The Old Sanford Stadium Scoreboard Lives On

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The Old Sanford Stadium Scoreboard Lives On

Old Sanford Stadium Scoreboard during the final seconds of the 1978 UGA/Tech game. Photo: About Them Dawgs Blawg
Old Sanford Stadium Scoreboard during the final seconds of the 1978 UGA/tech game.
Photo: About Them Dawgs Blawg

 
 
The Red & Black’s Sports Editor, Jed May recently posted a story about the old Sanford Stadium scoreboard that has found a home in Athens after being saved from a trip to the salvage yard.
 
 
Athenian Marion Cartwright saved the relic from destruction:
 
 
Cartwright was going to visit a friend that worked for the Georgia athletic department when something on the ground caught his eye.

“I went over there to see him about going fishing or meeting him to go fishing, and here the Georgia scoreboard was tore down and it was just laying in a pile there,” Cartwright said.

Upon inquiring about what would be done with the outdated board, Cartwright was told it was just going to be taken to a scrapyard. Cartwright was told he could have it if he wanted to move it, and he loaded it on a trailer that day.

“I just couldn’t see that thing going to the scrap heap,” Cartwright said.

Cartwright kept it in storage for a couple years before deciding to erect it at its current location. He owned the land and parking lots that surrounded the building that would eventually house Loco’s, and he wanted to display what he called a “genuine antique.”
 
 
If you read the Red & Black article you will note that the Dawg with armored board icon is missing from the sign. UGA historian Patrick Garbin noted a possible inspiration for the armed-Hairy in 2011 article:
 
 
A near-perfect LSU Tiger team came to Athens in mid-November of 1935 along with 2,000 of its supporters (a total of 20,000 would be in attendance for the game), 1,200 of which were ROTC cadets from the school.

The visiting throng would not be disappointed as LSU blanked the Bulldogs 13-0; the first touchdown scored on a 95-yard run by Jess Fatherree “on a variation of the old ‘Statue of Liberty’ play.” Reportedly, the margin should have been much worse as the Tigers had a 358-61 advantage in total yardage and 15-2 in first downs.

As the legend goes, more than 1,000 LSU cadets stormed the field as soon as the game ended with intent to tear down one, maybe even both, of the goal posts. This action was certainly not welcomed nor anticipated by Sanford Stadium. When the stadium had been built more than six years earlier, based on good behavior by spectators in the past, expensive metal goal posts were constructed instead of ones made of wood, assuming they would not soon be destroyed and needing to be replaced.

Nonetheless, the UGA students protected their uprights and chased the cadets all the way to the train station on College Avenue. Legend has it that the Bulldog backers grabbed boards from a nearby construction site in defense of the goal posts… thus, the logo of a Bulldog holding a board atop of the old scoreboard.

However, UGA icon and historian Dan Magill has written that the unruly Tigers were chased to the station with not boards, but miniature Hanna baseball bats given away at the game. Magill adds that he, at 14 years old, was even along for the chase, brandishing a bat himself.

Personally, I like the version featuring the boards better; it seems a little more “blue collar.”
 
 
This is what makes college sports great!
 
 
 
 

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.