Chicago Cubs

Working the Scoreboard at Wrigley

CHICAGO - JUNE 15:  General view shot of the centerfield out of town scoreboard at the Chicago Cubs home field of Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois on June 15, 2004.  (Photo by: Getty Images)
Wise GuidesCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2009

One of the eternal mysteries of Wrigley, right up there with how they get the grass so green in April, is what it’s like inside the scoreboard. Fred Washington, who’s been flippin’ numbers at Wrigley since 1990, talked to Wise Guides about the “mystique” of the job.

Washington puts down the chalk baselines and takes care of other duties before climbing inside the scoreboard, where he’s joined by two or three workers. A ticker-tape machine spits out constant updates from around the league as the guys scramble to keep up.

Washington, a South Sider but die-hard Cubs fan, joined the grounds crew in 1984. “I thought the Cubs won in ‘84 because of me,” he says. One of his final duties is to raise the "W" or "L" flag.

“When they lose I look out and if I see an L train coming I’ll wait ‘till it goes by before I raise that loss flag. When they win, that flag’s going up right now. This is my team, and I love ‘em.”


This story and a lot more are available on the new Wise Guide Wrigley Field iPhone App

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