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Classic Stadium Scoreboards -- By The Book

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By Phil Hecken, with Gary Chanko

As most of you fine readers are familiar, almost every Saturday for the past few years, I’ve run a sub-lede on here called “Classic Stadium Scoreboards,” which features both the art and research of Gary Chanko. Gary’s graphic depictions of scoreboards really are works of art in and of themselves, and to date, he’s completed around 60 of them.

I’m here today with Gary to talk about a new project in which I’m hopeful many of you will be interested — the Book of Scoreboards. And we’d like to ask your assistance in crafting it!

At this point, I will turn the post over to Gary.

. . .

Classic Scoreboards: An Illustrated History
By Gary Chanko

About eighteen months ago I pitched a project to Phil involving creating illustrations of some of the old classic ballparks. I knew Phil shared a keen interest in these old ballparks and I always wanted to do some sort of poster involving Connie Mack Stadium — where I saw my first major league baseball game.

That monstrous Ballantine scoreboard in right field is a huge part of my of Connie Mack Stadium memories. I knew that scoreboard would somehow be incorporated in the illustration. Researching for Connie Mack Stadium materials, it registered that many of these old ballparks also had distinctive scoreboards in their histories. But there was little written about these iconic scoreboards. Photographic images of old scoreboards, when they existed, were typically lost in the background. Most of the old scoreboards were lost; buried in the larger narrative of the ballpark. I decided “scoreboards” would be the focus of my illustrations.

I originally planned just a few scoreboard illustrations – Connie Mack Stadium, Polo Grounds, maybe Ebbets Field and so on. Many of the Uni-Watch readers enjoyed the Classic Scoreboard weekend series that rekindled their own ballpark memories. With reader interest the project continued on.

Now many months later a project intended as a limited effort, has expanded to over sixty scoreboard illustrations covering not just ballparks, but football stadiums, and even a couple hockey arenas.

Recently I started brainstorming ways to share the collection of illustrations further. Why not publish them in a book? A book project is a big undertaking and I definitely needed a collaborator. So I pitched the concept to Phil and here’s what we’re planning:

Classic Scoreboards: An Illustrated History will tell the story of scoreboards from yesterday’s ballparks, stadiums, and arenas. Most of these venues no longer remain. Many of today’s fans never had the opportunity to experience the quirkiness of these facilities before the age of HD video boards. Still, many generations of sports fans hold treasured memories of having watched games in these forgotten playing fields – they can visualize the scoreboard that told who one the game.

Classic Scoreboards will contain all the sixty plus color illustrations that originally appeared in the weekend edition of Uni-Watch over the past few years. We’ll add new perspectives on the scoreboard combined with fascinating facts and information graphics.

We Want Your Input and Remembrances

Moving the planning effort forward, we thought it might be helpful to hear your thoughts and comments. Perhaps there’s a “missing” scoreboard you’d like to see included. Maybe you have a suggestion on content or a question you want answered.

Also we’re looking for anecdotal stories for inclusion in Classic Scoreboards. As such, we’re inviting you to submit scoreboard related memories, recollections, and accounts. Just a sentence or two will do. We’ll collect the best of those nostalgic experiences submitted and include them in our book.

Classic Scoreboards – A Look Back

If you’re not familiar with the Classic Scoreboards series or missed a few of the early postings, here’s list of some of previous offerings (click on the photos to enlarge — following that, here’s a link to each of those with their full writups):

__________

Connie Mack Stadium

Connie Mack Stadium Scoreboard II UW

__________

Shea Stadium and Crosley Field

Shea Stadium scoreboard

Crosley Field Scoreboard UW

__________

Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl Scoreboard UW

__________

Chicago Stadium

Chicago Stadium Scoreboard

__________

Please CLICK HERE to read the original writeups for each of those scoreboard entries.

And if you you’re interested in touring the entire Classic Scoreboard collection, check the gallery.

. . .

Thanks, Gary! OK readers — we’re not only hoping you’ll be interested in a book full of Gary’s Classic Stadium Scoreboard graphics and research and more — but that you’ll also assist with the project by offering your suggestions, questions, personal recollections or anecdotes. Please post any thoughts you might have in the comments below, or you can send an e-mail to Phil.Hecken@gmail.com. OK? OK! We’d love to hear what you think!

