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Mr. Terry Thibodeaux




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Email: brrett@cox.net

Updated by Terry on May 23, 2016

1996 – present – Basketball Stat Crew for Women’s and Men’s Basketball – Call action while Guy enters into computer
1996 – present – Football Stat Crew
2006 – present – Baseball Scoreboard operator
2012 – present – Softball Scoreboard operator as needed
2015 – present – Volleyball Scoreboard operator

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Baseball: Chalkdust – Big move coming at The Tigue

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, May 20, 2016

The first time Guy Rials updated the score at a Ragin’ Cajuns baseball game, no technology expertise was needed.

It was 1969, at a facility whose name he just can’t remember, and UL – known then as the University of Southwestern Louisiana — stuck with the basics.

Future New York Yankees star Ron Guidry was pitching for the Cajuns, and Rials did not have to worry about the system crashing.

“This is no lie: We didn’t have a scoreboard,” Guidry’s old American Legion teammate said. “They had a big chalkboard, and you used to erase the chalkboard by hand. Seriously.”

Nine years later – on March 4, 1978, in a 7-1 loss to the University of New Orleans – the Cajuns played their first game at what is now called M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.

Flash forward to 2016, and Rials — who along with his trusty scoreboard partner, Terry Thibodeaux, updates Cajun fans on everything from balls and strikes to runs and errors — is among those who will be relocated after The Tigue undergoes a $10 million-plus renovation scheduled to start around the middle of next month.

Frequent official scorer Dan McDonald. Radio play-by-play man Jay Walker. Cajuns baseball sports information director Jeff Schneider. A couple local reporters, and one from a competing radio station. The visitors’ SID, and their broadcaster too.

The final game in the current shabby press box for all of them — along with those in an adjacent and similarly appointed operations booth, including longtime UL associate athletics John Dugas and stadium public-address announcer Nick Domingue — could come Saturday afternoon, when the Cajuns play host to in-state rival UL Monroe in their final regular-season game of 2016.

Unless, that is, No. 19 UL hosts NCAA Tournament games — which is why the massive reno project, which features a makeover for the stadium’s façade and its entire grandstand seating section, most of which is expected to be completed before next season, won’t get underway right away.

Whenever it’s all finally done, some won’t even look over their shoulder at the old box they are leaving behind — a workplace where Moore himself used to rule the roost, as the late American Legion and high school baseball organizer did with the whole stadium.

“I will miss absolutely nothing about it,” said Walker, who starting calling Cajun baseball games in 1993 and worked out of what his now the operations booth until a couple years ago.


From cramped quarters to windows that do not open and red carpet that reeks, even the most meticulous of historical societies would be hard-pressed to find anything worth preserving in The Tigue’s longtime press box.

The floor covering really has to go — and has for quite some time now.

“I think that is exactly the same carpet (as when the box was built),” McDonald said. “Because when you pick it up, it’s like the dust and dirt is holding it together. That’s why I try not to move it very much.”

Sometimes, though, one simply cannot help it.

“It’s not stuck down hardly anymore,” McDonald said. “It kind of moves with you.”

McDonald, UL’s former sports information director and a former Daily Advertiser beat writer covering the Cajuns, spent his first spring in the box in 1981 and has been there in one capacity or another for parts or all of every season since.

Back then, there were no computers where a simple tap of the print button would produce a box score. Actual scoring was kept in a book, just like McDonald and others still do today, but stats were written out by hand.

How were they distributed to multiple parties in a timely fashion?

“Ran it off on Ditto. That’s what we did,” McDonald said, “We thought it was pretty amazing when we got a copier we could actually make copies on.”

The sound system was nothing then like it is now, either.

McDonald often was the one spinning tunes. And no, wise guy, it wasn’t 8-track. But that’s not far off.

“Our music was a little cassette recorder,” McDonald said. “We would pop cassettes in and out, and I would hold the (microphone) to it. I’m serious. That’s how we got music in the ballpark.”

All went well, except the time McDonald walked down the stadium steps to retrieve lineup sheets from coaches and realized he had put on a Jimmy Buffett song containing — ahem — inappropriate suggestions.

The first part of the tune involves getting drunk.

“I knew there was no way I could make it back up to the press box in time to turn it off,” McDonald said, “so I just hoped nobody noticed.”

Fortunately, no one did.


These days, a game does not go by in which fans fail to notice a miscue made in the press box.

Longtime Cajuns coach Tony Robichaux stays on top of things too, and umpires who both calls games and keep an eye on the scoreboard operated by Rials and Thibodeaux.

In fact, that’s how Rials — a 1968 Northside High and 1972 UL grad who has spent the last 25 years working in the business office of Lafayette General Health — got the moonlighting gig he has now.

He started working with the Cajun statistical crew for basketball games in 1975, and began the same for football one year later.

The baseball job came along about 12 years or so ago.

Scoreboard operator Guy Rials (left) and official Dan

Scoreboard operator Guy Rials (left) and official Dan McDonald in the press box at The Tigue, which is set for major renovation. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/THE ADVERTISER)

“Before we (he and Thibodeaux) did it,” Rials said, “whoever was doing it was doing a way worse job than we (do).

“The ump finally turned to the press box, pointed to him and went, like, ‘Quit doing it.’ Because he had to correct the balls and the strikes, he had to correct the outs, he had to correct the inning. So finally the ump pointed to the guy that was doing it and actually threw him out of the press box. … That is a true story.”

