Why no lineup boards?
This might be a growing trend, but it’s not one I think is good.
This summer, I visited four MLB stadiums – Philadelphia, New York (Mets), Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. I also visited many minor league parks.
But, let’s focus on the MLB ones.
Three of the four stadiums didn’t have a lineup board. For those who aren’t baseball fans or keep your own book at games, a lineup board is where they home team puts the lineup somewhere for people to copy down. Simple enough, yeah?
Through the years, I’ve seen them in many forms. I saw them in a bunch of different ways this summer.
But three of the four MLB stadiums didn’t have them. Not only that many people asked at those stadiums had no idea what I was talking about.
I know scorekeeping is a lost art, but come on.
The Phillies were the only team of the four to have one – and it was in the team store at the main door. I’m fine with that. At least I could find it.
Most minor league teams have one (not all) and it’s usually hanging up somewhere so you can copy it down. Some teams (Lehigh Valley Ironpigs for one) actually have a scorecard sheet with the starting lineups printed out and give it to fans at their customer service area.
My normal routine when I go into a park is as follows:
- Head in
- Get program
- Go to team store, look around and usually get a pin
- Go find the lineup board and take a photo of it.
- Go somewhere to write down my lineup in my Eephus League Halfliner
- Walk around the park
- Settle in and watch the game
I usually disappear during the third or fourth inning to get something to eat. But there’s one step there that can gum up the whole works – the lineup board.
How else do I get my lineup? Off the jumbo screen? That’s apparently where they figured you would get it, if you were somebody who kept book.
Not all of the minor league teams had it and some that did made it hard to take a photo (digital boards are hard to take a photo of), but at least they had it.
This isn’t an expensive cost if done right. For MLB teams, get a scorecard on a dry-erase board and have an intern or somebody write it each game and put it somewhere people can find it. For minor league teams – just get a dry-erase board and put it somewhere.
For those of us who do keep a book at every game we attend, it’s a nice touch and makes us know you give a damn about the small details. And make sure, if you have one, people who might be asked about where something like this is would have a clue. As an example, when I asked one person at the Baltimore Orioles game, they didn’t seem to understand. And they made sure their tone was that of showing they didn’t understand, didn’t care, and didn’t think it was important.
The rest of my experience in Baltimore was awesome, but this person – who was at the fan help center – was by far no help.
I’m going to continue to keep a book (for those who do this and who want a great book — I highly recommend the Eephus League Halfliner — it’s amazing) and I hope MLB teams (and MiLB teams) realize there are still some of us who love the old ambiance of the game. Copying off a lineup board is part of the experience and is something I hope teams will consider making sure they have.
I can’t speak for other MLB stadiums. For all I know, there are plenty of them that have these. But I can’t say. I just know I only hit. 250 this year.
Can anybody else chime in on other MLB stadiums or your local MiLB team?
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