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Why does a "K" represent a strike out in baseball?

It's been that way since 1860

ATLANTA — ATLANTA—The Braves playoff hopes took a hit Thursday night, but fans are still hopeful that the team’s pitchers will record a lot of K’s.

In baseball terms, a “K” is a strike out.


For the answer you have to go back to 1860 and a sports writer named Henry Chadwick. Chadwick developed the box score as a way of keeping up with the progress of a game and he needed abbreviations so he could write down the inning by inning developments.

He used an “S” to indicate a single, so when Chadwick got to “strike out” he had to pick another letter.

In the 1860s, it was common to say a player “struck three times” when they went down swinging, so Chadwick picked the last letter in “struck” to represent the strike out.

His methods have been tweaked over the years but the “K” continues to represent a strike out.

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