There are a number of certain things that makes sense in life. Hot dogs on the 4th of July, Super Bowl Sunday, and of course, day baseball. I recently attended a Sunday Major League game, with a 12:30 starting time and was reminded of the beauty that comes with day baseball games.
Lets take a step back. For the longest time, baseball was only played in the day time, but it wasn’t until 1935 that night baseball was introduced to America. Even during the World Series was the games played during the day, so why did it change? Apparently, during the time of the Great Depression, even Major League baseball teams were folding, and it was harder to keep players during the time of their day jobs. Ever since then, all teams in the MLB have switched to play under the lights, well, all teams except one.
If you ever want to experience heaven on earth, there is one place for that everyone can enjoy. It’s the only place on earth that you can feel like a kid in the 1950’s, and everyone is happy. This magical place I’m referring to is Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have played the majority of their home games during the day for as long as fans could remember. In 2011, the Chicago played 53 day games at Wrigley, with just 28 night games. The first night game at home for the Cubs wasn’t until 1988. If you really want to experience the pure fullness of baseball and how the game was meant to be viewed as a spectator, go no further than 1060 West Addison in Chicago, at noon on a Thursday.
Even the World Series games were held during the day, but we’ve been without one such as that since 1987. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that the game’s biggest stage was held more and more at night.
To me, nothing is better than watching your favorite team, everyone around you is getting sunburnt, some guys are taking their shirts off, its warm but not too hot, and hearing the beautiful sound of the crack of the bat, I’m pretty sure cracker jacks and soda taste better in the sunlight as well. Another reason why I love it, is because the day isn’t over when the game ends. Some of my fondest memories of actually going to baseball games have been during day games. I remember Opening Day in 2005, in Miami to see the Marlins and Braves, and John Smoltz square off against Josh Beckett. At Wrigley, I saw Derrick Lee hit two homers and the Cubbies defeat the Astros. Several years ago, I witness Old Timers day at Yankees Stadium on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, where they brought out all the legends of the Bronx Bombers.
When you think of baseball, the Sandlot wasn’t filmed during the night (not counting the 4th of July game), Bobby Thompson didn’t hit the Pennant winning walk off at night, Babe Ruth didn’t call his shot under the lights. Let us raise this new generation, in the kind of world that Yogi Berra and Willie Mays would be proud of, and play some ball while the sun is shining