Opening Night

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Although baseball games were played after sundown as far back as the 1880s, the first Major League contest held at night was at Crosley Field in Cincinnati on May 24, 1935 between the Reds and the Phillies.  The first nighttime All-Star game was played in Philadelphia in 1943 and the first World Series game played at night was in Pittsburgh in 1971.  Since then, both regular season and post-season afternoon games have become much less common, particularly because of the higher primetime TV ratings.

The official opening of the 2014 Major League season in the U.S. (two games were played last weekend in Australia) will begin in San Diego tonight before sunset on the west coast.  By the time it ends, it could be close to midnight on the east coast.  This makes it difficult for young baseball fan to watch the game.

Ditto Flagston is a typical seven-year old who loves baseball.  He makes all the necessary preparations for the opening of the new season.  He convinces his parents to let him stay up late to watch the game.  But his excitement is soon overcome by sleepiness. This situation was documented in the following Hi and Lois Sunday page from 2009.

Hi and Lois Sunday page, April 5, 2009.

Hi and Lois Sunday page, April 5, 2009.

Tomorrow there are thirteen games scheduled, nine of which will begin in daylight hours.  This should be a national holiday, so kids across the country can have the opportunity to attend opening day at their local stadiums.  I’m sure many of them will skip school anyway.  They should at least be given amnesty.

– Brian Walker

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