PDA

View Full Version : 50th Anniversary of Exploding Scoreboard


roylestillman
11-07-2009, 10:07 AM
On April 28, 1960, Bill Veeck unveiled his new Exploding Scoreboard at the old Comiskey Park at a night game against Cleveland. It cost him $300,000 which was a chunk of change at the time. Next year will be the 50th Anniversary of The Monster. As a little kid it was one of the first things that drew me into the loving the Sox.

Forget the screens and the stats, isn't it time to put a little more pop into the centerield scoreboard after a homerun?

DumpJerry
11-07-2009, 01:32 PM
isn't it time to put a little more pop into the centerield scoreboard after a homerun?
Can't happen. Kenny is making us a speed, not power, team. No use for fireworks except during "Thunderstruck" and when Hawk says "...and that's a White Sox winner!"

roylestillman
11-07-2009, 01:38 PM
Can't happen. Kenny is making us a speed, not power, team. No use for fireworks except during "Thunderstruck" and when Hawk says "...and that's a White Sox winner!"
I forgot ,we're out of money.

soxnut67
11-07-2009, 01:51 PM
The scoreboard was a big draw for me as well when I was a kid. I still miss that scoreboard. I wish it were still around. What a marketing tool it could have been.

Hopefully one day, they will bring back a similar version. The current scoreboard is way too watered down. I'll still take it over most of thescoreboards out there today, but the Sox could do a much better job.

I love how there is a popcorn tin on sale with the old monster on it.:smile:

DumpJerry
11-07-2009, 02:30 PM
The scoreboard is what sold me when I was a wee one. My dad (a lifelong Sox fan) took me to my first Sox game after he had taken me to many games "up north." When we went to the Sox game it seemed like the other place until Ed Hermann went yard. As I was getting excited over the fireworks, he turned to me and mentioned that he "forgot" to tell me about a big difference between the two. I never looked back or asked to be taken "up north" again.

waldo_the_wolf
11-07-2009, 03:52 PM
I was surprised when I saw that the exploding scoreboard debuted in 1960. For some reason, I thought it came much later than that. Interesting.

Fenway
11-07-2009, 04:38 PM
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y220/phil62/baseball%20site/firesox3.jpg

tsoxman
11-07-2009, 10:08 PM
The scoreboard was a big draw for me as well when I was a kid. I still miss that scoreboard. I wish it were still around. What a marketing tool it could have been.

Hopefully one day, they will bring back a similar version. The current scoreboard is way too watered down. I'll still take it over most of thescoreboards out there today, but the Sox could do a much better job.

I love how there is a popcorn tin on sale with the old monster on it.:smile:
The origial scoreboard was awesome. When Veeck reacquired the team in 1976, he refubished the old board and added pin wheels. Like the ivy and the Cubs the pin wheels have become a defacto symbol that is synonomous with the team.

The refurbished board also featured strobe lights and a more colorful chasing light display (two or three patterns) when in its full glory. What I liked best about the old board is that while the larger mortars were fired off from behind on a staging platform (as is the case today), the old board actually shot off Roman candles from the top of the scoreboard-very cool.

Frankly, the new scorboard is terrible. The fireworks are good but they are set off at a vantage point away from directly behind the board. The chasing lights do not vary their pattern which is also very boring. I don't even want to get into how little useful information is projected on the video screen, which along with the clock is all that is on the scoreboard, information wise.

My solutions.....
1.The fireworks have to stay where they are due to the proximity of the mid rise building next to the scoreboard. Instead, add some simple flares or Roman Candle effects that actually shoot out of the board.
2. Replace the black and white electronic board in left with a HD Video screen, and run the linescore on the CF board, along with player stats lineups, etc. But, please resist the temptation of overdosing on the high tech stuff on the CF board, ala Kaufman Stadium- put that stuff on the left field board and go with a retro look on the CF board.
3. This one is easy...change the damn chasing lights to vary their pattern and add some colored lights to the mix. How hard can this be??
4. Remember, Bill Veeck changed the original scoreboard in 1976...There is nothing sacred about the new board. Why not add a cool element to the CF board in addition to the Roman candles....how about more strobe lights?... a trap door that releases pigeons?.... something.

