The Exploding Scoreboard

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Crosstown Classic/The Exploding Scoreboard
Media Burn
Written By Media Burn

Media Burn Archive collects, restores and distributes documentary video created by artists, activists and community groups.

Baseball’s greatest maverick

As a fan and an owner, Bill Veeck offered a view of baseball which was both romantic and practical. As “Baseball’s greatest maverick,” Veeck was a constant innovator for six decades, always pushing the boundaries of tradition, always bringing a new spectacle into the ballpark. Among them was the world’s first exploding scoreboard. With it Veeck found a way to emphasize and extend the excitement of home runs.

“Home runs, strangely enough, are dull, except for the result...because they happen so fast, it isn’t like a triple with the bases full. It’s boom and it’s gone.” - Bill Veeck

When Comiskey Park was rebuilt in 1991, the new scoreboard was modeled on Veeck’s design, continuing the tradition of home run fireworks. While Veeck spent a lifetime creating entertainment for the fans, he came to regret the way stunts had grown to such excess. Comparing himself to Dr. Frankenstein, he lamented in this 1984 video that spectacle often distracted fans from “the greatest game ever invented” and that people forgot to watch the ballgame.

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The Exploding Scoreboard

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