Why Do They Say Crooked Numbers in Baseball?

Baseball is a game full of unique language and sayings. With so many terms and phrases being used to explain the game, it can be difficult to keep up. One phrase that you may have heard is “crooked numbers”. But what does this mean? And why is it used in baseball? Let’s take a look.

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What Are Crooked Numbers?

At its simplest, “crooked numbers” is a term used to describe a score line that’s not evenly distributed between the two teams. The most common example is a score line of 8-3. This is considered a “crooked number” because it’s not a symmetrical score line like 6-6 or 5-5.

It’s also important to note that “crooked numbers” can refer to other numerical differences in the game as well. A team that’s ahead in the number of hits or runs scored can be said to have a “crooked number”.

The Origins of the Phrase

The phrase “crooked numbers” has been used in baseball for a long time. It’s believed that the term originated in the early days of the game, when scoreboards and scorecards were much less sophisticated than they are today.

At this time, scoreboards were made up of a series of tallies that were moved up or down to indicate the score. These tallies were known as “crooked numbers” because they were not perfectly aligned.

Why Is the Phrase Used in Baseball?

The phrase “crooked numbers” has become a popular way to describe a game’s score line. The reason for this is that it’s a convenient way to describe a one-sided score line without having to say “the team that’s ahead by five runs”.

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At the same time, the phrase is also used to describe a team that’s ahead in the number of hits or runs scored. This is because the phrase implies that one team is far ahead of the other, even if the score line is not lopsided.


The phrase “crooked numbers” is a unique way to describe a score line or numerical difference in a baseball game. The term has been used for centuries and is a convenient way to describe a one-sided score line. It’s also used to refer to a team that’s ahead in the number of hits or runs scored.