Jackson: The arms of August

From SABR member Frank Jackson at The Hardball Times on July 31, 2018:

The dog days of summer are so called because of the rising of Sirius, the dog star, in the Northern Hemisphere. Typically, people associate the dog days not with astronomy but with peak heat and humidity. This is the time of the year when summer wears out its welcome for most folks. If you are savoring your annual hiatus from school, or if you use the word summer as a verb and spend the month of August in Bar Harbor, Taos, Vail or La Jolla, it would not occur to you to hit fast-forward and bypass the dog days of August.

Now put yourself in the position of a baseball player in 1940. By August it’s pretty obvious how your season is going. If your team is destined to be a tail-ender or mediocre, then August is a drag. Your motivation is flagging, and virtually every city you play in will be hot and sticky. No indoor baseball in 1940, remember.

In fact, even night baseball is still something of a novelty. It’s been around in the majors only since 1935, when the Reds introduced it, but by the 1939 season, only Ebbetts Field, Shibe Park, Comiskey Park and Cleveland Stadium have added illumination. During the 1940 season, the Polo Grounds, Sportsman’s Park and Forbes Field will come on line. Unlike today, however, night baseball is more the exception than the rule and day baseball and its attendant heat and humidity are the norm.

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/the-arms-of-august/

Originally published: August 1, 2018. Last Updated: August 1, 2018.