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Scored with Love

A grandmother's dedication to baseball and family

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Jake Baskin, Peyton Baskin, Jo Anne Baskin, Wyatt Baskin, Taylor Baskin

KEEPING SCORE Grandmother-of-four Jo Anne Baskin (pictured), attends all of her grandchildren's baseball games, keeping score by hand in her baseball scorebooks. Pictured are her grandchildren: (front) Jake Baskin, 17, who plays right field and catcher; (back row, from left) Peyton, 13, who plays pitcher, third base and first base; Wyatt, 15, who plays short stop, pitcher, and third base; and Taylor, 11, who plays catcher, pitcher, and first base. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)

Baseball scorekeeping – the method of tracking a baseball game by hand in a scorebook – has become a second language for grandmother-of-four Jo Anne Baskin, also known as “CC” by her grandkids. 

The practice, which dates to the late 1870s, involves using a scorebook or scorecard to record every play and event that occurs during a game. The scorekeeper sits with a pencil or pen and intently watches the game, ready to document the action as it unfolds. Professional baseball leagues hire official scorers to keep an official record of each game, but some baseball fans, like Jo Anne, score by hand as a hobby. 

Jo Anne and Taylor Baskin

Jo Anne and Taylor scoring together when Taylor was younger.

Jo Anne is an involved grandmother, attending up to six baseball games each week with her husband of more than 50 years, Coy, known as “CPop” to the kids. To score a game, each player’s performance, including hits, walks, strikeouts, and defensive plays, is tracked using a system of symbols and shorthand notation. The scorekeeper marks the progression of each inning, noting the outs, runs scored, and base runners’ movements. In addition, the scorekeeper records any occurrences, such as pitching changes, substitutions, or controversial calls by umpires. 

It is not just about wins and losses in baseball for Jo Anne. It is about the love of one of America’s favorite sports – one that started in her own childhood in Texas in the 1950s while listening to the Houston Buffaloes (the minor league team affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals) on the radio. 

Recollections of the old Buff Stadium in Houston’s East End (used by the team from 1928-1961, which later became a Finger Furniture store, with a showroom built around home plate, until 2013) give Jo Anne a nostalgic feeling. Her allegiance to the sport stretches from Little League to the Astros, particularly her favorite player, Jose Altuve.

“They did not have organized softball or baseball for girls when I was growing up,” said Jo Anne. “But I played with the boys in my neighborhood from age 9 to 13.” This might have been foreshadowing for her granddaughter, Taylor Baskin, 11, who last year made Post Oak Little League history by becoming the first girl player in POLL to make an All-Star team. 

Jo Anne and Taylor Baskin

A recent photo of Jo Anne and Taylor Baskin, 11, who plays for Post Oak Little League. Last year, Taylor made Post Oak Little League history by becoming the first girl to make an All-Star team. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)

Jo Anne, a retired assistant principal, rarely misses a game for her four grandchildren. The games take place all over Houston, and some are out of state. Regardless of their geographic location, CC and CPop can be found in the stands, Jo Anne with a scorebook in hand. She has become a staple on the fields of Post Oak Little League (POLL), nestled near the Galleria area, where her grandchildren have played. 

Jo Anne has been self-taught in her scorekeeping through decades of learning her style. She purchases her scorebooks from Academy Sports and Outdoors and keeps separate books for each grandchild. She has stacks of filled books at home. “They are somewhere up in the attic,” said Jo Anne, in a light-hearted tone. 

FAMILY FIRST Grandparents Jo Anne and Coy Baskin (pictured) rarely miss a baseball game for their grandchildren, Jake, Wyatt, Peyton, and Taylor Baskin. They attend on average six games a week or more between their four grandchildren and have traveled out-of-state for games. 

Jo Anne and Coy were high school sweethearts and married in 1971. Together, they raised two children, son CL and daughter Chrissy. CL has four children with wife Ashley, all of whom play baseball. Jake, 17, and Wyatt, 15, both play baseball for St. Thomas High School, and formerly Post Oak Little League, son Peyton, 13, plays for POLL, and daughter Taylor, 11, plays for POLL. 

Last year, Taylor had wrapped up a stellar regular season. At the end of the season, the Baskin baseball schedule was busy, and Ashley said they did not make plans to attend the tryouts for the All-Star team for Taylor. A girl had never made it before. “We did not want her disappointed,” said Ashley.

FAMILY FIRST Grandparents Jo Anne and Coy Baskin (pictured) rarely miss a baseball game for their grandchildren, Jake, Wyatt, Peyton, and Taylor Baskin. They attend on average six games a week or more between their four grandchildren and have traveled out-of-state for games. 

They were at another game of one of the boys when CL got a phone call from one of the coaches. “He was asking why Taylor wasn’t there for the All-Star tryout,” said Ashley. “CL politely said, ‘We didn’t know she would even be considered.’ The coach said, ‘We need Taylor, and we need her bat.’”

CL hung up the phone, quickly left the game, and scooped up Taylor to head to the tryouts. They made it in time, and Taylor demonstrated her skills, hitting, and fielding with precision. She earned her spot on the All-Star team, making POLL history. 

