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Keeping score: Manual scoreboard at Birmingham’s Rickwood Classic keeps it old school

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Rickwood Field still keeps score the old-fashioned way. (Solomon Crenshaw Jr./Alabama NewsCenter)
By Solomon Crenshaw Jr.
Alabama Newscenter

When teams score 13 runs in a baseball game, you might say they are lighting up the scoreboard.

Unless you’re talking about Wednesday’s 23rd annual Rickwood Classic game, in which the Montgomery Biscuitsbeat the Birmingham Barons 9-4.

The high-scoring contest didn’t light up the scoreboard at Rickwood Field because the scoring on the board beyond the outfield fence isn’t kept by electrically powered light bulbs. The old-time manual scoreboard is one of the unusual features of the ballpark that drew 7,015 to the 12:30 p.m. contest.

Volunteers from the Friends of Rickwood scaled a 30-foot ladder and stood on a scaffold to change the score each time a baserunner crossed the plate.

That was tough, 18-year-old Carson Weldon said, since you can’t see what the fans in the stands are seeing. Tougher still, he said, is updating the men on the mound and behind the plate.

“Pitchers and catchers are hard because you’ve got to see the (jersey) numbers from all the way back here and you’ve got to put it up fast enough for everyone to see,” he said.