Keeping score at Cobb’s Hill

Keeping score at Cobb’s Hill

[Brittnee Johnson, scorekeeper. Cobb’s Hill 5/3/18]

In Adding a SOTA baseball game and the Air Horn guy to the Cobb’s Hill series, we met Randy “Air Horn” Johnson, father of SOTA junior Brennen Johnson.

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Randy “Air Horn” Johnson. Randy generally stands back from the field so as not to be a distraction. 5/3/18 See Adding a SOTA baseball game and the Air Horn guy to the Cobb’s Hill series

Then, Randy tooted the team to a 14-13 nail biting win over Edison. Randy was back for the Greece Odyssey game, but couldn’t quite rally the boys in their loss.  At the game, I learned that supporting SOTA is a family affair as daughter Brittnee is the official SOTA scorekeeper.

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Jacob Mykins, Greece Odyssey scorekeeper

The job of the scorekeeper is more important than casual fans might realize, especially when fields don’t have electronic scoreboards.  While umpires keep track of balls, strikes and outs on their indicators, if any confusion arises, the umpire consults the official scorekeepers of both teams who are tracking every pitch.

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Umpire preparing his score sheet before the Greece Odyssey – SOTA game.

Fundamentally, the scorekeepers are responsible for recording the score and inning.  Furthermore, scorekeepers record substitutions and must know if a player bats out of order.

This year, scorekeepers have new duties.  The RCAC has a strict pitch count for pitchers which must be carefully tracked.  You’ll hear coaches constantly asking the scorekeepers how many pitches have been thrown.  With the new rules, game strategy rests in the balance. The keepers better be right.

Brittnee studies at St. Bonaventure University and aims to be a school counselor.  Luckily, her schedule allows her to also be the SOTA scorekeeper.


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Brittnee in action

Taught the score keeping craft from her uncle and after honing her skills, Brittnee says she rarely makes a mistake.  Mostly, the umpires’ balls/strikes/outs match Brittnees’ record, but occasionally the umpires ask her for a double check.  Given the pitch count rules, she is meticulous about marking the small boxes for balls and strikes.

As Brittnee watches every pitch closely, I asked how often she thinks the umpires are right in their calls. She says 75% of the time.  As an umpire myself, I must disagree. I think the umpires are right well over 95% of the time.

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With new RCAC rules, the score keeper has to get every pitch right.

Brittnee was not the only SOTA score keeper at the game. Mother of player Steven, Michelle Lepki kept an unofficial book on the side.

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The SOTA Mommas. Michelle Lepki (left) keeping book

Michelle is one of the so-called SOTA Mommas who brave “rain, sleet or dust storms” to support — and feed — their team and fans.

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SOTA Mommas feeding fans.

Michelle shared the playlist the Mommas use when cheering on the team with Randy tooting in the background and Brittnee marking every pitch.

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(left) Michelle Lepki; (right) the playlist the Mommas use when cheering on the team.


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About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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