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TJs strike it rich with Gould

Official scorer hits milestone tonight with 1,000th game

Tonight will be like any other game night in the life of B.G. Gould.

As official scorer for the Southern Oregon Timberjacks, Gould will settle in at Miles Field around 2 p.m. He'll get the lineups for tonight's game between the TJs and Spokane, set up his scorebook and then go about socializing with the players and Timberjack staff until the first pitch.

Making tonight's game stand out, however, is just how many times Gould has set those acts in motion. The 47-year-old will settle in for his 1,000th game as Southern Oregon's scorer.

It's just another night at Miles Field, Gould says. I'm just going to show up and do my deal. If we win the game, great. If not, I have another one the next night.

All modesty aside, Gould is a little taken back by the enormity of Southern Oregon games he's been involved with them since 1986.

It's an honor being there for 1,000 games, he says. Coaches have special victories and milestones, I guess this is mine.

Gould's milestone is even more amazing when you consider he has been at every Southern Oregon game, on the road or at home, for the past 13 years. He initially didn't travel with the team for its road games in 1986, thus keeping him from perfect attendance since Day 1.

Gould's top Northwest League rival for longevity is Everett's Spider Webb. The AquaSox trainer has been with Everett for 23 years.

It's been a lot of fun, Gould says of his tenure. I've been with some great managers and great players. I still go down to Oakland and see the kids who have come through Medford and they remember me and they take care of me.

I've seen some great players come through that have come and gone or are still playing with Oakland. I've also met some great coaches and managers throughout the Northwest League. It's like one big happy family.

Gould's extended family will commemorate his 1,000th game tonight with a plaque once the game becomes official after the fifth inning.

B.G. has been an invaluable part of what we do at the ballpark, says TJs general manager Dan Kilgras. He has done a tremendous job as official scorer for the ballclub. We hope we can keep him for another 1,000 games.

In the middle of his sixth season with Southern Oregon, Kilgras marvels at what Gould has been able to accomplish.

It's incredible. It truly is, he says. He lives and dies by the baseball here at Miles Field.

Gould's fascination with manning the scorebook has been more than 40 years in the making. At 6, Gould's love of baseball and numbers collided and he has never looked back.

It just keeps you involved in the game and I love to work with numbers, he says of his trade. A lot of people think that baseball is boring because it's not constant action like the other sports, but keeping the book keeps you involved in the game. Different people have their system how to keep it and I've had my system ever since I was 6. I've even used the same scorebook company.

Those scorebooks have seen the best and worst Southern Oregon baseball has had to offer. Be it 15-inning games, hitting streaks or potential all-star debuts, Gould has tracked it all.

Standing out in all the baseball memories are ironically two down moments for Southern Oregon. The championship series in 1988 and also in 1989 are forever etched in Gould's memory, due in large part because those campaigns offered him his best shot at a championship ring.

In 1988, Southern Oregon was five outs away from the title when Spokane pulled off a triple steal in the bottom of the eighth to win 4-3. The following year, three outs separated Gould and company from the top prize until Spokane pulled off another upset.

I've come close, but haven't gotten that championship ring yet, Gould sighs. It's everybody's goal to win a national championship. It would be a nice symbol of what I've done here.

Another memorable moment for Gould came two years ago as a 45th birthday present. Then-Southern Oregon manager Tony DeFrancesco let Gould put together that night's lineup, and the TJs responded with a season-high 17 hits, including three home runs. All nine men in the batting order collected at least one hit in an uncharacteristic 13-3 romp over Spokane.

Perhaps the most memorable, however, are the players, managers and coaches who spin through town year after year.

I get attached with all the guys. They're all great friends, says Gould, adding that he still maintains contact with many of them.

But as with any profession, there is a down side to Gould's duties. He is put to the test more than 200 times each night.

I've always feared that if a pitcher has a no-hitter or perfect game, you hope it's a clean base hit instead of your call, Gould admits. You just breathe a sigh of relief if you see a base hit to the gap. That way you don't have to worry about deciding the outcome. Everybody makes mistakes.

That said, accepting a job offer in 1986 from TJs president and majority owner Fred Herrmann hasn't been a mistake for either party.

From top to bottom, the Oakland A's organization is 100 percent class, says Gould. It's been fun. I'm looking forward to the next 1,000. I want to keep it going as long as I can.

B.G. Gould will settle in tonight at Miles Field for his 1,000th game as Southern Oregon's official scorer. - Photo by Jim Craven