Fixture scheduled to arrive in three weeks
By Bert Lehman
A new scoreboard to be placed at Jirschele Field at W. A. Olen Park has been ordered, and installation is scheduled for this year.
Justin Mc Auly, Parks and Recreation director for the city of Clintonville, said the scoreboard was ordered in late July from a company in Georgia. It will take three weeks for production and one week to ship it to Clintonville.
Mc Auly said the new scoreboard will be a welcomed addition to Jirschele Field.
“We’re going to have less maintenance for one thing,” Mc Auly said. “The board that we have now, we’re switching out 40 watt or 25 watt incandescent bulbs. Every time they get hit they break. In cold weather they break.”
The age of the current scoreboard isn’t known, but Mc Auly said it was originally intended to be a football scoreboard.
“The board itself now, my dad told me that he played on that football field with that same scoreboard,” Mc Auly said.
The new scoreboard will have nine innings on it.
“You can see where the runs were scored during the game which is going to be a lot nicer than just having the inning of, being up there,” Mc Auly said.
The new scoreboard will also use LED bulbs.
“They are going to last for a long, long time,” Mc Auly said.
The new scoreboard also comes with a five year maintenance plan. In addition, there are wireless options available for operating the scoreboard, Mc Auly said.
The exact location the scoreboard will be installed is still being worked out, but Mc Auly said it will be located in the outfield, behind the current outfield fence, above the sponsorship boards.
“I think having it in the outfield is going to be perfect,” Mc Auly said.
The current scoreboard can’t be viewed by those in the visiting dugout and is difficult to view from the covered stands.
Mc Auly also said he is seeking donations to install a new flag pole behind the scoreboard that would have a 5-foot by 8-foot American flag on it.
“When they do the national anthem, everybody is going to be looking directly into the outfield and everybody will be able to see the flag too,” Mc Auly said.
As reported in the July 23 edition of the Tribune-Gazette, the scoreboard is being donated by the Dick Koeppen family. The Clintonville City Council approved the donation at its July 14 meeting.
Koeppen said baseball in Clintonville has a special place in his heart as he played baseball on that field for 43 years. His sons and grandson have also played on the field.
“It would just be a nice gift if we donated a scoreboard to the city of Clintonville and the park, for all the baseball teams here,” Koeppen said. “I was so lucky to be on that field for 43 years and in good health. It taught me many lessons down there.”
After playing high school baseball, Koeppen joined the Clintonville A’s in 1959. He played for 25 years and then was the designated hitter and a pinch hitter for a number of years. He also helped Don Jirschele coach the team. Koeppen said he did bat every year.
He retired from the A’s in 2000.
“In fact, my last year I was 60 years and they put me up to bat for the last time because they knew I was going to leave the team,” Koeppen said. “I was fortunate to get a hit over the shortstop’s head for a base hit when I was 60. I limped down to first base and no one would run for me.
“That was a good finish to my career.”
Koeppen said baseball has taught him many life lessons and he hopes it does the same for others.
“Baseball here in Clintonville has been a very successful program from high school to legion, to the Clintonville A’s,” Koeppen said.
With his donation being approved by the city council, Koeppen said he is “extremely happy,” as the Koeppen name has been associated with baseball in the city for years.
“We love this ballpark, it’s one of the finest ballparks in northeastern Wisconsin. People tell that to me wherever I go. Here in Clintonville, we take that for granted,” Koeppen said.
Mc Auly said the scoreboard will be a beautiful addition to the baseball field and he hopes everyone will thank the Koeppen family.
“This is something I can’t see happening in a long, long time for the city to purchase a board like this,” Mc Auly said.
“I just hope that people are thankful for the scoreboard,” Koeppen said. “When you do something like this there is always going to be critics. … The important part is the scoreboard is going to be there for many, many years.”