The Vail Daily is saying goodbye to scoreboard
Please remain calm. The world as we know it is not ending.
The Vail Daily is consigning its scoreboard page to the dustbin of history.
Again, please remain calm.
A sportswriter learning baseball
I love stats, box scores and standings. I grew up on them. I wasn’t allowed to watch television — except for PBS and, of course, Giants games, which were only on about 30 times per season — so everything came to life in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sporting Green, which was actually printed on green newsprint until I was 15.
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I would, like every God-fearing American, read the articles on the Giants and 49ers, but what always captured my imagination was the baseball page. It had the standings, all the scores, the box scores of every game, league leaders and the Giants’ (and I suppose the A’s) statistics.
I monitored the Giants’ batting averages, home runs, RBI, stolen bases, win-loss records, ERAs, strikeouts and saves religiously. Yes, these are old school stats, but it was the early ’80s.
Let’s face it — Atlee Hammaker, Jack Clark, Greg Minton, Darrell Evans and Bill Laskey weren’t the greatest, but they were my team. Go Giants.
I also used that baseball page to scour every other game to see how other teams were doing, delighted to see that the Dodgers lost or unhappy when they won. I tracked the four division races. Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs always seemed to lead their league races in batting average.
And I’d also hit the Sporting Green’s scoreboard, just memorizing every national score. In college football season, I’d always check the “East” scores and look to the bottom, since the only form of sports Pop cared about was Yale football, and if it did, the alphabetically challenged Elis would be listed at the bottom.
We’ve gone through several eras since. “SportsCenter” was mandatory viewing to watch the highlights. Then we had the first internet generation and the second.
As much as I cherished my days with the Sporting Green, I can’t remember the last time I checked a physical copy of the newspaper to see the standings. Like a lot of psychotic sports fans, I’ve got the MLB app on my phone.
One click and I’ve got the Giants score. Two clicks and I’ve got the game itself or the highlights streaming. On NFL Sundays, when I’m not ensconced in front of my TV, I click espn.com and the scores materialize. And, yes, a few clicks, and I get a Yale score. (On behalf of Pop, beat Harvard.)
Looking at the last page of our sports section — obviously, the most important part of the paper — how many people actually look at the standings, TV listings and so on?
As noted, there is no need to wait until the next day to see the standings or scores. Lots of sports websites have the points spreads, which are purely for recreational use. Every television has a remote with a guide button.
As much as a tradition that a scoreboard page represents, we feel we can use this resource more efficiently to deliver local content unique to the Vail Daily.
Again, change is tough, but we hope that you understand that we’re doing this to deliver more local copy and art. I’m always at email@example.com and 970-748-2934 for your feedback.
And never forget, you can always get all the local content on our website, http://www.vaildaily.com.
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