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Reuss Jerry PP77-419_FL_NLB McWilliams A Follow-Up From Jerry Reuss

You folks will recall last weekend I ran one in my nascent series “What’s Your Sig(nature)” — this time for the Pittsburgh Pirates, which featured several photos of Uni Watch reader and friend Jerry Reuss.

Jerry followed up with an e-mail to me on that post that I wanted to share with the UW readership:

. . . . . . . . . .

Hi Phil,

Was pleasantly surprised when I viewed my pictures in yesterday’s post. My original purpose for posting was to share them with family and friends but then, I thought, why not with anyone who wants to see them? To use them as a historical record was something beyond my original scope. My thanks for making the Pirates images as well as my other posts more relevant.

In two tenures with the Pirates, I wore three distinct styles of uniforms. The first being the original knit style which was well-balanced with the stripes used around the neckline, sleeves and waistband. The two-tone hat and stirrups carried the old gold/black color theme from top to bottom. Because I enjoyed some success in this uniform style, seeing images of me wearing it brings on a warm and fuzzy buzz.

Second was the mix-and-match of the late seventies. Never liked the pillbox-style hat. The concept of rotating uniform combinations seemed more of a gimmick that drew attention away from the fact that the Pirates sported some excellent teams during those years. However, watching the club play from the bench at Three Rivers wearing the yellow/gold monochrome combination against the green of the Tartan turf and aquamarine-colored fence was a visual treat. Since I wore the various combo sets during two disappointing seasons before a trade to the Dodgers, no happy emotional ties exist.

Finally, the transition uniform I wore in September of 1990 (waistband in ’90 to belt loops in ’91, bold stripes on the sleeves, neckline and pants) was another well-balanced style. The use of yellow/gold as an accent color made this uniform a return to the classic style while still utilizing elements of the ”˜70s and ”˜80s. I walked off the mound at Three Rivers in my last game to a standing ovation followed by a curtain call, the only one of my 22-year career wearing that version of Pirate uniform. That was a lump-in-the-throat moment.

As far as a signature look in the context you present, I can’t provide one. I’m too emotionally involved in all the uniforms I wore. I think what separates me from many of your readers is that I viewed the uniforms from the inside looking out as opposed to outside looking in. Once I invested the time, work, sweat and emotional ties that’s part of being a player, I lost my objectivity to the experience of viewing them any other way.

I enjoyed reading about the concept of signature uniforms as well as the comments, especially yesterday as the Pirates are right in my wheelhouse. I look forward to future discussion.

JR

Thanks, Jerry — Love hearing from you and we all really appreciate your thoughts, insight and dedication to the game!

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UW Friday Flashback UW’s Friday Flashback

In case you missed it, Paul’s Friday Flashback on ESPN looked back at that time when North Carolina State wore unitards in 1989. They were only worn for two games (and so, not that well-remembered). Also, they “didn’t leave much to the imagination”, so the team ended up wearing their shorts over the unitards, which wasn’t the intent of the one-piece uni. Why did they even introduce a unitard? Check out Paul’s article/video for the answer.

Great read, so be sure to check it out if you missed it!

Enjoy!

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Uni Watch News Ticker

Baseball News: New for 2016: The Chicago Cubs are eliminating their alternate road uni (shown at right), retaining primary road uni (via Paul). … Speaking of the Cubs, they had actual bear cubs at Spring Training yesterday. Yes, actual bear cubs. … In 1992, the Angels went into Russia to sign 3 prospects. Check out the cool cap that Bob Protexter had cap made with hopes of marketing the team in Russia. More here (thanks, Paul). … Still more from Paul: The Reds will wear ’76 throwbacks on June 24, retire Pete Rose’s No. 14 on June 26 (More details here). … In addition, a Reds’ memorial patch this year for former clubhouse mgr Bernie Stowe not unveiled yet, but it may match this shirt (from Paul). … Also, a new MLB rule bans personalized bat knob decals (like Matt Duffy’s). Standardized team design & player number = OK. … We know the IronPigs are going to be the “Cheesesteaks” for one day — here’s the first look at the jersey backs for the game. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are calling those numbers “cheesy.” Their fan shirseys have even cheesier numbers. … ICYMI: #BringBackTheBrown? Yes, the Padres will have both brown and gold jerseys for the 2016 ASG. Why they couldn’t have used this look for their alternate jersey (which looks like this) is beyond me. … The Orioles are giving away this Maryland-themed bobblehead. Submitter Andrew Cosentino says, “I probably like it way more than I should.” … Oakland University’s pants have odd waist striping (from Dave Derreberry). … Here’s a a good sign of spring — the annual removal of David Price’s squatchee (thanks, Paul). … Apparently the Phillies are using a non-existent Blue Jays logo in their spring training programs (good spot by Meghan Goldie). Here’s a better look. … Is there such a thing as too much tequila sunrise-style unis? Maybe (pic from Joe Farris — those are two Arizona High School teams).

