Thursday, March 25, 2010

People Who Made Borchert Field a Special Place

by Dennis Pajot

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of articles about the behind-the-scenes people at Borchert Field, the people essential to the team's operations but whose contributions have gone largely unsung.

Of course Borchert Field is remembered for its short distances down the right and left field lines, the close proximity of the fans to the players, the characters who played ball there, and the equally quirky owners. But, let us not forget the people who made things work at the park. Those unsung heroes who need recognition, even today.

Barbara Ann Scarpace operated the scoreboard at Borchert Field for five years in the late 1940s. Barbara was the daughter of Arthur Truss, the Borchert Field announcer.

Barbara began her career at Borchert operating the lights when she was 13. One day attending a game the regular scoreboard operator did not show by the start of the game. Barbara took the position and kept the job. She once joking said: "There are times when I flash ball and strikes on the scoreboard before the umpire even calls them. Of course, he’s wrong when he calls a strike after I've flashed the ball light." Barbara's husband, Vincent, took over the scoreboard job for the 1950 season, but Barbara still filled in for him several times.

Barbara Scarpace died November 16, 1951, just twenty-one years old, of a kidney aliment that developed after giving birth to a baby girl. She was one of the unsung heroes of Borchert Field. Hopefully, just like the park itself, we will not forget the people who helped make it an unforgettable place.

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