Souhan: Twins official scorer Thornley goes by the book, yet is a nonconformist

From Jim Souhan at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on June 15, 2015, on SABR member Stew Thornley:

Stew Thornley works for the Health Department. He likes cats. He also likes baseball, and works as an official scorer at Twins games. He wears a mustache and studies statistics.

He is stereotypical baseball geek, except when sky diving, bear wrestling, writing books about obscure topics or visiting Hall of Famers’ grave sites.

“Official scoring is the way in which I am a conformist,” he said. “I usually pride myself on nonconformity, but when it comes to scoring, I want us to be consistent across the board.”

Hang around press boxes, and you will encounter characters. Thornley might be Minnesota’s most-unique and useful press box character, a dedicated scorer with a list of hobbies that make him a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Bill James.

Thornley, 59, has worked as a Gophers bat boy and as a PA announcer at St. Louis Park High School. He also has visited the grave sites of, he believes, 207 baseball Hall of Famers.

Sometimes he has to use covert methods to find them. Willie Stargell wanted his grave site to remain secret, so Thornley had to consult a pharmacist and baseball enthusiast from Stargell’s town, Wilmington, N.C., to deduce where to look.

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Originally published: June 15, 2015. Last Updated: June 15, 2015.