Math teacher Scott Sussman is a “stat-stringer,” for MLB.com, and if you have ever watched baseball online, then you know that they record the plays in a matter of seconds, and everything you could ever want to know about it is there. But what about the people behind the stats?
A stat-stringer is “kind of a live play-by-play of the game just through kind of inputting all the plays, pitch-by-pitch.” says Mr. Sussman. He adds, “It’s what you see in the GameDay online and in the MLB app.”
He got the job in a unique way. His brother was the original applicant through a site called Monster.com. Mr. Sussman got the job years after him. He says, “I didn’t apply through Monster.com I think he (his brother) gave me the name of his boss, now our boss, and I kind of applied emailing him.”
Mr. Sussman described the perks of having the status of stat-slinger. He says, ““Well I get to work about 25 to 30 Major League Baseball games, I get to sit in the press box.” He adds, “Plus parking is included.”
As glorious as getting to sit in press box at Nationals and Orioles’ games is, the job is not easy by any stretch. Mr. Sussman expresses the challenges he faces on a regular basis. He says, “A lot of people say baseball moves slow, but sometimes for us it moves fast, especially if you have to input a very challenging play.”
He adds, “It’s even more challenging in the National League because the pitcher bats and so there’s a lot of pinch-hitters and sometimes a manager will shuffle the lineup.”
Mr. Sussman talks about his schedule for stat-stringing. He says “I would say I do probably a game a week. Sometimes I’ll go two weeks without a game, sometimes three weeks, but sometimes I’ll have two or three games in a week. It all depends.”
When it comes to the salary involved in this job, Mr. Sussman wasn’t allowed to give any information. But he did hint toward the benefits it gives. He says, “It’s enough so I don’t have to teach summer school.”
While he wasn’t assigned any Nationals playoff games this year, he did mention he worked Game Two of the NLDS last year between the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers, where the Nationals picked up a 5-2 win.