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The First Night Baseball Game,
September 2, 1880

With the invention of the electrical light and carbon arc lamps of considerable power, the promoters of these contrivances cast their eyes upon Baseball. Why not play it at night?

So the Boston press was invited to Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts to see the first trial on September 2, 1880.

Three Hundred thronged the balconies of the Sea Foam House on Strawberry Hill. 36 carbon lamps had been placed in communication with a dynamo-electric generator, operated by a 30 horse power engine. To support the lamps three towers, 100 feet high and 500 feet apart, were placed so as to overlook a triangle spot just beneath the northern piazzas of Sea Foam House. The lamps were disposed twelve in a group, the total illuminating power being announced as 90,000 candles, or 30,000 candles for each tower.

The flood of mellow light, thrown upon the field between 8 and 9:30 p.m., allowed nine innings to be played. Employee teams of the business firms Jordan, Marsh & Co., and R. H. White & Co., played a tie game, 16 to 16. The light was quite imperfect and there were lots of errors made. The players had to bat and throw with caution. For the spectators the game had little interest as only the movements of the pitcher, in general, could be discerned, while the course of the ball eluded the vision of the watchers.

The showing was far from impressive. None of the reporters believed the idea to be at all practical.

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Q: When was the first baseball game played under the lights?
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