Yellon: Rescheduling rainouts, then and now

From SABR member Al Yellon at Bleed Cubbie Blue on June 20, 2013:

Now that it’s finally nice summer weather in Chicago, let’s talk about… rain.

I’m in the midst of doing a research project for the Retrosheet folks. It involves putting together a list of rained-out games and the dates they are rescheduled. You’d be surprised to learn this information isn’t generally available; baseball-reference just lists the dates the games were actually played; you can sort of figure out when games were postponed by looking for gaps in the list of dates, but you can’t know for sure.

I have been keeping track of Cubs results on the paper calendars printed in the local newspapers since the mid-1970s. Obviously, with bb-ref I don’t need to do this any more, but it’s kind of a fun routine. When I found out that Retrosheet was looking for this information I contacted David Smith, who runs the site, and he was happy that I could send him Cubs-related info.

Compared to now, when games are played in steady rain, delays of three hours or more are common, and some games end at three in the morning, back in the 1970s teams frequently called off games if it was cold, or if there was even a threat of rain, and the term “split doubleheader” hadn’t been considered; all of the doubleheaders (DH) below were straight doubleheaders. The last such event at Wrigley Field was in 2006. Here’s the information I’ve compiled for Retrosheet thus far for the Cubs, covering the years 1974-1981. Hope you find it interesting. I may do more of these when I complete the project.

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Originally published: June 20, 2013. Last Updated: June 20, 2013.