It has kept score for Peninsula Oilers teams that have gone on to win national championships, Post 20 Twins teams that have won state championships, and Kenai Central and Soldotna high school teams that were sewing up appearances at state.
It’s also watched over numerous players that have gone on to play Major League Baseball, including local stars Marshall Boze and Chris Mabeus.
And now it’s gone.
The scoreboard at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, which was originally donated by Dwain Gibson and installed in the late 1970s, was used for its last game on June 13 when the Oilers concluded a season-opening series with the Mat-Su Miners.
When the Oilers open up a five-game series with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots starting with a 7 p.m. tilt tonight, a new LED scoreboard will be in its place.
“That past two years, especially the final few games, we’ve had problems with the scoreboard,” said Diana Tice, an executive assistant with the Oilers. “We were kind of nursing it along.”
Tice said that when the scoreboard malfunctioned, it was a tough process with the breaker box and the control box to get it back on.
Then there was the matter of maintenance. Three summers ago, Tice said her husband, Michael Tice, was hoisted up in front of the board and had to replace over 200 of the old-fashioned light bulbs. Diana said the LED lights, which are red as opposed to the old white, will last much longer and require a lot less energy.
The new scoreboard was donated by the Oilers Booster Club. After the Oilers almost didn’t have a season in 2015 due to financial difficulties, the scoreboard is a step forward for the nonprofit.
“It’s exciting to make some improvements out here and make the fan experience more enjoyable,” Tice said, adding that the Oilers also will be holding Food Truck Fridays at Seymour Park this year to give fans more eating options.
Fans loading up on food and returning to their seats will have a better idea what happened in their absence due to the new board. It shows how many runs are scored by each team in each of nine innings, plus total runs, hits and errors.
Just as when the old board was installed, volunteer support was essential. Tice credited local businesses Stealhead Industrial, Spenard Builders Supply, Morgan Steel and Big G Electric with helping out.
A big improvement on the wish list for the Oilers remains the roof to the grandstand, which was blown off in 2014.
“To get involved with the grandstand is so much more planning and funding,” Tice said. “This was something they could see through and see to the end result.”
The destination for the old board is not known. Lance Coz, general manager for the Post 20 Twins, called the Oilers asking if the board could be used at the Soldotna Little League fields, where Soldotna High School still uses a board where numbers have to be hung by hand.
Coz said Wednesday he’s not sure if Soldotna will be able to use the board.
If a new group takes on the board, they will definitely get one with a lot of character.