A new scoreboard is going to make it easier for baseball fans to follow the action in Marion, thanks to several people working together to improve the city?s ball field.
The idea for a new scoreboard started about a year ago during baseball season, according to Casey Case, project organizer.
?We heard some complaints about how hard it was to see and read (the scoreboard),? he said.
After talking with other businesses in town, Case said, it was decided to replace the scoreboard that was more than 25 years old.
?We got some prices and it ended up more expensive (than first anticipated),? he said. ?We didn?t count on a big 8-inch I-beam that had to go into concrete in the ground.?
The total cost for the project was $8,000, Case said, which required a major sponsor.
Tampa State Bank made a considerable donation toward the project.
In addition to the scoreboard, he said, the project also includes fixing the outfield fence.
?It has always been bare,? Case said, ?and everywhere else you go, there?s advertising signs on the outfield fence.?
Letters were sent to businesses in Marion that have always been supportive of local sports.
For a designated amount of money, Case said, participating businesses would receive a one-time only 3-foot by 6-foot advertisement recognizing their commitment to the program.
Case said he was overwhelmed by how many businesses responded to the request.
?Along with the new scoreboard, new windscreen was put up all along the inside of the outfield,? he said, ?and the (advertising) signs will go up over the top.?
The windscreen and signs were installed Friday by volunteers and members of the MHS baseball team.
New foul poles will replace the old ones currently inside the fencing.
In keeping with the school colors, the scoreboard and fencing are royal blue.
The scoreboard, which is 16-feet long and 7-feet high, is about 15 feet above the ground, he said.
The city of Marion also was instrumental in making the project, Case said.
?I went to the city commission and asked if city crews could take care of the installation,? he said. ?We weren?t asking for any money.?
The city dug the holes so Marion Manufacturing could place the steel 20-foot I-beams, which they donated, he said.
Christian Pedersen, city electrical supervisor, donated his time to do the electrical wiring.
Roger Schroeder, MHS baseball team head coach, said: ?We are all excited about the changes and it?s a big facelift for the complex.?
Tod Gordon, MHS?principal, agreed.
?The old board was very small and hard to read, and I think it was so old the home and visitors displays were reversed.
Last year, he said, the baseball team came close to qualifying for the state tournament and fans are looking forward to the upcoming season.
?The city has also worked very hard to continue to improve the baseball complex,? Gordon said.
Case said there is still plenty of room for a businesses or individuals to arrange for an outfield sign.
For more information, call Case at 620-382-2106.