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Thread: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

  1. #1
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    ...and be replaced with Diamond Vision...

    What do you think? Good idea or bad?


    http://www.chicagotribune.com/techno...ck=1&cset=true

    It's time for a new vision

    Wrigley scoreboard exudes charm, but a modern video-replay board is long overdue

    By Eric Benderoff
    Published June 12, 2006

    If you were a 23-year-old given responsibility for renovating Wrigley Field, what would you do with the scoreboard?

    That was the situation in 1937, when the job of overseeing the renovation of the ballpark at the end of the season was largely in the hands of a young Bill Veeck, the future baseball impresario who was then a Cubs employee.

    In what should be considered his legacy, rather than sending a midget up to bat for the St. Louis Browns in 1951, Veeck added ivy to the outfield walls and had a pioneering scoreboard put above the center-field bleachers.

    Well, it's time for another change: Keep the ivy but remove the scoreboard. Bring on the Diamond Vision.

    It is time for a scoreboard where you don't have to add up the runs to figure out the score, where the score of every major-league game can be displayed, and where you don't need to buy a scorecard to know who's pitching in an out-of-town game. And it certainly would be nice to see a replay of a great play, just once, without straining to catch a glimpse of the TV screen in some bigwig's luxury suite.

    The nation's oldest ballpark, Boston's Fenway Park, has a video-replay board. That makes Wrigley Field, which opened in 1914, two years after Fenway, the only major-league stadium that doesn't have a screen to watch a replay.

    Yes, the old scoreboard is charming, but there comes a time to acknowledge that modern technology adds to the experience of attending a ballgame in a historic ballpark. We expect a certain level of information in our society, and I'm tired of the vastly inefficient scoreboard that does nothing to enhance the action on the field.

    In my view, the scoreboard is a giant green target of digital opportunity. A chance for a 21st Century visionary to add a must-see, high-definition element to what Veeck promoted as "Beautiful Wrigley Field."

    So what would a 23-year old do today if his job were to create a new scoreboard?

    "He would put in the Diamond Vision," minor-league baseball executive Mike Veeck said of what his father would do if given the opportunity today. "He was very much a man of his time. He would do it for the fan appeal."

    If our nation's architects can build popular new stadiums that look like old gems, there's no reason why they can't take an old gem and give it a new look. Besides, Wrigley is practically an outdoor sports bar, so it should have the biggest high-definition screen in the neighborhood.

    "It would look awesome at Wrigley if it were done right," said Mark Foster, general manager for Mitsubishi's Diamond Vision unit.

    There's another neat trick you could do with today's high-def scoreboards, said Foster, whose company put the giant screens in the United Center and U.S. Cellular Field.

    "You can create a scoreboard that looks old-fashioned and have an animation with an arm reaching out of the screen to `manually' change the score," he said. "No one has done this yet, but people are talking about it."

    You also might appease the Wrigley diehards who oppose change by programming the scoreboard to leave off a game or two from around the league. Kidding.

    The fans at Wrigley have been roundly criticized for spending too much time on their mobile phones and not enough watching the game. Maybe it's because many of them are surfing the Web to catch up with the rest of the big-league action that night. Or, with a gadget like a Slingbox that can send live TV from your home, some could be watching the game on their mobile phones.

    What would a 23-year-old do today if his job were to create a new scoreboard?

    Basic information would be a glance away. The screen would display relevant statistics for the player at bat, an easy-to-read (no math!) summary of the game action and always provide the name of the pitcher, in case you missed a pitching change.This is what fans at every other park in the country have come to expect, even at venerable old Fenway.

    But, of course, Wrigley is not like every other park, a message the Cubs push in a new campaign to highlight the field's historic charms. (The Cubs are owned by the Tribune Co., the publisher of this newspaper.)

    One radio spot touts why the Cubs haven't changed the 70-year-old scoreboard. The reasons: It ain't broke. It still keeps perfect score. We don't need bling.
    My favorite: We never bought into that whole digital fad.

    "When you bring somebody to this park who's never been there, that scoreboard, the ivy, the green grass and the bleachers really knocks them out," said John McDonough, the Cubs vice president of marketing and broadcasting. "It's like walking into a time capsule. There's nothing flashy about it."

