The discontent could conceivably cause Ohio State difficulty in the future if it runs into a couple of lean years on the field, but right now the whole thing is the kind of problem a college can enjoy.
WITHOUT A SCOREBOARD
The National Brewing Company, majority stockholder of the Baltimore Orioles, nowadays does not bid high enough to get the advertising space on Baltimore's municipally owned Memorial Stadium scoreboard.
Jerold C. Hoffberger, president of the brewery and board chairman of the Orioles, is unperturbed that brewing competitors have been presenting their messages to baseball fans since 1957.
"If they think it's worth that much, more power to them," Hoffberger said, with no particular concern, when the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company outbid National. "They'll just have to sell that much more beer."
What Hoffberger well knows is that operation of the Memorial Stadium scoreboard is so erratic that only the strong of will can bear to look in its direction for long. The Baltimore scoreboard does not explode, belch flame or roar like a passing train. It just sits there and fizzles, no matter what the operator tries to make it do. Some panels remain blank. Sometimes numbers are superimposed or cannot be read because only some of the bulbs are lighted.
The trouble, apparently, is not bulbs or fuses or overdue bills. It is squirrels. The bushy-tailed rodents get in the scoreboard and for some reason known only to them and nature, chew on the wires, cutting them, shorting them out and causing strange things to happen, or not to happen.
For instance, after seven innings of play in Houston, the score was presented as Houston 9, Cincinnati...4, which apparently meant the Reds trailed in runs but led in dots. Earlier this season the lights in the "outs" panel didn't work, and those totals were transferred to a space usually reserved to flash numbers explaining official scorers' decisions. At the time of baseball's earlier expansion in 1961 a miniscoreboard was set up alongside the outmoded larger structure to allow all nine out-of-town scores to be posted. But nothing has been done about the 1969 expansion. Two National League scores are omitted when there is a full schedule because there just isn't any room.
City officials are hoping to install a new $l million squirrel-proof scoreboard someday. Meanwhile, Hoffberger knows what he's bidding on.