NFL/College Football News: Check out this video. Did Kentucky inadvertently reveal a new black football helmet (good spot by Thomas Mims). … Whoops, check that, they already revealed an anthracite helmet earlier this year. … Oooh, check out the patch on Don Meredith’s 1958 Look Magazine All America jacket (h/t Paul). … New Orleans Saints’ coach Sean Payton says the safety of helmets in the NFL will improve at ‘warp speed’. … “You may have got this in the past, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it,” writes Gene Sanny. “Look at all the no fanfare at this [Bengals] uniform unveiling…still a better look than today :).” … “I don’t ever recall seeing this helmet before” says Leo Strawn, Jr.. “It was worn by Tom Goode, Mississippi State alum who played for the Fins in ’69. GUD lists it as the helmet worn by the East in the last AFL All-Star Game in 1969. Love that facemask! (Photo by Bill Hetrick, founder of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum.)”

Hockey News: Here’s your first look at the “military” uniforms being worn by the Utah Grizzlies (the Ducks ECHL affiliate) tonight (from Brian Prutch). Wait, military uniforms that aren’t camo??? … Speaking of green hockey jerseys that aren’t camo, the Johnstown Tomahawks (a junior hockey organization and member of the North American Hockey League) wore those last week (from OTSports). … Tonight, the Allen Americans (an ECHL/San Jose Sharks affiliate) will wear these jerseys (from OTSports). … Also tonight, the USHL’s Black Hawks will be sporting @UNImbb sweaters (from Steve Schofield). … “The Niagara IceDogs playoff slogan is ‘Make Them See Red’, as in the red when the goal light goes off after they score,” writes Wade Heidt. “In a bit of a surprise, they have taken it a step further with the uniforms. They normally wear black helmets and black pants – really similar look as the Chicago Blackhawks. They have switched to red helmets and red pants for the playoffs. Not able to find a full, clear picture of the all red uniform, but the OHL and team website has video highlight package from (Thursday) night’s game.” … This is pretty cool — the first ever St. Louis Blues jersey (once lost) has now been found. … Speaking of the Blues, they’ll be wearing these powder blue Cardinals-esque sweaters during warmups on March 29th (from Josh Brockman). … For the first 25 years of their existence, the Buffalo Sabres had the same logo, which they have since gone back to since 2010. In the mid-90s, however, the Sabres wanted a change and were messing around with some new logos and looks, as teams often experiment with. Well, now a video has surfaced with footage of some of the proposed and rejected logos from that rebrand (great find by Aaron Husul). … The Florida Everblades wore “Guns and Hoses” jerseys to honor local firefighters and law enforcement (h/t Ian Anderson). … Boston College’s goalie Thatcher Demko was wearing some very cool candy striped pads last night (pic from Dustin Semore).

NBA News: The NBA came out with a strong statement Thursday evening in the wake of North Carolina’s passing of a discriminatory law against the gay, lesbian and transgender communities, hinting that it could impact whether the league will allow Charlotte to host to the 2017 All-Star Game. … The Reno Bighorns (an NBA Development League team, affiliate of the Sacramento Kings) wore these Yoda jerseys last night (from OT Sports). … Color vs. color last evening in Sacramento with the Kings and Suns (h/t Kenton Bevacqua). … Also color vs. *color*: Grizzlies & Spurs (from Zach).

College Hoops News: Yesterday’s edition of the Philadelphia Daily News used a very old Villanova logo (from Franco). … Another stupid uni list? Sure why not — here are the best five uniforms in March Madness history. … Got a neat old photos from Jeff Flynn: check out the light/dark top and shorts for Syracuse. Also from Jeff: check out these rare red, with white and blue striped shorts from the 1930s or 1940s (full listing here). … Hey look, Thomas Bryant is still missing one of his three adidas stripes (he was missing one last weekend too — screen shot by Stephan Proctor).

