"You've got to hand it to Powel Crosley ..."
- (THE EVENING GAZETTE, XENIA, OHIO, MONDAY, JUNE 3, 1935)
You've got to hand it to Powel Crosley, owner of the Cincinnati Reds, for unadulterated nerve. In his experiment with night baseball, he's much like a fellow putting up the money in a sweepstakes and then drawing for one of two tickets the winner or a blank.
At cost of $55,000, which is an investment not to be snickered at, Crosley Field has been equipped for nocturnal games. Only seven games can be played this season, which means that if the National League decides to turn thumbs down on the after dark experiment after this year, each of the artificially illuminated contests to be played in 1935 will cost almost $8,000 a game, just for the plant alone.
In order to pay for the equipment, the club will have to transact more than $1OO,OOO worth of business in seven days (or rather nights). That's taking a chance.
There are, it must be conceded, other angles to consider. Undoubtedly the management realizes the park can be used for football and other purposes. Also, night baseball, as a big league feature, may go over in a large way. A good guess is that it will, originally for the sake of novelty, and permanently if served the fans in limited doses. If an expansion of the idea is approved by the league, Crosley will be one year ahead of all rivals.
It is a salient coincidence that Cincinnati, which produced the first
touring professional team, should pioneer in the trail-blazing night
game under modern equipment in the majors.