Rials is the first to admit he hasn’t always been perfect over the years.

Occasionally, pals text him from the stands to let him know when he’s made a mistake.

And when he and Thibodeaux do get it all right?

“Probably dumb luck,” Rials says with a laugh.

Sometimes there are distractions, whether it is scrumptious sausage or chicken being delivered from the Cajun Cooking Club, coffee being poured from the new pot brought in this season, certain fans walking by, a bad joke being told or a heated friendly debate erupting over how a certain play should be ruled.

Once this season, all eight or nine people in the box at the time had no clue how Brenn Conrad of the Cajuns had made it on base.


“A couple of times, several years ago, Robe (Robichaux) called up and said, ‘Whatever y’all are doing in the press box, quit doing it,’” Rials said. “So we had to tone it done a little bit.

“They definitely watch from the dugout. … When the scoreboard gets pretty messed up, Robe will call Dugas, and Dugas will say, ‘Hey, what are y’all doing?’”

Rials and Thibodeaux regularly strive for a perfect game.

But sometimes they have to settle for a scoreboard keeper’s version of a no-hitter with a walk or two along the way — usually blemished in the form of umpire pointing out that the pitch count is, say, 0-1 and not 1-0.

If, that is, fans don’t let them know sooner.

“This year,” Rials said, “my compadre Thib, Terry Thibodeaux, knock on wood, we must being doing pretty well, because they’ve only turned around two or three times.

“This year, believe it or not,” he added, “we’ve been fairly serious.”


When he was alive, both Rials and McDonald recall, no one kept closer tabs of all that was happening in the press box — and the whole stadium, for that matter — than Tigue Moore.

Robichaux played in the park when he was in high school.

Back then — unlike he insists now of his players — he typically did not shove the tail of his jersey into his pants until game time.

“I remember this elderly man coming up to me and saying, ‘Sonny, tuck your shirt in,’” Robichaux said. “I didn’t know who he was. … Then a little while later I found out it was Mr. Moore.”

Moore regularly walked the grounds and field before games were played at the stadium named first for his family (Moore Field) and later — in 1995, about a year after his death on Feb. 16, 1994 — for him.

Robichaux remembers how sometimes he’d have to send a player to stay near and protect Moore so he didn’t get hit during batting practice.

During Cajun games, which before The Tigue was constructed were played at old Clark Field, Moore usually sat in the press-box spot where Walker sits now for his broadcasts on KPEL 1420 AM or 96.5 FM.

“His last baseball season,” Walker said, “I finished a baseball broadcast and he said, ‘Would you mind if I used your shoulder as we walk down?’ Because at that time he had gotten to the point where he wasn’t very steady on his feet.”

Walker was honored.

“I have felt like that since then … never,” the radio announcer said. “He was just a wonderful man.”


Moore wanted everything perfect at the stadium that bears his name, and the scoreboard was highest among his priorities.

For a long time, runs were posted on a board that now is the Service Chevrolet billboard in left field at The Tigue.

Now the outfield scoreboard in left-center is massive, rising 71 feet tall, and attached to a modern videoboard that features state-of-the-art graphics.

No longer are scoreboard operators like Rials and Thibodeaux punching simple, big buttons when another run is scored.

Everything runs off a computer program, and a massive components box takes up space in the press box where a seat used to be.

When info is inputted nowadays, it must precise — and correcting a mistake takes time, something impatient fans and umps alike seem to not understand.

“It’s gotten a little more complicated,” Rials said. “The order of things has to happen in a certain way, and if you don’t do it in the right order then you’ll get yourself in trouble.

“It’s like anything else: If you stay focused and if you watch what you’re doing, it’s OK. But if you lose focus …”

Fans yell. A home-plate ump may re-flash the count. And in the extreme, someone in the Cajun dugout might reach for the phone.

“As quickly as the UL pitchers pitch, boy,” Rials said, “you have to watch every single pitch.”

It’s mostly laughs and good times between balls and strikes, but it isn’t always fun.

Like when the dang computer freezes.

“That’s very stressful,” Rials said, “when you look up and it’s blank, or you press the button and nothing happens, and Robe’s looking from the dugout and the people are turning around.”


Rials shrugs with a “What can I do?” look.

The Lafayette native loves being in the box that soon will be bulldozed, technological bugaboos, nasty carpet and all.

But much is about to change, from sightlines — the new press box will not be behind home plate, but instead along one of the lines so income-producing private boxes can be built instead — to fancy flooring.

So while on one hand he does eagerly await the move — “I think we’re all looking forward to it,” especially the extra elbow room, he said — there is a big part of Rials that will be saddened to walk out of The Tigue’s old press box one last time.

It’s where he’s spent spring evenings for more than a decade tracking pitch counts between banter among friends.

It’s where Rials watched ex-Cajun Jace Conrad knock what the scoreboard man called a “spine-tingling” grand slam against Jackson State during the NCAA Lafayette Regional a couple years back.

It’s where 4,000-plus spectators, and one ump in particular, and on occasion even the coach, keep him on his toes.

“I’m kind of a traditionalist,” said Rials, who spent a few years from 1972-75 covering high school and Cajun sports for The Daily Advertiser.

“I know the press box will be better, I know it will be newer, I know it will be nicer. But I’m not much on change. I like things the way they are.

“This is working,” he added. “So I’ll just miss things the way they are now, whether it’s the stands or the press box. You know where you are, you know what you’re doing, you know where everything is.”

Chalk it up to experience.