ALTON — A donation to one of Gordon Moore Park’s ball diamonds will not only make it easier for everyone to know the score but will bring a new level of professionalism to the games played there.
Scot Roper, owner of Roper’s Regal Beagle in Godfrey, gifted the park with an electronic scoreboard unveiled Friday, April 17. The 10-foot-long by 6-foot-high board was erected at the south end of softball field No. 3.
“I played a lot of softball here growing up and we always had to go ask the scorekeeper sitting in the bleachers behind the umpire what the score was,” Roper said.
Alton Director of Parks and Recreation Michael Haynes said the new sign will generate more interest in playing ball at the park and could create a ripple effect of more money spent locally on food and lodging.
“It will make it more professional and attract tournaments,” Haynes said. “We haven’t been able to host certain regional sections for Marquette and Alton high schools because of a lack of scoreboards.”
Mayor Brant Walker praised the purchase as a positive example of private and public partnership to benefit the community.
“We’re lucky to have this strong partnership,” Walker said. “This donation by Roper’s shows a renewed interest in the park.”
Three other signs have been donated and will be erected later. Two will be placed at soccer fields and the third will be at another diamond. All three are 16-foot by 7-foot. The other signs were donated by First MidAmerica Credit Union; Shell Community Credit Union with Wegman Electric Co.; and Sheppard Morgan & Schwaab Inc. with Phillips 66 Refinery.
The parks department manages eight ball fields, two T-ball fields and 18 soccer fields. Haynes said he’d like at least two more scoreboards. A full scoreboard is $7,500. Buying ad space on half of a scoreboard is $3,250 and one-third ad space is $2,700.