With so much attention paid to overproduced video affects, advertisements and between inning gimmicks, we have lapsed into a very boring presentaion of how we celebrate home runs. Everybody has fireworks now. Time to do something different.

tebman
11-08-2009, 08:08 AM
The origial scoreboard was awesome. When Veeck reacquired the team in 1976, he refubished the old board and added pin wheels. Like the ivy and the Cubs the pin wheels have become a defacto symbol that is synonomous with the team.

The refurbished board also featured strobe lights and a more colorful chasing light display (two or three patterns) when in its full glory. What I liked best about the old board is that while the larger mortars were fired off from behind on a staging platform (as is the case today), the old board actually shot off Roman candles from the top of the scoreboard-very cool.

Frankly, the new scorboard is terrible. The fireworks are good but they are set off at a vantage point away from directly behind the board. The chasing lights do not vary their pattern which is also very boring. I don't even want to get into how little useful information is projected on the video screen, which along with the clock is all that is on the scoreboard, information wise.

My solutions.....
1.The fireworks have to stay where they are due to the proximity of the mid rise building next to the scoreboard. Instead, add some simple flares or Roman Candle effects that actually shoot out of the board.
2. Replace the black and white electronic board in left with a HD Video screen, and run the linescore on the CF board, along with player stats lineups, etc. But, please resist the temptation of overdosing on the high tech stuff on the CF board, ala Kaufman Stadium- put that stuff on the left field board and go with a retro look on the CF board.
3. This one is easy...change the damn chasing lights to vary their pattern and add some colored lights to the mix. How hard can this be??
4. Remember, Bill Veeck changed the original scoreboard in 1976...There is nothing sacred about the new board. Why not add a cool element to the CF board in addition to the Roman candles....how about more strobe lights?... a trap door that releases pigeons?.... something.

With so much attention paid to overproduced video affects, advertisements and between inning gimmicks, we have lapsed into a very boring presentaion of how we celebrate home runs. Everybody has fireworks now. Time to do something different.

:thumbsup: Said the same things myself many times. Veeck's original inspiration was a pinball machine blowing its top and that's why there were goofy, varied patterns of lights, Roman candles, and sound effects. It was always good for a laugh and that's what's missing from the current version.

TDog
11-08-2009, 12:06 PM
... Like the ivy and the Cubs the pin wheels have become a defacto symbol that is synonomous with the team. ...

And Bill Veeck planted the ivy at Wrigley when he was working at the park in 1937.

I was going to mention the assist (for the exploding scoreboard) from William Saroyan and his play The Time of Your Life that Tebman alluded to.

When I took my girlfriend to her first White Sox game a couple of years ago on a trip to Chicago, she thought it odd that they shot off fireworks for Sox home runs hit before dark.

tick53
11-09-2009, 11:47 AM
[QUOTE=

Forget the screens and the stats, isn't it time to put a little more pop into the centerield scoreboard after a homerun?[/QUOTE]

Absolutely. The old scoreboard was a show in itself.

Stoky44
11-09-2009, 01:31 PM
Hey guys I have wanting to ask this for a while, but hesitated to open a new thread just for one question.

Did the last scoreboard at the old park (1980's) actually shoot fireworks or were they just from behind the board. I could swear I remember actually seeing the fireworks shooting out from the almost semi truck mufflers. Or am I remembering it wrong?, I was like 7 at the time.

Also as a side note, I think the reason this scoreboard does not actually shoot fireworks off is due to fire code in the city? Is this correct?
Its kind of like no new Chicago stadiums(or stadia which ever you prefer) cannot have troughs as they break city code, or so I've heard (please no off topic thread stealing discussion about troughs).

tebman
11-09-2009, 01:45 PM
Hey guys I have wanting to ask this for a while, but hesitated to open a new thread just for one question.

Did the last scoreboard at the old park (1980's) actually shoot fireworks or were they just from behind the board. I could swear I remember actually seeing the fireworks shooting out from the almost semi truck mufflers. Or am I remembering it wrong?, I was like 7 at the time.

Also as a side note, I think the reason this scoreboard does not actually shoot fireworks off is due to fire code in the city? Is this correct?
Its kind of like no new Chicago stadiums(or stadia which ever you prefer) cannot have troughs as they break city code, or so I've heard (please no off topic thread stealing discussion about troughs).

