Monday, July 25, 2011

More Day Baseball?

The Cubs play more day games than anyone.
 Does anyone want to  emulate their record?
The Florida Marlins are finally going to play their home games in a stadium built for baseball next year. And the new ballpark, rising on the site once occupied by the Orange Bowl, will even have a retractable roof.

The obvious reasons for that are the heat and the penchant for late-day rain in southern Florida. Now fans will no longer have to ponder whether to make the trek to see the Marlins play in the midst of a thunderstorm. But the team has decided there's another benefit to the new park: more day games during the week.

As reports, the location of the ballpark in a business district has the Marlins thinking games in the sunshine will be a draw for the workers in the area. The St. Louis Cardinals have long had a "businessman's special" staring time of noon. The theory behind it was that an extended lunch hour would be enough time to catch a game. I'm not sure how well that holds up now that games are much longer than two hours.

I'm a traditionalist for some things -- pitchers hitting, ending interleague play -- but I think night baseball is the best thing that happened for fans. Day games are nice, especially on weekends. But most fans work during the day and don't get watch daylight contests in person or on TV. And when school is in session kids have no chance of seeing or attending day games.

I remember racing home from school to catch the end of weekday Series games and then waiting for the news to come on so I could see a couple of highlights. When the Series finally played a game under the lights in 1971 I was thrilled. I was lucky that my Dad was a schoolteacher and was around to take me to day games.

And going to a day game now and then is still fun. But too many almost seems like a throwback to a distant era. The world has changed.

1 comment:

  1. It may be a throwback to a distant era, but there is something about taking an afternoon off during the week and watching a ball game. It somehow feels like you're getting away with something. I remember when they put up the lights at Wrigley, and thought how sad it was. Maybe I'm just a bit of a throwback myself, but I think baseball on a hot summer afternoon is just fine.

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