Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So long, old friend!

Hate to see this legendary monolith bite the dust, but demolition of the Kauffman Stadium scoreboard is slated to begin this week to make way for its bigger and better successor, which is part of the gradual renovation of the ballpark.  Even though the scoreboard has been woefully outdated for years, and even though the new one (based on its description) is going to be big enough to be visible on satellite photos, I'm sad to see this rascal go—it's been the centerpiece and focal point of the ballpark since Day One.

I was there the night the place opened on April 10, 1973, with my mom and my brother, freezing our asses off in 39-degree weather as the Royals beat the snot out of Texas 12-1, and from the minute I laid eyes on that scoreboard, I was mesmerized by it.  Sure, the Angels' A-frame scoreboard in Anaheim was twice as tall, but our scoreboard was cooler because it showed photos of the players and animations and such.  It was also the nerve center of the stadium, and I'll never forget the game we attended later in '73 after it was hit by lightning and rendered inoperable.  The PA announcer had to constantly update the score because there were no other auxiliary boards in the park at the time, and it was downright surreal and eerie to see the sleeping giant in center field all night, hoping it would suddenly spring to life before the game ended.

The new clone scoreboard--which is scheduled to be fully-functional by Opening Day, '08—will be one of those fancy new state-of-the-art LED jobs with all the bells and whistles, and it's supposed to be a total monster, capable of HD-quality replays and all.  That's cool, but I'm still rather partial to the traditional monochrome scoreboards with actual lights that are rapidly becoming dinosaurs in stadiums and arenas as technology advances.  Time marches on, I suppose, but there are times when I wish we could just freeze it and leave things as they are, and this is one of them...

No comments: