Baseball Under the Lights

The Rise of the Night Game

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About the Book

Night games transformed the business of professional baseball, as the smaller, demographically narrower audiences able to attend daytime games gave way to larger, more diversified crowds of nighttime spectators. Many ball club owners were initially conflicted about artificial lighting and later actually resisted expanding the number of night games during the sport’s struggle to balance ballpark attendance and television viewership in the 1950s.

This first-ever comprehensive history of night baseball examines the factors, obstacles and trends that shaped this dramatic change in both the minor and major leagues between 1930 and 1990.

About the Author(s)

Charlie Bevis, a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, is a retired adjunct professor of English at Rivier University. He has written for Nine, The Cooperstown Symposium, The National Pastime and Base Ball, and is the author of several baseball books. He lives in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Charlie Bevis
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 239
Bibliographic Info: 48 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8015-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4232-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. Original Audience for Daylight Baseball 7
2. Premodern Night Baseball 17
3. Boosterism and Baseball 24
4. Night Games by Cahill’s Arc Lights 39
5. Attendance Decline at Weekday Games 50
6. Birth of Modern Night Baseball 64
7. Minor League Introduction 71
8. Divergent Views 81
9. National League Adoption 95
10. American League Adoption 109
11. The War Years 123
12. Postwar Expansion 141
13. ­Twi-Night Doubleheaders 155
14. Boosting Night Games in the 1950s 166
15. Pushing Boundaries 179
16. Maximizing Night Baseball 192
Appendix A: First Night Games in the Minor Leagues in 1930 205
Appendix B: First Night Games by Class AA ­Minor-League Ball Clubs 206
Appendix C: First Night Games by ­Major-League Ball Clubs 207
Appendix D: ­Major-League Night Games, 1935–1985 208
Chapter Notes 209
Bibliography 225
Index 229

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Lively and thoroughly researched book…Bevis infuses his narrative with delightful anecdotes and interesting characters… This detailed history of night baseball will enlighten even the most knowledgeable fans and will surely appeal to readers interested in sports history”—Library Journal

• “Bevis does a fine job of juggling the various factors at play in the tug-of-war between advocates of widespread night baseball and those clinging to the status quo…Thorough and (pun intended) illuminating.”—Outside the Lines