29 June 2007

Scoreboard watching

Photo by Merrily Lunsford
Dennis Gordon and his scoreboard......Merrily 

By Jason Cook
GateHouse News Service
Fri Jun 29, 2007, 06:24 AM EDT 

Brewster - Fans catching an Orleans Cardinals game on a warm night at Eldredge Park may notice, out in left center, a brand new scoreboard keeping track of hits, runs and innings; all the essentials of a good game of baseball.

    This season the Cardinals felt it was time to retire the nearly 30 year-old scoreboard and upgrade what is arguably one of the nicest Cape League ball parks.

    “[The old scoreboard] was ready to start shooting sparks and fire,” said Sue Horton, general manager of the Cardinals. “It outlived its life expectancy,” Horton said regarding the old scoreboard’s tenure at Eldredge.

    The new scoreboard itself cost roughly $10,000 dollars, according to Horton. An additional $4,000 dollars was raised for the frame, wiring and maintenance.

    All the money used was donated by private parties and local businesses, while various construction and electrical companies donated their time to assist in the installation process.
Sitting up against the storefront of the Baseball Shop in downtown Orleans is the old green scoreboard. It makes sense - a baseball scoreboard outside of a sports memorabilia store.

    But how did it get there?

    Dennis Gordon, owner and operator of the Baseball Shop in Orleans, happened upon it by chance.
“I saw Sue [Horton] at a game and the scoreboard was leaning up against a fence,” Gordon said. “I called Sue and she said ‘come and get it’ so I did,” he said.

    In less than two weeks of sitting outside the storefront, Gordon has already had a number of offers from people to purchase this piece of Cardinals history.

    “Part of me doesn’t want it to sell,” Gordon said. “It gives the shop character. But I am going to take one of the offers I’ve gotten, pay off the new pitching cage we put up for the kids, and donate the rest to the Cardinals,” he said.

    Horton felt that it was just time for the old scoreboard.

    “Hits and errors hadn’t worked right for years,” Horton said. “It was on its last legs and was expensive to run all those bulbs,” she said.

    When asked how long she thinks the new scoreboard will last, Horton laughed. “If it lasts as long as the other one, that’ll be great,” she said.