July 23, 2014
Requiem for a scoreboard
Since Shawn T. Mansfield Stadium opened in June 1992 – for more than 2,000 games of use – the 28-foot scoreboard beyond the right field fence has seen everything a scoreboard could possibly see: blowouts, improbable comebacks, and even a lightning strike.
Workers tend to the old scoreboard’s electrical system on July 23, in preparation for the scoreboard’s removal.
Using simple matrices of 714 light bulbs, the forest green scoreboard has told the stories of well-played and not-so-well-played games. Every pitch. Every hit. Every error. Every run. Every out.
It has stood sentry over the years, often blending into the landscape, garnering nary a second thought from those seeking the count, the score, or the scorer’s decision. Yet at the same time it is probably the most photographed feature of the stadium, with tournament champions proudly posing under the final score of their glory.
It has just always been there, bleached by summer’s harsh sunlight and weathered by rain, sleet, ice, and snow – painted and repainted.
On Sunday, July 20 scoreboard operator Bob Beatham entered the last digits ever to light up the board as the Maine Junior League state tournament concluded at 5:53 p.m. The final pitch count: 10. The final count: 1 ball. The final “guest” line score: 6, 1, 0, 2, 0, 1, 0 – 10 runs, 14 hits, 2 errors. The final “home” line score: 0, 0, 1, 1, 2, 0 – 4 runs, 8 hits, 2 errors.