Soccer News: The new USNT and England white jerseys look awfully similar. Thanks, Nike and your template (h/t Yellow Away Kit). … Both the USMNT and their U23s debuted their black kits last night (from Patrick Thomas). Here is how they looked on the pitch (grab via Robby Aces). And a team pic. … Tweeter Tim Cross remarks, “I didn’t see this before but there’s a subtle color stripe on the US shorts. Other side blue?” … The New York Red Bulls II (The USL side of the Red Bulls) will have new kits for 2016 (h/t Cut Ziti). … We’ve seen these before, but here’s a good look at the at the new Netherlands 2016 home kit, with lots of detailed closeups. And here is the away kit. … England NT is apparently really worried about the GPS tracker covering sponsor logos on practice kits (from Yellow Away Kit). … Oooohhhh — check out this VERY nice alternate kit for the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Me likey! (from Mike Nessen). The kit looks even better with white shorts too!

Grab Bag: Today, Marquette lax will wear these awesome unis, which are of course, based on their basketball uniforms bearing the same tiled stripe design (h/t Nicole Haase). … If you happen to have $140 burning a hole in your pocket, you can get a pair of state-themed cleats (from Jason Hillyer). … Australia has a national Quiddich uniform. Yep you read that correctly (from Graham Clayton).

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And that’s it for today — big thanks to Gary and Jerry Reuss, and anyone who tweeted or e-mailed for the ticker. With tomorrow being Easter, there might be a slightly smaller post (or maybe not). Everyone have a great Saturday, and if you have any thoughts, suggestions or anecdotes for the Classic Scoreboards book, please either post your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot me an e-mail. Back tomorrow, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken

Peace.

.. … ..

“Genuinely curious, because it’s just not something I’ve ever thought about until now ”“ what did people wear before the button down shirt was invented?”

— Zant

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26 comments to Classic Stadium Scoreboards — By The Book

  • Jerry | March 26, 2016 at 8:35 am |

    In the final item of the baseball ticker, its Oakland University, not University of Oakland.

    • Phil Hecken | March 26, 2016 at 8:53 am |

      Thanks. Fixed.

  • Jeff | March 26, 2016 at 8:49 am |

    Anyone notice the battle of arched NOB in the Notre Dame-Michigan hockey game?

  • Gusto4044 | March 26, 2016 at 9:23 am |

    Will Gary be putting together a Three Rivers Stadium scoreboard graphic? There was a substantial amount of sports history in that stadium, including six world championships in football and baseball, and the 1976 Pitt Panthers beat Penn State by 17 at TRS enroute to a dominant national title run.

    A ton of hall of famers played in that stadium as well.

    • Gary | March 26, 2016 at 10:53 am |

      Yes, Three Rivers Stadium is possible. I’ll add it to my list for the future.

  • Random reader | March 26, 2016 at 9:33 am |

    That Blue Jays logo on the program looks a lot like a logo someone designed shortly after the Blue Jays changed their logo to what they have now. I remember the designer felt the new logo was not balanced visually and he made his own version. I’m surprised it ended up in a Phillies spring training program.

  • Scott | March 26, 2016 at 9:47 am |

    That Blue Jays logo in the ticker looks like it was taken from here:

    http://www.blogto.com/sports_play/2011/11/is_this_an_even_better_toronto_blue_jays_logo/

    It was the second result in a Google Images search for “toronto blue jays logo”.

    • Kelly Levy | March 26, 2016 at 11:31 am |

      It’s called a googlgo. Googlgo – (Google and logo) When the designer realizes last minute that they didn’t get a print ready version of a logo and the project has to go to the printer NOW. You google the logo and furiously work photoshop magic to make it press ready.

  • Bruce | March 26, 2016 at 10:05 am |

    Good luck with the Classic Scoreboards book Gary and Phil, sounds like a great idea ~ and thanks to Jerry Reuss for checking re: Pirates uniforms!

  • Artie | March 26, 2016 at 10:13 am |

    What possible justification is there for banning personalized bat knobs? I don’t want to make a bigger deal of this than it is, but it’s just so pointless wrong-headed and out of touch. Whatever: maybe if baseball wasn’t so boring, I’d watch and actually care about this.