    All true, and I wouldn't dispute the appeal Wrigley holds for those wanting a slice of Americana in a world that has become a digital fishbowl.

    Yet with a little vision, a new screen would have the same footprint as the classic it replaces. It wouldn't be the nation's biggest but would fit right in, perhaps even encased in a model of the old scoreboard with the analog clock still on top.

    McDonough said Cubs fans are not asking for a new scoreboard. If they were, the Cubs would listen.

    But they have listened to pitches from displaymakers like Mitsubishi. "They have looked at some of the options," Foster said. "It's been considered."

    This fan is asking the Cubs to reconsider the park's history.

    When Bill Veeck put in that old scoreboard before the 1938 season, it was based on a new concept. According to the Cubs Encyclopedia, instead of using lights that could be turned on or off, Veeck chose a design that used magnetic `eyelids' that could be pulled up or down to change the score. It was considered innovative at the time.

    The scoreboard was, and remains, hand operated, and even McDonough says it's not perfect.

    "Periodically, someone in the booth will put the wrong score up or put a number in upside down," he said.

    That's embarrassing for the scoreboard operator but considered charming by the rest of us.

    So what would a 23-year old do today if his job were to create a new scoreboard?

    If it were someone with the vision of Bill Veeck, who also introduced the exploding scoreboard at Comiskey Park, you could be certain it would be a memorable attraction.

    - - -

    A scoreboard watcher's manual

    The iconic, hand-operated center-field scoreboard is manned by a crew of two to five people. After each game a white flag with a blue "W" is raised to signify a Cubs win or a blue flag with a white "L" for a Cubs loss. National League pennants are arranged in divisional standing order. No batted ball has reached the scoreboard during a game.

    ----------

    ebenderoff@tribune.com

    Help stamp out, eliminate, and do away with redundancy.

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  3. #2
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    Yep, and Big Ben should be replaced with a digital clock.

    What a tool.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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    Member SandyD's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    I'm afraid it'll happen sooner or later. And that's sad. Best part of Wrigley Field is the scoreboard. JMO.

  5. #4
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    Sorry, I have to disagree with you two and agree with the writer, I think it should be done.

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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    Leave the board and keep up the park, it's a classic, it's historical. One nice thing is not seeing all the fashy lights and ads taking the game away. Having the game as the central part of the park instead of the Las Vegas look is nice on the eyes.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    I'd get rid of the ivy before I got rid of the scoreboard. At least the scoreboard serves a purpose. All the ivy does is look nice and camoflouge the brick wall behind it. I would think they could tear down that ivy, put up padding and then plant the ivy again.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    While it may be presumptuos to disagree with the son on what his dad would do, I think Veeck would realize that he is filling the park regardless of the product on the field BECAUSE of things like the old scoreboard. It is part of the charm that makes everyone want to visit there. I like their renovation to add some more seating without making major modifications to the park. If you're different in a good way, why ask for a king just because everyone else has one?
    Can't win with 'em

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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    Quote Originally Posted by macro
    No batted ball has reached the scoreboard during a game.
    I found this interesting. With Wrigley being a launching pad when the wind blows out and the ballpark has been around since Moses, I would have thought someone would have hit it by now. I wonder how far the scoreboard is from home plate?

    Pay attention to the open sky

  10. #9
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    I think they should put a swimming pool out in the sundeck.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    Wrigley's a friggin dump and should be bulldozed. Just a few years ago it was almost condemned I think.

    Keeping something just for the historical value even if its a grade a dump smells of pack-rat syndrome. Of course, I couldnt expect anything less form the Cubs organization relying on their stadium rather than the product IN the stadiun to bring the crowds.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    Here's what it looked like in the 20's


  13. #12
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    I've been to Wrigley about 10 times and I don't think I've ever seen the building from the outside except on the OF side.

  14. #13
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    Chicago's should take the path of L.A. Wrigley Field.


  15. #14
    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    New Scoreboard?

    Nope, put LCD screens on the back of the seats. Also, have mail tubes at each seat so you can order via the LCD screen, pay via electronic chip planted underneath the right ear, and the food can be sent to you in the mail tube.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune writer says the Wrigley Field scoreboard should come down...

    Tear down Tiger Stadium, Detroit mayor says

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseb...-stadium_x.htm


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