Baseball: New LED scoreboard, with HD video, coming to Standard Bank Stadium
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media July 6, 2014 6:48PM
The Windy City ThunderBolts' old scoreboard. | Supplied photo
Updated: August 8, 2014 6:27AM
The Windy City ThunderBolts said goodbye to a part of their history Thursday.
The scoreboard that’s been in place since Standard Bank Stadium opened in 1999 was used for the last time in a T-Bolts game.
It made for a bittersweet night for T-Bolts assistant general manager Mike VerSchave, who spent many years working on the electric scoreboard that required bulbs to be changed by hand and logos to be designed pixel by pixel.
“For it being a physical electric scoreboard, it was pretty sweet,” VerSchave said. “I worked on it for 13 of the 16 years of its life. We put a lot of time in it, so to see it used for the last time is a bit sad. Technology is great, and thank God things evolve because even though I’m sad to see it go, I’m glad I don’t have to go up there on a ladder anymore.”
A new LED scoreboard, financed by the Village of Crestwood — which owns the park — is expected to be ready in time for Windy City’s next home game July 21.
“It’ll definitely be exciting to have a big new scoreboard here,” the T-Bolts’ Ryan Soares said. “I can’t wait to see it.”
The highlight of the new scoreboard will be a HD video board that’s expected to be used for the first time at a Crestwood Movies in the Park event Aug. 1 and at a T-Bolts game for the first time Aug. 2.
“If you’re going to be called a professional ballclub, you’ve got to keep up,” VerSchave said. “When people go to a professional baseball game, a video board is just something you expect. You see it when you go to Joliet, Schaumburg, Gary. Having the video board is going to open up so much more fan interaction.
“It will also do wonders in attracting other events. We’re in danger of losing IHSA events. We haven’t got NCAA tournaments since 2008. We’re currently in discussion to bring the NCAA Division II regionals back here and a video board is one of the stipulations.”
Voting for the Frontier League All-Star Game, scheduled for July 16 at Gateway, was conducted last week by members of the league’s front offices and coaching staffs, as well as broadcasters and media. The teams will be announced Monday.
The T-Bolts can expect Kyle Robinson to be a part of the West Division squad. Robinson leads the league with a .395 batting average and ranks sixth in RBI (34).
The big question is whether last-place Windy City will get any further representation. The best candidate seems to be closer Daniel Carela, who has a 0.57 ERA and four saves in as many opportunities.