Baseball has always been a game of numbers, even if keeping score with paper and pencil is no longer a popular activity at games. Batting averages and calculations, such as how often a player gets a hit with someone in scoring position, are just some of the numerical information posted on stadium scoreboards. The film Moneyball, based on true events, was an entertaining look at just how important numbers and statistics are in evaluating the effectiveness of individual baseball players - and in the resulting success of their team.
Baseball can also be a fun and easy way to engage children in numbers and math calculations. If you are at a game (or watching at home) with a child, use a scorecard. Older children can manage their own scoring and younger children can help you with your card. Don't know how to keep score? You can find basic instructions on the website of Major League Baseball, but we found more detailed instructions easier to follow.
There are also a number of good baseball themed apps that offer math instruction, such as Everyday Math, available through iTunes. And the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has developed a series of classroom lessons for grades 6-8 that utilize baseball statistics to teach skills with decimals, fractions, and percentages.
Or, you can sit down with your kids, turn on the game, and just spend some quality time together. No matter who wins, you can't lose!