The fireworks were launched from directly behind the original (1960-1981) and the newer (1982-1990) scoreboards in the old park. There was a space behind the brick wall in the very northeast corner of the ballpark where the fireworks were loaded. I once watched the technician loading them before a game as I stood on the ramp behind the old board.

What you might be thinking of are the Roman-candle type devices that shot colored sparks from the top of the old board. I don't know if they continued to do that up through 1981, but that was the original configuration. The 1960 board also had a bank of loudspeakers mounted in the centerfield bleachers that played raucous sound effects that you can hear on the audio clips from this WSI history page (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=14&id=2241). Scroll down to the July 5, 1964 and May 2, 1965 games and click on the "Let Me Hear It!" links.

Ah, it was a hell of a lot of fun. :gulp:

ebit
11-10-2009, 01:00 AM
Those links look fantastic but none of my audio players recognize the file. Please tell me it doesn't require real player, does it?

LITTLE NELL
11-10-2009, 05:38 AM
A lot of people also don't know that Veecks creation in 1960 was just an extension of the original Chesterfield scoreboard that was put in place in 1951.
The Sox-O-Gram was added to the left side and the line-ups were added to the right side. The extended V-shape lights were added to the bottom and of course the shutes were put at the top along with moving the clock higher.
As a 14 year old in 1960 I was in awe, but Casey Stengel and his Yankees along with Jimmy Piersall didn't care too much for it.

tsoxman
11-10-2009, 08:00 AM
A lot of people also don't know that Veecks creation in 1960 was just an extension of the original Chesterfield scoreboard that was put in place in 1951.
The Sox-O-Gram was added to the left side and the line-ups were added to the right side. The extended V-shape lights were added to the bottom and of course the shutes were put at the top along with moving the clock higher.
As a 14 year old in 1960 I was in awe, but Casey Stengel and his Yankees along with Jimmy Piersall didn't care too much for it.

I remember my first game in 1966 and riding up to the park on the Dan Ryan from the south in a car with my Dad and about 5 other people. I will never forget passing the Magikist sign and then seeing the light towers and the cross bracing of the support structure for the scoreboard in the distance. How I wish I could relive that moment again!

tebman
11-10-2009, 08:23 AM
The fireworks were launched from directly behind the original (1960-1981) and the newer (1982-1990) scoreboards in the old park. There was a space behind the brick wall in the very northeast corner of the ballpark where the fireworks were loaded. I once watched the technician loading them before a game as I stood on the ramp behind the old board.

Found a picture that shows the location I was describing. In the lower right-hand corner of this shot of the old ballpark you can see the brick wall that extended behind the scoreboard. It was behind there where the the fireworks-launching platform was set.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3539/3374348371_6ce53098d6.jpg

LITTLE NELL
11-10-2009, 08:50 AM
I remember my first game in 1966 and riding up to the park on the Dan Ryan from the south in a car with my Dad and about 5 other people. I will never forget passing the Magikist sign and then seeing the light towers and the cross bracing of the support structure for the scoreboard in the distance. How I wish I could relive that moment again!
I always felt the same way as we came down the Ryan from the north, what a thrill to see those light towers from the elevated portion of the Ryan as it made a turn to the east and then again to the south. I don't know how many times I made that trip but regardless of how the Sox were doing it was always a great feeling to see my home away from home.

Medford Bobby
11-10-2009, 06:24 PM
I always felt the same way as we came down the Ryan from the north, what a thrill to see those light towers from the elevated portion of the Ryan as it made a turn to the east and then again to the south. I don't know how many times I made that trip but regardless of how the Sox were doing it was always a great feeling to see my home away from home.
Same here, as a kid any time we'd travel on the Damen Ave over-pass, it was always a big thrill to spot the light towers at Sox Park, especially during the winter months and dream of warmer weather and White Sox baseball.

VeeckAsInWreck
11-10-2009, 07:42 PM
Going through this thread makes me realize that I still miss the old place.

tick53
11-13-2009, 01:44 PM
Going through this thread makes me realize that I still miss the old place.

Yeah! :(:

RedHeadPaleHoser
11-13-2009, 01:46 PM
Going through this thread makes me realize that I still miss the old place.

That pic of the sign from outside the RF wall brings back memories. I miss it too.