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Rogues score big with gift

Getting into the spirit of a new year full of possibilities hasn’t been difficult for the Medford Rogues organization, all thanks to a casual conversation and the benevolence of an anonymous donor.

Downpayment for a new $40,000 scoreboard at Harry & David Field and the paperwork for its installation were signed off Friday by Rogues owner Treg Scott and general manager Dave May as part of a capital improvement project at the ballpark.

Medford Parks, Recreation and Facilities director Rich Rosenthal applied his stamp of approval later that night for a project made possible by a $35,000 donation from a local community member who asked to remain anonymous.

“It makes it very nice that we have people in the community that, even during a pandemic and all of this, they’re willing to open up their pocketbook,” said May, “because $35,000 is a pretty expensive check to write.”

The Daktronics BA-2026 scoreboard will be installed around April 1, two weeks ahead of the planned high school baseball season and subsequent summer slate of Rogues baseball expected at Harry & David Field.

May said the donor is someone who has no ties to the Rogues organization but has been an ardent supporter of the collegiate wood-bat team and baseball in general at the ballpark.

The donation stemmed from a conversation May had with the donor this past summer while speaking in general about May’s hopes for improvements at the ballpark and frustrations with the current scoreboard, which was installed in 1995 at Miles Field and subsequently moved to Harry & David Field when it opened in 2005.

The current scoreboard has been an operational issue for a few years, occasionally shorting out and needing to be reset during games.

“It’s something that we as the Rogues and Harry & David Field have worked on for a couple years and really came to a dead end with COVID and fires and all the things that have just been so negative for our area,” May said of a potential new scoreboard. “Then out of the blue an overall casual conversation turned into a donation of that amount. It’s cool, I’m really excited about it.”

To say that May and company are thankful for such a generous gift for Harry & David Field would be an understatement.

“It’s just really caring to me and so amazing,” he said. “That’s just somebody seeing a need and doing something for the betterment of, yes, the Medford Rogues but at the same time it’s bettering the entire facility for kids and families for 10-20 years, not just a one-year thing.”

“I think this was something that they were really passionate about because this was something that was going to last a long time in the community,” added May of the donor. “That’s awesome to me that there’s people out there that are just willing to do what they can to better us all. It’s going to be awesome, it’s a really neat scoreboard.”

The new Daktronics scoreboard will essentially be the same size as the current one, coming in at around 36 feet wide and 15 feet tall after taking into consideration Harry & David Field signage above and to-be-determined signage below the scoreboard.

“Visually from 375 feet away or in the nearest seat, it’s going to be pretty much the exact same thing, just hopefully more readable and hopefully the runs number stays higher on the home side than the guest side,” said May with a laugh. “I told them to only put it up to 10 for the visiting team but up to 99 for our side so we’ll see if it comes that way. I’m not sure they can customize it that much though.”

New features in the coming scoreboard include red LED lights and the ability to customize the home and visitor team names for all that use Harry & David Field, which also includes South Medford and North Medford high schools and the American Legion AAA Medford Mustangs.

“It’s been hard to see that scoreboard with the sun beating on it for daytime games,” said May. “That was one thing (Rogues official scorer BG Gould) requested and I felt like, hey, give the guy what he wants. The way the Daktronics guy explained it to me it will be a lot easier to read with that red and the sunlight.”

With support and approval from the city, May said the current scoreboard will not be taken out of commission just yet.

“We’re going to be looking to donate it to one of the high schools or one of the Little Leagues or somebody within the community is going to end up with it,” said May. “We’re trying to keep it in the area.”

Another benefit of the donation and ensuing scoreboard, May said, is that it frees him to focus on other future projects, including a potential readerboard with LED lights on South Pacific Hwy., field upgrades and long-sought shade at the ballpark.

“I’m excited to move on to new projects, to start working on shade or start working on other things that we can do to improve the facility,” said May.

Have a story idea? Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@rosebudmedia.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneThe scoreboard at Harry & David Field during the summer of 2020 in Medford.