Rain and Rules beat Yankees
AUGUST 13, 1978 – Was the grounds crew as swift as it could have been? Earl Weaver wouldn’t try to stall for rain would he? Either way, the New York Yankees were not pleased with the outcome of a game against the Baltimore Orioles on this date in baseball history.
The O’s were leading the Yankees 3-0 after six innings. The Yankees scored five in the top of the seventh to take a 5-3 lead. The Orioles came to bat, and it started raining. The rain got heavier. Some think Orioles Manager Earl Weaver saw the handwriting on the wall – or the raining falling on the ground – and stalled so the Orioles would not finish their time at bat. If the home team does not complete an inning because of rain, the score reverts back to the previous inning.
Some also think the Baltimore Memorial Stadium grounds crew was less than swift in getting the field covered. Needless to say, the game was called after 36 minutes. The umpires said the field was in bad shape because of so much rain recently, this only made it unplayable. The Orioles were declared the winner 3-0.
Memorial Stadium on a sunny day
Rule 4.12 has since been changed (largely because of that game) so that the game is suspended should the visiting team take the lead when play stops because of rain before the home team has had a chance to complete the inning. The game is resumed from that point at a future date. Here’s the rule:
A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated for any of the following reasons:
Weather, if a regulation game is called while an inning is in progress and before the inning is completed, and the visiting team has scored one or more runs to take the lead, and the home team has not retaken the lead;