Bill Veeck’s Exploding Scoreboard

A Media Burn video is featured in “The Day in Baseball History,” an NBC Sports site. In this piece, Bill Veeck – creator of the iconic Wrigley Field manual scoreboard – recounts his unveiling of the world’s first EXPLODING SCOREBOARD at Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox, 60 years ago today.

This footage comes from a 1984 episode of Time Out, the Emmy-winning Chicago sports commentary and documentary program. Produced by Tom Weinberg with Joel Cohen and Jamie Ceaser, it aired on WTTW-11, and has proven to be an invaluable record of the period of sports history, particularly the first year of Michael Jordan’s ascent into the stratosphere.

As we see in this tape with Bill (Time Out episode 128) his inspiration for creating “the best fan experience possible” came from a William Saroyan play – The Time of Our Life.

Bill’s main goal in developing the “monster,” as some called it at the time, was to spice up the otherwise “basically dull” homerun. “It’s just boom and then it’s gone. So I thought, ‘ah, we’ll try and make this more dramatic.’”


Media Burn has benefited from incredible relationships that our videomakers have with some of Chicago’s foremost thinkers, activists, politicians, freewheelers and dealers. Tom’s relationship with the one-of-a-kind, Hall of Fame sports owner and everyman, Bill Veeck, has led to some of Media Burn’s golden moments of video. Please enjoy this one!!

We can’t wait to get back out to the ballpark to watch the Grate’s (Roger Wallenstein coined this term) latest iteration of Bill’s “monster” light up and explode with Sox homers. Soon, though it won’t feel like soon enough.

We want to know what YOU have to say about these tapes.
Please let us know!

— Jesse Weinberg



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