The collaborative effort among several entities and the determination of one local man fueled the complete overhaul of the Gerrard Park scoreboards.
Columbus’ own Sean Martys spearheaded the efforts to get all of the scoreboards and controllers at the park fully operational once again after years of them being in dire need of some care.
“Some would work and some wouldn’t. It was on and off for a few years,” Martys recalled.
Martys was part of the Commonwealth Electric crew that installed the scoreboards back in the day. They were put to good use for many baseball and softball seasons but eventually, time caught up to them and they started showing ware. Martys got them to work off and on over the course of a few years, and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 and stalled everything.
But in August 2022, City Public Property Director Doug Moore reached out asking what it would take to get the boards fixed up. Now the training director for the Greater Nebraska JATC and the IBEW business representative for Greater Nebraska, Martys sprung to action.
“At that time, I reached out to Commonwealth and asked if I could borrow their bucket truck to look at what was going on with the scoreboards,” Martys said. “Out of the six scoreboards, only three were working and two of the six controllers were working.”
Martys took out the three circuit boards and sent them in for repair while also ordering six new controllers. The companies that donated the boards to begin with, IBEW and NECA, donated approximately $13,000 for the new controllers and the repairs to the boards. Martys took it from there with assistance from the City.
“Once weather permitted, I reached out to the City to borrow its bucket truck (Commonwealth’s was being used out of town at the time) to install the boards and program the new controllers. We had a few setbacks and was on the phone with the Fair-Play service tech which took a few extra days to get everything working again,” he said.
“I knew we had to do something about it. I wanted to get them up and running and everyone involved agreed.”
Although the exteriors of the boards remain the same, the insides have been completely repaired to make sure they operate smoothly. Martys spent many evenings after work getting each scoreboard ready to go, donating his time to get it done.
City Parks and Recreation Director Betsy Eckhardt said she’s appreciative of Martys, Commonwealth, NECA and IBEW for replacing the scoreboards, noting they’ve been put to good use since they went up earlier this summer.
Martys said the process wasn’t necessarily easy, but donating his time and energy to it was well worth it. He said he’s appreciative of his companies, as well as Commonwealth and the City of Columbus, for helping make it happen.
“It was very rewarding. Every single time I go by the park, I know I help build that,” he said. “You have pride in what you do. I see the scoreboards up and running again, and I’m excited. The City deserves it. They’ve been very pleasant to work with. I just want them to be used the way they're intended to be used.”
(ABOUT THE PHOTO: Columbus resident Sean Martys shows off one of the repaired scoreboards at Gerrard Park on a June 2023 afternoon. Martys donated his time and efforts to help get the scoreboards repaired so that the public could put them to good use.)