It’s Not Sunny In Philadelphia

I can almost hear the Rays fans tonight:
You mocked our domed stadium.
You derided our domed stadium.
You told us how much prettier yours was than our domed stadium…
UPDATE: I believe this may be the first suspended game in the modern postseason, and certainly the first time it has happened to an elimination game in the World Series. In the years before lights, there were, of course, World Series games called for darkness – Game One in 1907 was called 3-3 after 12, Game Two in 1912 was called 6-6 after 11, and Game Two in 1922 was called 3-3 after 10, all of which were declared ties. The most famous weather event in World Series history was Game Seven in 1925, played in Washington between the Senators and Pirates; as I described that game in an essay on the 1925 Pirates:

Although they were forced to rely on their pitching while the team was twice handcuffed by a 37-year-old Walter Johnson in the World Series, the Pirates’ knack for hitting the ball with authority finally paid off handsomely in one of the wildest Game 7s in World Series history, played in a torrential downpour at Forbes Field without the benefit of lights. The Pirates mauled Johnson, battering out 15 hits, including 8 doubles and two triples (the 25 total bases absorbed by Johnson in going the distance is a World Series record unlikely to be broken), including the game-winner, a 2-run ground rule double by [Kiki] Cuyler into the darkness in right field with two outs in the bottom of the eighth (Goose Goslin said later that he never even saw where the ball went).

There were other disputes over fair/foul and strike calls in the darkness and the rain, unsurprisingly. Henry Thomas, in his book Walter Johnson: Baseball’s Big Train, recounts at p. 282 the scene with the Senators leading 6-4 after six innings:

As the sixth inning ended, a waterlogged [Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain] Landis, enduring the downpour from his box seat, turned to [Senators owner] Clark Griffith, sitting next to him. “You’re the world champions,” the commissioner told him. “I’m calling this game.” Incredibly, Griffith talked him out of it. “No, you can’t do it,” he replied. “Once you’ve started in the rain you’ve got to finish it.”

8 thoughts on “It’s Not Sunny In Philadelphia”

  1. It’s easy to see this becoming a portentous moment in Phillies history, but of course they do still have the option of just winning tomorrow.

  2. There is only one thing to do, cancel this World Series. Either that or the winner gets an asterisk. So sad to see Philly denied so close to victory, but really there is no choice.

  3. This is what you get for extending the playoffs into the last week in October. Anyone care to imagine how long this series would run if the Red Sox had beaten Tampa? I hate the current playoff schedule – if you take out the two stupid extra TV off-days they would have finished up in Philly on Saturday and had all the games played with the temperature at least in the 50s. Starting games at 8:30 at night on the east coast in late October is just ridiculous – the temperature got into the 30s last night. Yet another reason to hate Selig.

  4. You are correct — the Trop is vindicated here from all of baseball fans who pick on it for no reason. I personally have no vested interest in what another baseball franchise does with its stadium as a fan, but as a federal taxpayer I am appalled at the yankees using tax exempt financing to build a $1 Billion stadium that by all rights should not have cost more than $450 (and they forgot to build it with a retractable roof). The Trop is like an old Honda — nothing much to look at, but runs well and will be paid off in a few years without bankrupting anybody. I guess it is much better to have Philly hooligans getting drunked up for hours in rain delays in a Philly retro ballpark in the middle of giant parking lot.

  5. I think if you are going to be outraged over Yankee Stadium and celebrate the Trop, it’s worth noting that the city built the place for the White Sox, who never moved there. If you buy the Honda and it sits unused in the garage for a decade before you start to drive it, it’s not much of a bargain.

  6. I should stress that I’m not a great fan of domed stadiums, and having been to both, I do much prefer Citizens Bank. I just found the irony amusing. And I do think the Trop gets a bad rap, although there’s no excuse for the miserable parking situation.

  7. >”I can almost hear the Rays fans tonight:
    You mocked our domed stadium.
    You derided our domed stadium.
    You told us how much prettier yours was than our domed stadium…”
    …and the Rays couldn’t hang in our real baseball stadium, so they go back to their part-time hockey arena they try to call a baseball stadium.
    See you next year 🙂

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