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High Score

Murren Scoreboard is centerpiece of new Hopkins Field of Dreams
Posted June 1, 2015

There's a sharp pop as the bat connects with the ball, which soars high above left field and over the fence for a home run. The home team fans cheer wildly as the slugger rounds the bases and trots towards home. And capturing this winning moment for the Hopkins Blue Jays is a state-of-the-art Daktronics Scoreboard and Video Board, which instantly displays the player’s stats and photo, updated score, and video animations to pump up the crowd.

To quote the film Field of Dreams, "Is this heaven?" No, it's Hopkins — specifically the new Babb Field at Stromberg Stadium on the university's Homewood campus. And the star of the new baseball facility is without a doubt the Murren Family Scoreboard, standing 24 feet tall by 26 feet wide in center field.

It is named for Johns Hopkins University trustee and co-chair of the Rising to the Challenge campaign Heather Murren, her husband Jim, and their family. For the Murrens, making the generous gift that underwrote the scoreboard was, well, an easy throw to first.

"Jim introduced me to baseball when we first met, and since then, we have been a serious baseball family. We wanted to support the team and enhance the enjoyment of the game for players and fans in a significant way," says Murren, a 1988 alumna of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and parent of a rising Krieger junior. "The addition of the new scoreboard to other improvements will make Babb Field the best Division III baseball facility in the nation for years to come."

The Murren Family Scoreboard features a 19-by-11-foot LED matrix video display that can show any combination of scoring information and statistics, graphics and animation, or sponsor messages. Its integrated statistics display allows its operators to post updated statistics every time a player comes to the plate. The scoreboard itself features a custom name display that updates the Hopkins and visitor team rosters for each game. The combined LED video and messaging displays also employ green technology, utilizing industry-leading environmental protection and low-power consumption.

Working with programmers at Daktronics, Mark Natale, coordinator of Digital Media for the Department of Athletics, has developed what he believes is best-in-class game-day content. "Thanks to the Murren Family Scoreboard, Blue Jay baseball can provide an experience comparable to what’s seen and heard at a major league baseball stadium," he says. In the near future, that experience also will include live video capture and instant replays displayed on the scoreboard.

For the Hopkins team, the new scoreboard, field, and stadium represent a total package for taking their game to the next level.

As Jays centerfielder Zach Jaffe, a Krieger School rising sophomore who is pursuing a double major in international studies and romance languages, says, "It's all pretty incredible and arguably the best Division III facility out there. The scoreboard itself is awesome; you just don’t see that at other DIII schools."

Whiting School of Engineering rising junior Zach Robbins, who has played first and third base with the team since his freshman year, agrees.

"The new scoreboard is a real standout among the schools we play," the mechanical engineering major says. "When we're playing with the scoreboard on, we feel like something special."