The often-broken, sometimes partially working and aggravating scoreboard on the baseball field at the Paris Fairgrounds finally gave up the ghost during the 2017 high school baseball season.

The often-broken, sometimes partially working and aggravating scoreboard on the baseball field at the Paris Fairgrounds finally gave up the ghost during the 2017 high school baseball season.

Wade Billington, Paris High School athletic director, launched a campaign to replace the defunct scoreboard, and quickly found a partner – Regional Missouri Bank. He approached the bank’s assistant vice president, Jo Reynolds, who runs Regional Missouri branch office in Paris.

He found a receptive audience.

“I approached Regional Missouri Bank about the purchase of the new scoreboard this summer,” Billington said. “For the past few years Regional Missouri Bank has sponsored colored programs for our fall and winter sports. Rather than spending money on something that lasts only a few moments we decided to inquire about a sponsorship of something that would benefit not just the school district but the entire community.”

Reynolds took the request to her bank’s executives who quickly approved the $3,000 that was needed to purchase a new scoreboard.

“We support our communities,” Reynolds said. “I forwarded the request and it was…immediately approved.”

The city of Paris kicked in some help, too.

City Superintendent Lisa Hollingsworth asked the Board of Aldermen during its August meeting to approve having city crews install the scoreboard to help make the project more affordable. The board gave the nod and last month, crews installed the new scoreboard, made more affordable by the use the I-beams from the nonworking scoreboard.

The scoreboard was relocated from the left-field foul pole to left center field.

“The old scoreboard was not functioning and has not been fully operational for quite some time,” Billington said. “I was approached on a regular basis about the scoreboard not working by fans, opposing schools, and even umpires. In the end the groups involved decided to move the scoreboard to its new location in left center field to give the fans a much more unrestricted view of the scoreboard.”

Billington says the new scoreboard will help the entire community – not to mention keeping fans and teams better informed about the progress of games.

“With the installation of the scoreboard the softball/baseball experience will be improved for everyone involved through Paris R-II contest as well as summer league contests,” he said. “Scoreboards are a great investment for our athletic facilities because they have such a long life. Most scoreboards last up to 20 plus years; allowing this purchase to impact a large number of people in the upcoming years.”