Bigger and better is the best way to describe the new scoreboard at Sam Lamb Field, funded by Baseball Tillsonburg and recently installed earlier in July.
Tillsonburg’s Sam Lamb, 93, who was recognized in 2011 with the naming of the two-diamond ball park Sam Lamb Field, was on hand Saturday for an ‘unofficial’ unveiling (turning on the scoreboard for a photo op) at what might unofficially be called ‘Sam Lamb Park.’
“Very, very important,” said Lamb, grateful for the honour. “It was a good dedication.”
“It’s going to be here for a long, long time, eh Dad?” said Terry Lamb, a member of Baseball Tillsonburg.
“This one has new technologies,” said Scott Vitias, president of Tillsonburg Minor Baeball. “The old one had some defective bulbs and stuff, so it had served its purpose, but it was time.”
“Hmm, scored one in the sixth, one in the eighth, eh?” Sam said, looking up the scoreboard lights.
“Left the bases loaded,” joked Don Barnard, also a member of Baseball Tillsonburg.
Inducted into the Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Federation’s Hall of Fame in 2015, Lamb’s connection with baseball in Tillsonburg goes back to at least 1939-40 with the Pan Drieds, playing on the diamond in front of the (now removed) grandstand in Memorial Park.
“A long time ago,” Lamb laughed.
“I had a clipping, I think it was 1936 or 1938 from the Pan Drieds,” said Don Barnard. “They played on this diamond on a Wednesday afternoon. My grandfather, Bertram, played.”
Over the years, Tillsonburg senior and oldtimer teams have won 4-5 OBA championships. The Old Sox also won three national championships in 1999, 2004 and 2005, the last title hosted in Tillsonburg.
When it the new diamond was added in the ’90s, the park was rated one of the best in southern Ontario. It’s still highly rated, said Terry Lamb. “Top 5 I think,” he said.
“Courtright I would put No. 1,” said Barnard. “That ballpark was run by a bunch of retired gentlemen who maintained it.”
The field’s two diamonds are now used by bantam and midget teams from Tillsonburg Minor Ball, down the road will be used by junior and senior teams.
Baseball Tillsonburg, which formed in 2004, has contributed to several local projects over the years, including making donations and receiving donations for park development, including the Stevens Irrigation system, a scoreboard and safety screens in 2006, a donation to the Tri-County Agricultural Society in 2009, a tent for food and spectators in 2010, a Relay for Life donation in 2012 and Tillsonburg Minor Ball in 2013, diamond upgrades (Nature’s Choice and Courtland Property Management donations), a donation to National Service Dogs in 2017, and the JL Scott McLean Outdoor Recreation Pad in 2018.