Comiskey Park, Chicago, IL, August 11, 1939 – Trial run with new lights days before first night game for White Sox

Comiskey Park, Chicago, IL, August 11, 1939 – Trial run with new lights days before first night game for White Sox

 

With a flick of the switch, 768 flood lights mounted on four towers turns night into day for the first time ever at the White Sox fabled ballpark. Even so the real test wouldn’t be till a few nights later on August 14th against the St Louis Browns, White Sox management had to be pleased as all looked good.

Night baseball was increasingly becoming more and more popular, not only with the fans but the teams bottom lines, as these games played under the moonlight were shown to be a cash cow. For example, the inaugural night game against the Browns was expecting a crowd of more than 30,000, when only a couple thousand would show up if it was a day game since it was the lowly Browns and a White Sox club that was 16 games out of first place.

And on August 14th history was made in front of 30,000, and not only did many enjoy the experience of watching night baseball for the first time, but they also enjoyed watching the White Sox come out on the winning end beating the Browns 5-2. Sox catcher Mike Tresh provided the big bat with two hits and two runs batted in while his battery mate, pitcher Johnny Rigney, got his 10th win of the season in a complete game effort with ten strikeouts.

The only major complaint from the players were ground balls of all things, not fly balls hit into the dark night, saying a ground ball made a shadow as it skipped across the turf. White Sox manager seemed not to overly impress with night baseball, commenting “The umpires still look the same to me under the lights”.

Leave a reply

%d bloggers like this: