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October 5, 2013

World Series scoreboard attracted many in Oneonta in 1913

If you’ve attended Minor League baseball games in recent years in Binghamton and Syracuse, you can’t help but notice the state-of-the-art video scoreboards the ball clubs have added to the baseball game atmosphere. Having attended some games in these cities myself, oftentimes the scoreboards became more interesting than the actual game.

Oneonta got a somewhat similar but temporary experience in 1913 with a most innovative scoreboard that technology could offer at the time. It arrived just in time for the World Series that year between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Athletics.

Since most Oneontans couldn’t make it to the out-of-town games, a couple of local entrepreneurs brought the games here, simulated, as reported in The Oneonta Star of Tuesday, Oct. 7.

“Messrs. H.P Weidman and Joseph Haggerty have competed the erection of their mechanical score board on the Neahwah (sic) Park diamond, facing the new grandstand and every possible play that might arise in the game will be telegraphed to the grounds and shown on the board before the cheering has ceased in New York. A man is seen to step to the bat, the ball is thrown to him and the next minute he is thrown out at first or he runs around to second as it lands in fair territory too far out to be fielded in time to keep him at first; whatever happens to him in the actual game will be shown on the board and the progress of every runner and every batter and the work of every fielder will be as plain as at the Polo grounds,” where the Giants played. “The private wire direct from New York will be installed at Neahwah park this morning, all ready for the word ‘Play Ball’ at 2 o’clock.”

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