I was dismayed to read, on the April 7 baseball page, that, “due to changes in the way the paper is produced” – whatever that may mean – “baseball box scores will no longer be published in the print editions of The News & Observer.”
I guess this was inevitable, since most material once enjoyed on paper is being shoved online, but it deprives local baseball fans of one of life’s great pleasures: savoring the statistics of players and teams over breakfast, throughout the day, across the season, squinting at that agate type and analyzing what happened in dozens of parks from coast to coast, the ABs and Hs and RBIs, the IPs and BBs and ERAs.
Can I access such data online? Sure. But it’s not the same as holding the folded newspaper in my hands, following the numbers with my fingers, smelling the ink and hearing the shaken-out pages, appreciating how neatly a box score (which takes up very little room) summarizes this beautiful game and doing so the way generations of fans and families have always done. It’s not even close.