As Laconia prepares to welcome the 2010 state Little League Championships to the city, local business leaders have joined together to replace the 20-year-old Colby Field scoreboard with a new, state-of-the art model.
According to Bill Salta of Salta Tire, the city's league agreement with Coca-Cola expired a few years back so, when the Little League Association began looking for a new sponsor, it offered it first to Irwin Motors, a long-time supporter of Little League baseball.
"We were thrilled to make this contribution," said Ron O'Conner who represented the Irwin family at Colby Field when the old sign came down Thursday afternoon. "Sometimes the old sign just didn't work very well."
As Kim Cass of Bonnette, Page and Stone manoevered the arms of the forklift to take the old sign off its moorings, Salta said the new sign, which will go up in two to three weeks, will include a box for the pitch count as well as the score and the tracking of balls, strikes and outs.
He said they hope to remove the right section of the old sign that says "Colby Field" and reincorportate it into the concession stand and club house. The rest of the old sign will be destroyed.
Salta said the new sign will be digital and just slightly smaller than the old; but, because of new technology, it will be lighter — about 500 pounds as compared to the nearly 700 pounds of the old sign.
Salta said the electrical servicing will be provided by Daniels Electric and Gilbert Block will provide the angle irons and welding.
The new sign, paid for entirely by Irwin Motors, cost $9,500 and will feature the Irwin Zone logo.