There were lots of headlines earlier this week when it was announced that the left-field scoreboard from now-demolished Tiger Stadium had been installed at Wayne State University’s home field. According to Wayne State’s press release:
The scoreboard, installed in 1961, was originally placed at the 440 mark directly at center field, according to the Detroit Historical Society. It was later moved to far left field after many players complained that it was in the batter’s line of sight towards the pitcher.
The City of Detroit and the Detroit Historical Society salvaged over 200 pieces of Tiger Stadium for preservation purposes in October 2007.
Sharp-eyed FoS readers, however, noted that this scoreboard — featuring a complete line score of the game — didn’t appear to be the 1961 original. In this 1986 photo, for example, you can clearly see a different board, featuring the inning, player at-bat, ball, strikes, outs, and runs, but no line score.
There was some speculation that the new board might have been installed for the filming of the movie 61* after the Tigers had moved out, but that doesn’t look to be the case, either. I’ve dug through my own photos and come up with this one, from August 14, 1986, showing the old board:
And this one from April 18, 1997 showing the new one, now at Wayne State:
(Click on the photos to enlarge.)
Clearly, the board the Detroit Historical Society preserved and relocated to Wayne State was installed sometime between 1987 and 1997. So while it’s still a “Tiger Stadium scoreboard,” it’s somewhat less of a historic remembrance of the ballpark built in 1912. One hopes at least they got the right flagpole.
UPDATE: Reader Paul Wiederecht dug up this photo on a Japanese language site dated 1996 that shows the old board. So it looks as if Wayne State’s “historic” scoreboard is only 12 years old, and only served as the Tigers’ scoreboard for three years before the team moved out.