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MAY 16 (1939) - Night*
By Bill Grimes
May 16, 2007 - 3:03 AM

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Into the night

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA • MAY 16, 1939 On this day in baseball the American League finally played a game under the lights – four years after the National League pioneered the trend. The game took place at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. The Cleveland Indians beat the home team Philadelphia Athletics 8-3 in ten innings .

Night games are so prevalent today, it’s hard to imagine a time when all games were played during the day. That slowly began to change in 1935. The Cincinnati Reds played the first night game at Crosley Field in Cincinnati May 24, 1935. Crosley was the only park to have lights for more than 3 years.

Brooklyn was the next team to play under the lights on June 15, 1938. By coincidence, or maybe not, the Dodgers first night game was the night Johnny Vander Meer pitched his second consecutive no-hitter – the only time it’s been done. Ya think the first game under the lights at Ebbets Field had anything to do with it? Just askin.

Here’re the dates the other teams first played under the lights:

NL

AL

Cincinnati Reds                       1935


Brooklyn Dodgers                  1938

Philadelphia Phillies               1939

 

 

New York Giants                     1940

Pittsburgh Pirates                   1940

St. Louis Cardinals                 1940

 


Boston Braves                        1946

 

 


Milwaukee Braves                *1953

 

 


San Francisco Giants           *1958

Los Angeles Dodgers         *1958

 


 

Houston Colt .45s              **1962

New York Mets                  **1964

Atlanta Braves                      *1966

 


San Diego Padres               **1969

Montreal Expos                  **1969

 

 

 



 

Chicago Cubs                          1988

Florida Marlins                   **1993

Colorado Rockies               **1993


Arizona Diamondbacks     **1998


Washington Nationals        *2005

 

 



Philadelphia Athletics            1939

Cleveland Indians                   1939

Chicago White Sox                 1939

St. Louis Browns                    1940

 

 

Washington Senators            1941


New York Yankees                 1946

Boston Red Sox                      1947

Detroit Tigers                          1948

 


Baltimore Orioles                  *1954

Kansas City Athletics         *1955

 

 



Minnesota Twins                 *1961

Los Angeles Angels         **1961

 

 

 


Oakland Athletics                *1968

Kansas City Royals           **1969

Seattle Pilots                       **1969

Milwaukee Brewers              *1970

Texas Rangers                      *1972


Seattle Mariners                 **1977

Toronto Blue Jays             **1977

 

 

 




Tampa Devil Rays              **1998

*Expansion team

**Existing team in new location

 

Read on:

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/firsts/first10.shtml

http://www.baseballlibrary.com/

http://www.retrosheet.org/


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