We came across this great article on HearaldOnline.com about the history of lighting baseball games.
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — The magical experience of baseball played under the lights may have been most aptly described by James T. Golden, Jr., a Cincinnati Enquirer sports writer. He wrote of the first Major League Baseball game played under lights in 1935, “…The sphere stood out against the sky like a pearl against dark velvet.” Night baseball is a special experience for fans—it’s literally a more electric atmosphere.
Origins of the Night Game
Just like a player’s trajectory, night baseball started in the minors. R.J. Swackhammer, a GE lighting designer, created the lighting layout for the first Minor League Baseball night game in 1930. Major League Baseball night games trace their roots to a struggling early 1930s Cincinnati Reds team, with average weekday game attendance floating between 2,000 and 3,000 fans. People were working during prime daylight hours and catching a baseball game rather than working was an oft-unaffordable splurge.
Leland “Larry” MacPhail and Powel Crosley, the then-respective general manager and owner of the Reds, noticed a positive correlation between lights and attendance in Minor League Baseball parks. Despite the team’s financial woes, the Reds boldly decided to install lights at Crosley Field. They may not have known it at the time, but they sparked a lighting revolution in Major League Baseball.
On May 24, 1935, the first night baseball game was played under GE lights with more than 20,000 fans in attendance—about 10 times the number that had been attending day games. For the seven games played under the lights at Crosley Field that first year, average attendance stood at 18,500 fans. It was a success that forever changed how baseball would be played and experienced.
Red Barber, who announced the first Major League Baseball night game, observed, “As soon as I saw the lights come on, I knew they were there to stay.”
By 1941, just six years after the first Major League Baseball game was played under the lights, 11 of the 16 Major League Baseball fields had lights installed. During the 2012 regular season, the National League played 66 percent of its games at night, while the American League played 68 percent of its games at night.
New Turf, baseball lights, press box projects complete at Lake Travis
(as seen in the Lake Travis View, August 1, 2012 – by Habeab Kurdi)
Summer has been a busy time around Lake Travis athletics, and some improvements will shine brightly in the coming school year.
The Lake Travis baseball field received a significant lighting upgrade, not only brightening the field with a lot less light bulbs, but the lights are also more efficient and won’t reflect light into surrounding areas like in the past. The baseball field had been operating with subpar lighting for some time, but the new bulbs in place will make the diamond glow this upcoming season.
There were 128 lights in the old system, while just 58 lights are in place now for a brighter, more efficient system, according to Rodney Hawthorne, president of Techline, the company that installed the lighting and has done installations for stadiums worldwide.
“We doubled the light level with more than 50 percent energy savings,” he said.
The bulbs on the old system were 1,000 watt, and the new ones are at 1,500 watts and are expected to have a life of 3,000 hours. The system is set up with a computer aid to ensure the lighting is in the proper positioning and evenly covers the field.
Hawthorne said that the previous system did not meet the University Interscholastic League requirements because there was a lack of light on the field.
Techline Sports Lighting Named the Official Sports Lighting Provider of the NAIA
We are excited to have been named the “Official Sports Lighting Provider of the NAIA”. We certainly appreciate the confidence NAIA has placed in Techline Sports Lighting and look forward to this partnership.
Techline has been creating customer solutions for over 25 years.
Techline is your one stop source for:
- We design lighting for new facilities as well as audit existing facilities providing professional recommendations to improve light levels and energy efficiency
- Our team provides complete lighting, structural and electrical designs specific to your project
- Our industry leading ESL fixtures, powered by EcoLink controls, can cut your operating costs up to 50%
- Our team handles your entire project from delivery to game day in as little as 2-3 weeks
- Warranties up to 30 years customized to your needs
As a special promotion we are offering all NAIA Members 3 years same as cash on purchases through the end of 2012.
Please contact us if you with any inquiries or questions. Thanks for the opportunity to serve your needs.
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