The first major league baseball night game was played 77 years ago on May 24, 1935. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sent the signal from Washington D.C. to flip the switch to turn on the lights, symbolizing the beginning of a now familiar baseball experience. This first game under the lights took place at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Reds defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 before 20,422 fans. Night baseball became a quick success. Attendance increased as fans came out to see their favorite players under the lights. In 1935, the Cincinnati Reds averaged 18,000 fans per game at seven night games. This was four times the average of their day games!
It is only fitting that the very first professional baseball team would be the first to host the first ever night game in Major League history! May 24, 1935 marked the date that the Cincinnati Reds & Philadelphia Phillies played under the lights at Crosley Field. By the push of a button in the White House, President Franklin D. Roosevelt illuminated the ballpark. The Cincinnati Reds won that night 2-1.