Nugget of Knowledge: ‘K’ stands for strikeout

"K" is baseball shorthand for a strike out

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – With the Cleveland Indians in the post-season, you may have noticed the letter “K” up on the stands. Sometimes you’ll see a bunch of them side to side.

That’s a symbol for a strike out.

The use of “K” for a strikeout came from Henry Chadwick, a newspaper reporter who, back in the 19th century, invented the box score and the baseball scorecard. Those have remained pretty much unchanged to this day.

Chadwick decided to use “K,” the last letter in “struck,” since the letter “S” was used for “sacrifice.” Back then, the batter was said to have struck, not struck out.

Chadwick also came up with the the use of numbers to designate player positions.

Despite the score-keeping custom of using “K” for strikeout, “SO” is the official abbreviation used by Major League Baseball.

Fans, however, have liked to use “K.”

Some pitchers who specialize in strikeouts have picked up nicknames, including the letter “K.”

Dwight Gooden was known as “Doctor K.” Fransisco Rodriguez is known as “K-Rod.”

Roger Clemens has taken the “K” name to an extreme by naming his four sons Koby, Kory, Kacy and Kody.

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