I’ve been to my share of major league ballparks. 25 to be exact. Every summer my family goes on a vaction to a big city, theres only one requirement, the city must have a major league team. This summer we are heading to Colorado and Arizona. Knocking two out at the end of July. I will provide more information and details about the trip, and previous trips later. This entry is dedicated to the best ballpark in America, PNC Park. Biased you say? Nah I say. There are many unique details that make PNC Park great. The sights, the comfort, the food, the natural grass, and especially the scoreboard.
While it may not be as large as the new Yankee Stadium and it may not be as unique as the crown in Kansas City, it gets the job done. It’s very large and fits the flow of the stadium nicely. Of all the stadium I’ve been to i also feel that PNC Park provides the best in game entertainment. Of course it is probably a testament to the poor performance on the backs of the team itself. Part of the in game entertainment is the scoreboard displays that preview that batter that is stepping up to plate. PNC Park is one of the few stadiums that variate between innings with different poses, styles and demonstrations. This year features eight different displays for each inning. They’re very cool and very popular amongst fans. This years crop of batter messages are among the best I have seen in the nine years of PNC Park existence.
As the first inning unfolds so does the best scoreboard art I have ever seen. Each player is presented in a comic book with action poses and an authentic comic book feel. It is very cool appealing to little kids and nerds. Even though I am neither I enjoy it very much.
To the untrained eye you may not understand whats going on here. To tell you the truth, the first time I saw it I was wondering what this nonsense was. To start off theres a brief video showing each player dancing around in a room full of floating metallic baloons. Very creepy/trippy. Some players such as Nyjer Morgan pull off matrix moves dodging the balloons while some such as Freddy Sanchez (pictured above) whack the balloons with a bat. After overhearing a middle aged couple discuss this video I learned that it was taken at the Andy Warhol Museam in Pittsburgh. I had an ah-ha moment and gave the front office bonus points for the alluding to a Pittsburgh icon. At the end of teh video the camera zooms in on the player’s face with the balloons floating in the background. Cheesy? yes. Weird? maybe Cool? no doubt.
That would be Nate McLouth’s shining grill in your face. Also another cool batter intro as each player holds a picture frame in front of their face, poses with a funky face 3 times then to put it all together you get the finished product as shown above. Each player has their own style. Some give ridiculous faces that would make a baby cry, while others simply grin or give the same face for each of the 3 photos.
Another allusion to the city of Pittsburgh as each player poses with their grill featured beside a bridge in the city of Pittsburgh. Not too much elbow grease needed to put into this one but its a great idea. There’s nothing I enjoy more than Pirates baseball and Pittsburgh landmarks.
If you never been to the Steel City….you’re missing out. Not really but still. It is a great city. For those who didn’t know it, Pittsburgh is a very artsy city. As the hometown of Mr. Warhol there are many aspiring artists. Why not showcase a striving atrists by allowing their renderings on the jumbotron. Each player is painted on a nice slab of professional paper. Its very cool, especially if I was one of the players seeing a professional drawing of myself. I’d say its a step above from the carictures you can find at your local amusement park.
Everyone loves baseball cards. I myself have a very extensive collection. While I don’t possess anything to rare or valuable, my father most definately does. Having many of his 1960s era cards still in tact, he admires the classics. During one of the innings as the batters step up to plate a smattering of vintage Pirate baseball cards or shown. Then a current Pirate is shown in the form of a vintage baseball cards. I love the retro feel and my father does as well. Nothing better than bringing back memories of the good old days.
Once again taking a page out of the Warhol book. Well not really, but still artistic. You can see that the player’s face all distorted and all. Its probably my least favorite. I would assume to find something like this on a rock album cover rather than defining a baseball player.
Finally we have another cool one. Not too flashy but gets the job done. Once again a players face or batting stance is shown with their name in bold print. In the background is another Pittsburgh city scene. Some players have the distinct skyline, others have a drawing of a bridge, and some have a single building in the downtown Pittsburgh. Once again it something I enjoy most. Pirates and Pittsburgh…and everlasting combination.
Well there you have it folks. I’d love to hear feedback. Tell me what you think of the Pittsburgh in-game entertainment crew. I’m also interested to see how it compares to your own hometown team’s scoreboard art.