Hagerty: Multiple cities claim to have hosted first night game in pro baseball history

From SABR member Tim Hagerty at The Sporting News on February 22, 2015:

Here is what we know for sure – on May 2, 1930 Des Moines hosted baseball’s first night game played under permanent lights. Articles recapping the event repeat the phrase “under permanent lights.” 

But where was the first game using temporary lights? The quest for that answer left us in the dark.

Hull, Mass. September 2, 1880: Northern Electric Light Company set up wooden light towers near Nantasket Bay and two teams representing Boston department stores played to a 16-16 tie. The next day’s Boston Post said the error-filled contest unfolded “with scarcely the precision as by daylight.”

Fort Wayne, Ind. June 2, 1883: The Northwestern League’s Quincy Quincys played a local college in the first night game involving a professional team. 

Wilmington, Del. July 4, 1896: Future Hall of Famer Honus Wagner and the Class A Paterson Silk Weavers struggled through a dimly lit night game in Wilmington. “The ball became lost so many times and so many runs were made that they were not counted,” wrote the Wilmington Morning News. 

The Weirs Times News said it was the first night “regularly scheduled league game.”

Read the full article here: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2015-02-22/first-night-game-baseball-history-hull-lynn-fort-wayne-grand-rapids-independence-des-moines-wilmington

Originally published: February 24, 2015. Last Updated: February 24, 2015.