Baseball History: First MLB Night Game in Cincinnati 80 Years Ago

PaulDerringerGoudeycardLet there be light.

Although there had been games played at night before, it was 80 years ago when the first night contest in the Major Leagues occurred at Crosley Field in Cincinnati on May 24, 1935.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, pushed a button at the White House and the Reds and Philadelphia Phillies were set to play ball.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Paul Derringer led the Reds to a 2-1 victory over the Phillies. Derringer tossed a complete game, while allowing the one run on six hits with three strikeouts.

An all-star for the first time in 1935, Derringer finished the year at 22-13 just two seasons after going 7-27 for the St. Louis Cardinals and Reds.

In 10 years with the Reds, Derringer was 161-150 and made the all-star team five more times. His best season was in 1939 when he was 25-7 as the Reds lost to the New York Yankees in the World Series.

Derringer was 20-12 for the Reds when they won the world championship in 1940.

Prior to joining the Reds, Derringer was 18-8 for St. Louis in 1931 when the Cardinals won the World Series over the Philadelphia A’s. He finished his career (223-212) with the Chicago Cubs in 1945 as they win the National League pennant.

Derringer was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1958.

Although night baseball became more successful, the first World Series game under the lights didn’t happen until 1971 in Pittsburgh. The Pirates beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 in game four in Three Rivers Stadium on their way to winning the title.

The Chicago Cubs finally played a night game at Wrigley Field for the first time as they beat the Mets 6-4 on Aug. 9, 1988.


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