    • The Jeff | March 26, 2016 at 11:20 am |

      Good question. Hell, you’d think they’d encourage it, then sell replica decals.

      Control freaks gonna be control freaks.

  • Jim Vilk | March 26, 2016 at 11:59 am |

    I second the motion for the Three Rivers scoreboard, as long as it’s the original.
    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-d7Tj2TzXgPA/SZXZZJSmM1I/AAAAAAAAAio/tC870G2LYtI/s1600/00334_s_8ac95rbc70419.jpg

    Not sure how long they did it, but for several years after Clemente’s death the Pirates had 21 in the at-bat section during pregame. I thought that was a nice little tribute.
    http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4103/5022240596_39924b5d7a_o.jpg

  • Steve D | March 26, 2016 at 12:58 pm |

    Gary,

    You did a great job on your scoreboard research, but obviously you cannot be expert in so many scoreboards at the same time. I do consider myself especially knowledgeable on the Shea board and remember giving you feedback when it originally printed. You did not take any of my feedback based on the picture above, but I’d be willing to offer it again, providing you are open to making the changes. Good luck either way!

    • Gary | March 26, 2016 at 5:01 pm |

      I recall incorporating most or all of your comments, but I will need to recheck. The posting above is the original version. Would like to have your comments though as we beginning putting the content in place.

      • Steve D | March 26, 2016 at 11:02 pm |

        Gary,

        You can see my original comments with some links here:

        http://www.uni-watch.com/2014/10/04/wfl-contest-entries-part-the-second/#comments

        I would add that if you are going for the 1964 board, it looks like the border around the Met logo was white, not black, based on one of the links I gave. Also, since games started at 8:05, it is unlikely to be 9:05 PM in a scoreless game in the first inning…more like 8:30.

  • Too Tall Paul | March 26, 2016 at 3:06 pm |

    Proofreading: they can visualize the scoreboard that told who one the game.

    • Gary | March 26, 2016 at 4:55 pm |

      Yes, thanks for the editing. May need to hire you for the future!

  • umplou | March 26, 2016 at 3:30 pm |

    Yankee Stadium would be a good one also – here’s a great article about the scoreboards at the old stadium, and the one at Shibe Park/Connie Mack also: https://placesnomore.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/twoscoreboards/

    good luck!

    • Gary | March 26, 2016 at 4:57 pm |

      All great suggestions. If you head over to the gallery link listed above, you find all of your recommendations are there!

      • UmpLou | March 26, 2016 at 9:12 pm |

        My bad! The whole myth that somehow manifested itself of Connie Mack getting a used scoreboard from the Yankees thing, is pretty odd, when you think of it.

        Also a bit of a research aid: https://www.paperofrecord.ca has the entire run of The Sporting News on the site – its a pay site, but with the Loonie at a low against the USD, its pretty reasonable.

        Again, good luck, and looking forward to this!

  • wayne tedrow jr | March 26, 2016 at 6:00 pm |

    i’d love to see RFK Stadium and old Madison Sq Garden!

  • Urlmspf | March 26, 2016 at 6:53 pm |

    Nice job on the N.C. State jersey.

    Another team wore the skintights that year: Seton Hall. They tried a spandex top and baggy bottom as well as baggy top and spandex bottom. Never saw the unitard.

  • FiteClub | March 26, 2016 at 9:54 pm |

    I sure loved the input from Jerry Reuss! He was a favorite of mine during his Dodgers tenure. Glad to see him pop in with commentary.

  • Dan T. | March 26, 2016 at 11:50 pm |

    Okay, as a Charlotte native, I would like to say that while I’m quite embarrassed by the state of NC’s anti-LGBT law, it is worth noting that the reason the law was based was in reaction to the City of Charlotte passing a local ordinance banning discrimination against people due to sexual orientation.

    So I hope the NBA will not punish the City of Charlotte because we are in the minority when in comes to LGBT rights in the state of North Carolina, and I hope that the Uni-Community will keep in mind that things happening at the State level are not indicative of what’s happening at the City level, at least in the case of Charlotte.

  • Dan T. | March 26, 2016 at 11:51 pm |

    Edit: what I meant was the “reason the law was enacted was based in reaction to…” Sorry,

  • Josh | March 27, 2016 at 10:02 am |

    Um, that Maryland themed bobblehead was given away last season.