Hi there. I’m right now on vacation, yet I want to inspect in because today is a one-of-a-kind day ~ above the Uni clock calendar. Might 17, nine days ago, was the 12th anniversary the the very first entry on this website, however it was 19 years ago today — might 26, 1999 — that the very first Uni clock column appeared in the now-defunct sports section of The town Voice. Here’s how it looked (click come enlarge):


It was essentially the very first installment that what we currently think of together my yearly MLB season-preview column, other than it wasn’t really a preview due to the fact that it showed up in late May. Yet there had actually never to be anything favor Uni clock up until that time, so the entirety idea the chronicling the season’s uniform transforms seemed novel and also interesting, even if the season to be already virtually two month old.

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I wrote an additional column four weeks later, and also another one four weeks ~ that, and also that’s how Uni Watch gained started. The Voice eliminated their sports ar in the autumn of 2003 (my editor left the news because that me on my residence voicemail, which ns heard if calling in indigenous a payphone in ~ the Lightning field — I’ll constantly remember that), so i briefly relocated the obelisk to Slate. Climate I convinced ESPN to offer me a shooting in the summer the 2004, and I’ve been through them since then. This website, which was designed to complement the ESPN column, introduced in may of 2006.

If I had actually been smart, i would have actually waited nine days to launch this site, for this reason the site’s anniversary and also the larger Uni clock anniversary would certainly sync up. I’ve periodically wondered if we need to just split the difference in between May 17 and May 26 — either may 21 or 22 would occupational — and call that Uni clock Day, kind of favor the means Lincoln’s and also Washington’s birthdays have been combined into Presidents Day. However then i think, “Nah, i like acquiring to memory two distinct anniversaries,” so there you go.

Pretty remarkable that this media project has lasted this long. A many the credit for the goes to you folks. Many thanks for all her contributions, for all your ideas and suggestions, for all your support and also encouragement, and also just for arriving here every day. And also that walk quintuple because that those of girlfriend who’ve been Uni Watch readers all the way back to the town Voice days. You’re the best.

One year from today: Uni Watch’s 20th anniversary!

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards

Our scoreboard creator Gary Chanko, after a lengthy hiatus, has returned to elegant us with “Series V” in the set of standard Ballpark Scoreboards. This function will occasionally appear on weekends.

Here’s Gary (click on picture to enlarge):

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Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – collection Vby Gary Chanko

In this execution of classic Scoreboards it’s ago to Atlanta for a retro visit to one of the best minor league ballparks in the beforehand to mid-twentieth century.

Ponce de Leon Park

(a.k.a Spiller Park, 1924-32; nickname: “Old Poncey”)


Baseball residence of: Atlanta Crackers (1907-64); Atlanta black Crackers (Negro Southern league (1920-37 and also 1940-52)

Opened: might 1907; Rebuilt 1924 after ~ fire.

Closed: after 1964 season

Demolished:1966 The website is currently the Midtown location shopping center

Before SunTrust Park, Turner Field, and Fulton County stadion there was Ponce de Leon Park. Old Poncey served as the house for Atlanta minor league baseball for virtually six decades.

The scoreboard was situated in facility field as seen in this photo. Make note of the large tree on the steep financial institution to best of the scoreboard. The tree is located in an unfenced gap in between the scoreboard and the right field group of billboards.

The tree will become the signature function of the old ballpark, but an ext about that later.

Scoreboard Oddities

The illustration depicts the pre-game scoreboard as it appeared before a video game in so late June 1956. The scoreboard was a manual operation other than for the digital At Bat, strike-ball-out, and hit/error indicators.

An unusual feature of the scoreboard architecture is the inclusion of scores because that a full 13 innings. Generally we would suppose go see Run, Hit and also Error totals after ~ the ninth or 10th inning. Additionally unexpected, at the very least for a AA minor organization venue, is the consists of full line scores for out-of-town southern Association games. Additionally the full slate the American and also National League games are shown.

You can capture a brief look at the scoreboard in this 1939 opened Day video. (about the 2:30 min mark)

Billboards, Advertisers and Some Trivia

The scoreboard was surrounding by three layers of heralding billboards. Interesting way the billboard come the left, sponsored by the Franklin printing & production Co., presented the present Southern Association organization standings.

Above the Franklin billboard is Gordon’s, an Atlanta agency founded in 1932, but almost eighty year after the invention of the potato chip. What were they waiting for! (If she interested, the background of the potato chip is here.)

The remaining billboards top top the best side featured famed beer brands and also three regional laundry enterprises.

Philco, at the time was becoming one the world’s biggest furniture producers, is influential at the top of our scoreboard. You may remember the Philco brand together a long time top US device of radios, TVs, and home appliances and also entertainment electronics. But prior to the company’s death in the 1970s, that was additionally huge device of good furniture because that its to chat systems.

And lastly, the other notable advertisers are WSB TV, Channel 2, the local broadcaster because that Atlanta Crackers games and also Ford. The Ford Motor agency in 1961 would gain the then bankrupt Philco Corporation.

The thing to Know

As listed above, the signature attribute of Ponce de Leon Park to be a large magnolia tree ~ above the steep embankment in center field, 462 feet from house plate. There to be no center field fence and balls hit come this area to be in play.

But hit the ball into the tree and also it was a ground ascendancy home run – the just ballpark in baseball history with a soil rule permitting an outfield tree! Babe Ruth and Eddie Matthews space reported as the only players to hit balls into that magnolia.

In the so late 1940s, the team’s new owner removed the distinctive ground rule with the installation of an outfield fence indigenous the left ar foul line to center field as displayed in this aerial view.

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The lovely magnolia tree tho stands today and continues to provide cuttings because that future generations of magnolias.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If anyone is interested in purchase a digital copy of this posters, Gary is working on an online acquisition option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards