First Night Game in MLB History: 1935

March 24, 1935 Ethan Allen of the Phillies At Bat 1st MLB Night Game Crosley Field, Cincinnati Reds 2 - Phillies 1.

March 24, 1935
Ethan Allen of the Phillies At Bat
1st MLB Night Game, Crosley Field, Cincinnati
Reds 2 – Phillies 1.




But Big Leagues Still Wonder How Many

Nights Fans Would Still Come Out


By Hugh S. Fullerton, Jr.

Associate Press Sports Writer

(Regarding Game of May 24, 1935)


The first night game in baseball history was written down today as a great success.

But there still remained the business of checking up on how many of the 20,242 who turned out at Cincinnati last night to see the $50,000 floodlighting system turned on by President Roosevelt in Washington, (a) great preliminary display of fireworks, a considerable gathering of notables, and, incidentally,  a 2 to 1 victory for the Reds over the Phillies, would pay to come back some other night.

The whole question of baseball after dark in the big leagues seems to hinge on that matter. The attendance at that “experimental” game appeared to justify the cash outlay and to put to rest any fears that players might be injured because of the strange playing conditions.

The Reds got only four blows off Joe Bowman and Jim Bivin, who pitched the eighth inning, but they made them count more than Philadelphia’s six off Paul Derringer.

~ A Hugh S. Fullerton, Jr. article excerpt, Associated Press, Moberly (MO) Monitor Index, May 25, 1935, Page 6


Just an opinion here. What a difference eighty years makes – and it certainly didn’t take the game that long to get where it is now. Major League Baseball in 2016, including all of its biggest shows, has been owned by the night for decades. The real story that needs to be written today is how night baseball changed the culture of players and writers who covered the game. Between the coming of night baseball, jet plane travel, and television exposure, the whole business of having fairly anonymous time for teammate and writer bonding – and night time pleasure-seeking that worked in the Babe Ruth era – was about to be altered forever.  Some players and writers will continue to have problems with drugs, alcohol, and monogamy til the end of time, but they will never again have the leisure time at night, the anonymity they once enjoyed prior to television, or the bonding opportunities they once had on long train rides together. The days for cranking up the impulse wheel of the group mind above the clickety-clack of the rails are a long time gone.

Throw in millionaire salaries today as another big variable curbing behavioral restraint for many, but certainly not all players in the 21st century – and  the fact that today’s media is not the players’ benefits buddy looms big too. Most of today’s media will publish lurid stories on player miscreant behavior. – and most players who misbehave in this era are still smart enough to be more secretive about their runs down the road to ruin. – TPPE


 eagle-0range Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas


One Response to “First Night Game in MLB History: 1935”

  1. stanfromtacoma Says:

    A bit of trivia. The first MLB night game was the first sporting event broadcast over the Mutual Radio Network. Too bad Red Barber’s broadcast of that historic game for Mutual was not preserved.

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