no hitter is rare, but this example is not the only one. Satan’s example of Harvey Haddix is the classic case, but there have been several nine inning no-hit losses. This usually happens with poor defensive teams.

The Dodgers and Expos didn’t play a double no-hitter in 1991. Mark Gardner had a no-hitter through 9 innings, but the Dodger pitchers had given up some hits, but no runs. The Expos lost in the 10th when Gardner gave up a couple of hits.
There has been a 9-inning double no-hitter in the major leagues. On May 2, 1917 Fred Toney of Cincinnati and Hippo Vaughn of Chicago held their opponents hitless for 9 innings. Vaughn gave up 2 hits in the 10th to lose the game 1-0. Toney got credit for a no-hitter as he pitched a hitless 10th to end the game.

When Sandy Koufax pitched his no-hitter against the Cubs in 1965, the Cub pitcher Bob Hendley only gave up 1 hit and lost 1-0. However, the Cubs made an error which led to the Dodgers only run.

The final line read
Chicago 0 0 1
L.A. 1 1 0

OK, baseball fans, this thread is here to educate. While I’ve always enjoyed a ballgamme at the (sniff, sniff - no more) 'Dome, I’ve remained blissfully ignorant of some things. I’ve read the thread and didn’t see it, so I’ll ask.

Runs and hits are obviously quantifiable. Are there objective criteria for counting errors? I can easily understand calling it an error when… nah, I’ll just let the question stand as is.

Only runs are objectively quantifiable. Hits and errors are the judgment of the official scorer. If the runner hits the ball and reaches first, the scorer has to judge whether or not it is a hit or an error on a fielder. Most of this time, this requires very little judgment.

We still care about errors now in the 20th century, because there used to be so many of them in the 19th century. It was important to know how many errors were made then.

Now, an error is a relatively rare event. (The worst fielders will only make an error 1 out of every 10 times they handle the ball.) Truly bad fielders don’t even get close to fielding most balls, so they don’t get the opportunity to pick up errors.