Ashley said Jo Anne’s support helps push Taylor through the tough moments. “When she cheers, she always says the right thing,” said Taylor. Taylor’s favorite phrases she hears Jo Anne say from the stands are: “rock and fire,” “it just takes one,” “you’ve got this!” and “yes! yes! yes!”


FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME Grandmother Jo Anne Baskin has been scorekeeping baseball by hand since the 1970s. An example of Jo Anne’s scorebook. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)

Rewind to the early days of Jo Anne’s scorekeeping hobby, in 1975, when Coy was a Houston police officer: The officers would frequently meet up after work under the lights at Memorial Park to play recreation league softball games. “One day, Coy handed me a scorekeeper book, and asked if I would keep track of the game,” said Jo Anne. 

“What I liked about Jo Anne keeping the scorebook was that I did not have to rely on what I thought had happened during the game,” said Coy. “So many times, you thought you might have remembered the play happening in a certain way. I could go back and review any of the plays that had taken place during the game.” 

Jo Anne recalls the memories of the kids at the field under the lights; when the police officers played, she would sit and score games, and CL and Chrissy would play pick-up baseball games with the other police officers’ kids. “It would be 11 at night after the officers got off work, and they were running around the field playing,” said Jo Anne.

Coy and Jo Anne Baskin

Grandparents Coy and Jo Anne Baskin are the kids’ biggest fans.

CL’s childhood involves many baseball memories, where his parents were a constant at his own Little League games. “I remember my mom always being there, a scorebook in hand and her distinct voice cheering our team on,” he said. 

CL became a pitcher for his high school team, and he often relied on his mom’s guidance during the games. “I would look to her between innings and ask who the other team had coming up,” said CL. “She would not only tell me 5, 6,7, but she would include what they did in their previous at-bat.” CL experienced the same conversations continued when he coached his own kids in Little League, years later. “I would look to her and ask who is up next and how many pitches our pitcher had thrown,” he said. 

And she did not just keep score at her kids’ games. CL remembers watching Jo Anne at Astros games, popcorn in one hand and a scorebook in the other. 

FAMILY FIRST Grandparents Jo Anne and Coy Baskin (pictured) rarely miss a baseball game for their grandchildren, Jake, Wyatt, Peyton, and Taylor Baskin. They attend on average six games a week or more between their four grandchildren and have traveled out-of-state for games. 

During her grandkids’ games, Jo Anne maintains a low profile, quietly sitting high in the stands. “I like to have something to do with my hands during the game,” she said. There have been times when coaches have come to her to ask questions during a game. “There have been times when the coaches, my son being one of them, ask where the batter hits the ball,” said Jo Anne. She sometimes records notes about the day’s weather or notable moments that take place. 

But her scorebooks mean more to her than just who won the game. From Little League to professional baseball games, scorekeeping has become her other language. “In my opinion, her scorebook is her diary,” said CL. “It is where she is at a place she loves, which is any ballpark, chronicling a game she loves and watching, cheering and surrounded by the people she loves most.”

THROUGH THE YEARS The Baskins are a dedicated baseball family. Grandmother Jo Anne Baskin has been self-taught in baseball scorekeeping and tracks all of the games in her baseball scorebooks. Pictured are the Baskin family including grandparents Jo Anne and Coy Baskin, parents Ashley and CL Baskin (at right) and children (from left) Jake, Wyatt, Peyton, and Taylor, at Post Oak Little League in 2018.

Jo Anne’s kindness and giving spirt are reflected in her dedication to the grandchildren. “She does the things that matter that go unnoticed,” said grandson Peyton. “She makes us laugh when we have had a bad game and reminds us that baseball is a great game, it’s a privilege to play it, but is still just a game.”

Jo Anne’s daughter-in-law Ashley Baskin relies on Jo Anne and Coy’s moral support for her kids. She recalled a time they traveled to Alabama to watch a tournament. “They brought a sense of home and security especially when things got tough,” said Ashley. “Hearing their voices, and being a sounding board at dinner, made all the difference,” said Ashley. For Jake, they did the same for travel ball and travelled all four years of Jake’s summer All-Star games and were faithful members of the parent and grandparent group.

“They bring a cooler of drinks to every game,” said Ashley. “We meet up after the game at their car and they give them a hug and have cold drinks and candy.”

Jo Anne Baskin, Taylor Baskin, Wyatt Baskin

Jo Anne, with young Taylor and Wyatt, keeping score at Jake's Little League games when her son CL was coaching.

Jo Anne has fully embraced her role as the family's designated scorekeeper. “When I score the plays, I will show where the ball is hit,” she explains, her fingers tracing invisible arcs in the air. “In this way, as the game goes on, I can tell where the batter has a tendency to hit the ball,” said Jo Anne. 

For Jo Anne, attending the games brings her immense amounts of happiness. “I could go on and on about the joy I have been blessed to have watching my husband, my son, and my grandkids play this wonderful American game,” she said.

Jo Anne’s influence reaches far beyond the scorebook. Her presence in the stands is a source of comfort and reassurance for her family. One that extends beyond the boundaries of the diamond.

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