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Do My Job: Behind the Durham Bulls’ scoreboard

Posted May 16, 2008

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— As part of her weeklong series, “Do My Job," WRAL reporter Kim Dean learned how to work the manual scoreboard at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

In left field, Chris Ivey works behind the board and changes the numbers by hand.

“It takes you back to the great days of baseball, you know, afternoon games (and it) really puts you in touch with the game,” he said.

“It’s not very luxurious back here,” Dean said.

“No, no,” Ivey laughed.

A manual scoreboard in a ballpark is rare these days, but Ivey said he treasures the job, which he has been doing for about a year.

First and foremost, Ivey says, he is a fan. He works the part-time job, not for the money, but for the love of the game. He keeps detailed score on paper because he likes to, not because it's part of his job.

Ivey's job is to record hits, runs and errors and post the numbers on the board, which can make the job a little hectic at times, especially when the numbers face away from him.

He also has another challenge. He uses a radio to keep up with the game, since he can’t hear it that well behind the board. One perk of the job is his great seat that's practically on the field.

“Some people would probably pay to have this job. So it is kinda fun that they pay you a little bit to do it,” he said.

Monday, on WRAL’s Morning News at 6, Dean checks out chocolate spa treatments.


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  • 1Rx4FN May 16, 2008

    I'm glad the DBAP still has the manual scoreboard. It keeps the history of the game still alive. The best is watching the manual scoreboard at Wrigley Field. Not only do the manually keep the Cubs game score but also several AL and NL games as well. To watch those people running all over the place is amazing. Of course Wrigley is amazing as well. Nothing beats a Cubs-Cards game on a sunny afternoon, except for Sox-Yanks of course.

  • NeverSurrender May 16, 2008

    I knew his predecessor behind the board and got to work a game back there once...it was pretty cool. Shadiest place in the park on a hot summer day and pretty darned close to the action even if it's obstructed view.

    The real trick to the job is making sure the fans don't see you when you swap the numbers. You do that by holding the new number in front of the old one as you stand off to the side and then do the switcheroo as quickly as you can (because unfortunately, the scoreboard doesn't hold two number boards in a single slot. You also need to remember which colour number boards to use...the runs tally by innings is in a different colour whilst the team is batting. Once the innings end, then it's another switcheroo.

    Honestly, I was more connected to the game behind there than I've ever been in the stands. You have to be to keep from screwing up the scoring... :)