When spectators began attending Chanute Baseball games at Katy Park this spring, many admired the new scoreboard, but also noticed the absence of Paul Lindblad’s name behind right field.
A few months ago, crews from Chanute Recreation Commission installed the new scoreboard, and Interim City Manager Todd Newman said Paul Lindblad’s name will indeed be added by the end of the year.
“Our main goal was to get it here so we can get it ready for baseball; we had to put a rush on it,” Newman said. “Our main goal was just to have a scoreboard so we had it for the baseball season.”
The new scoreboard was a donation from Orizon Aerostructures. The aerospace company, just off of West 21st St., spent nearly $14,000. A new panel will be designed to replace the current one, the same process as when sponsorships are placed on the scoreboard.
To Newman, the lack of the name Paul Lindblad on the scoreboard panel is merely a slight change, but he said it may be different for folks who are out there practicing on the field every day or attending Chanute Baseball home games.
“I’m sure if you are out there every single day that you recognize that it wasn’t on there, but I think the major impact is this (scoreboard) actually works,” he said. “The one that was down there previously hasn’t worked in the last two or three years, it wasn’t lighting up properly. The biggest thing is you have a bright new scoreboard now, so that’s really what catches your eye.”
Chanute Commissioner Phillip Chaney said the old board needed to be replaced as soon as possible.
“The old board was worn out and faded, and everything else, so we wanted to put something new out there and we actually have a couple of companies that are interested in helping us out with it,” Chaney said.
Right now, the City of Chanute is in discussions with companies that are interested in completing the job, but a specific company hasn’t been solidified. In agreement with Newman, Chaney said the scoreboard wasn’t completed with Paul Lindblad on the panel because commissioners were unsure if there was going to be any baseball at Katy Park this year. When the decision was made that there was going to be baseball at the park, Chaney said commissioners immediately started the process for crews to put up the scoreboard before the independent baseball season began.
That meant there was just not enough time to add the Chanute icon’s name.
Lindblad’s father used the Santa Fe Railroad to move to Chanute after his time with the Navy. Lindblad went to school and played baseball in Chanute and semiprofessional baseball in the region. He went on to play professionally for the Kansas City and Oakland Athletics, Washington Senators, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees. He played a total of 14 years as a pitcher, registering a 68-63 record and a 3.29 ERA. His best season was with the Oakland Athletics in 1975, when he went 9-1 with 58 strikeouts and a 2.72 ERA.
Lindblad was a member of three World Series teams. While proving himself as a very good fielder as well, he set a major league record of not making an error in 385 games from 1966 to 1974.
When Lindblad died in 2006, Katy Stadium was renamed Paul Lindblad Field. On Oct. 5, 2008, Lindblad was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
“We want to keep his name alive, and keep his name in there so that the kids that play down there today realize that they too can make it to the major leagues,” Chaney said.