School Night Lights – Playmakerjournal


School Night Lights

Remember the first time your kid got to play under the lights? Perhaps it was the same field he or she always played on--it was just dark. But then the lights came on and it seemed like a whole different world and the field was a lot more special and surreal and the game itself seemed more important than those other regular games played under a hot afternoon sun.

That is something you might want to remember. My son played under the lights for the first time a few years before I invented Playmaker Journal so I'm not entirely sure on the exact date. But I could make a guess and that would be the first year I coached his Little League team. That season we were the Bad News Bears and lost about every game; however, despite our poor record we could still play in the end-of-the-season tournament. And then something magical happened: the boys clicked as a team and we started winning games and we worked our way through the brackets until championship game.

And the championship game was played, you guessed it, under the lights.

Electricity transformed baseball. The first MLB played under the lights was in 1935 and President Franklin D. Roosevelt flicked a switch that was set up at the White House which in turn lit up Crosley Field.

And it was worth something to advertise about. In the ticket above, there is an illustration of a light bulb that touts a "NIGHT GAME" at Ebbets Field. Imagine being an old timer in 1938 and your entire life you have watched baseball during the daylight hours and then you step in a stadium where the diamond is awash in light. These days it is something we take for granted but I believe--at least for the young ball players--the magic is still there.