On This Date In History: Bring On the Night

On May 24, 1935, the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies played the first Major League night baseball game at Cincinnati's Crosley Field.  While night games were already being played in the Negro Leagues, Major League Baseball took a little longer to come around to the idea. 

"No pun intended, but there was electricity in the air - on the field, in the stands and in the dugout.  Ballplayers did not get blase.  They got fired up too."  Billy Sullivan, Cincinnati Reds, 1B

From his desk at the White House President Roosevelt flipped a switch signaling to the Reds staff at Crosley Field that it was time to begin.

Here's how a reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer saw the game:

"The field showed up in a more uniform light, green and tan, than it does in daytime...what clouds there were were so thin that the ball, when it flew high, shone through them like a bald head in a steam room.   And when there was no mist, the sphere stood out against the sky like a pearl against dark velvet."  James T. Golden

A crowd of 20,422 showed up for the historic game.  In the bottom of the first Reds shortstop Billy Myers slid into home scoring the first run. The Reds beat the Phillies 2 - 1, behind a complete game for Reds pitcher Paul Derringer.

The Reds went on play seven night games in 1935, one against every National League team.   

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