Preston: The MLB games played while Apollo 11 landed on the moon

From SABR member J.G. Preston at The J.G. Preston Experience on July 18, 2015:

The first moon landing was on Sunday, July 20, 1969. Apollo 11’s lunar module touched down at 4:17 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, and Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon’s surface at 10:56 p.m.

I was 11 years old, and the quest to put humans on the moon had been going literally as long as I could remember. It finally happened that day, one of the greatest accomplishments of human history, and it was covered live on all the television networks.

I was glued to the TV that day and night. Who wouldn’t be?

Well, about 200,000 people decided to go to a major league baseball game that day and heard about the historic event at the ballpark.

There was a full schedule of major league games that Sunday, the last day before the All-Star break. Games at Pittsburgh and Cincinnati were rained out. Eight of the ten teams that hosted games the day of the moon landing, all but Atlanta and Seattle, exceeded their average attendance for the season, most of them by a considerable amount. Of course, a typical Sunday would see higher-than-season-average attendance, but a typical Sunday doesn’t also feature MEN LANDING ON THE MOON FOR THE FIRST TIME. ON LIVE TV.

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Originally published: July 20, 2015. Last Updated: July 20, 2015.