• Kurtis Tatkenhorst

May 18- Night baseball games are ended in 1942 for the rest of WWll

Updated: May 4, 2021

1942- Whether baseball was to be played in the 1942 season was up in the air. Like this year, although for completely different reasons, people were unsure if America’s pastime would be played. America had just experienced Pearl Harbor a few months before and was headed into World War 2. During World War 1, the U.S. government made all non-essential workers, such as baseball players, get a war related job. Fortunately for baseball fans, President Franklin Roosevelt gave MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Landis the go ahead to start the baseball season. He believed the American people would enjoy watching baseball to distract themselves from the war.

Although the MLB season would go on each season of the war, May 18th, 1942 became the last day there was a night baseball game in New York City. Yankee Stadium did not have lights yet, so the Yankees never played any night home baseball games. Polo Grounds, home of the New York Giants, and Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, did have lights. However, people were concerned that the bright lights could help enemy bombers locate their targets in the city. For that reason, lights around the city, including baseball stadium lights, had to remain off due to wartime military regulations. One game in August of 1942 between the Dodgers and Giants ended in the bottom of the ninth inning during a Giants rally. Instead of finishing the game, the Dodgers won 7-4 because it reached twilight and the lights had to be turned off.

Sources:

Cox, Matt. “Keep Baseball Going.” National Baseball Hall of Fame, baseballhall.org/discover-more/stories/short-stops/keep-baseball-going.

“The Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants Play a Military Fund-Raising Game in 1942.” Misc. Baseball, 2 Aug. 2011, miscbaseball.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/the-brooklyn-dodgers-and-new-york-giants-play-a-military-fund-raising-game-in-1942/.

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