History of the 'K'

During game one of the series against the Rangers, Orioles fans emailed questions to MASN that were answered on air.

One viewer had a great question: Why is a strikeout symbolized by the letter "K" in box scores?

For those who didn't hear the answer on air, it's a great little baseball history lesson.

It was invented by Henry Chadwick, an English born sportswriter working in New York for a newspaper called Baseball Memoranda in the mid to late 1800s. Chadwick wanted a system where he could quickly note what happened during the games so he could write his reports later.

As a result, he used some of his knowledge of the cricket scoring system and came up with many of the symbols we use to denote certain baseball plays today. Among BB for walks and HR for home run, he used a 'K' to symbolize strikeout.

The reason?

Back in the 1800s when baseball was just getting popular in the United States, the term 'struck' was much more common than 'strikeout'. Chadwick already used 'S' for sacrifice, so he used the last letter in the word 'struck' to symbolize a strikeout.

We've used the 'K' ever since. So, the next time you're at The Yard and you see a 'K' register on the scoreboard. You can thank Mr. Chadwick whose contribution to our beloved game has mostly been buried in history.