A look back at local, national and world events through Deseret News archives.

On May 24, 1935, the first Major League Baseball game to be played at night took place at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field as the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1.

Now, a summer evening watching baseball, under the lights — at our neighborhood park, at the local stadium before a holiday fireworks show or for Game 7 of the World Series — is about as traditional as it gets.

The Deseret News front page on May 25, 1935, did not make a big deal about the first night game — though there were three sports stories on the page, but the main sports coverage of the previous night’s game was pretty extensive.

“Not content with starting something new by inaugurating night baseball in the majors (manager) Chuck Dressen announced that 24-year-old rookie Billy Myers would be his regular shortstop and captain of the team,” read the coverage.

Myers doubled and stole a base, and Paul Derringer tossed a six-hitter to lead the Reds.

Per MLB.com, President Franklin D. Roosevelt threw a ceremonial switch at the White House in Washington, and the lights went on in Cincinnati. Baseball dignitaries like National League president Ford Frick and American League President Will Harridge, as well as the governor of Ohio and mayor of Cincinnati, attended.

According to Major League Baseball, about two-thirds of MLB games are now played under the lights.

In fairness, the first pro football game came on Nov. 6, 1929 — yes, eight days before the stock market crash — when the Providence Steam Roller and the Chicago Cardinals met in front of 6,000 NFL fans at Kinsley Park Stadium in Providence, Rhode Island. Of note: The Steam Roller were NFL champions in 1928.

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On Sept. 28, 1892, two schools — thanks to a giant generator — played the first American football night game. According to NCAA.com, Mansfield and Wyoming Seminary played a game at the community fair in Mansfield, Pennsylvania.

Deseret News timeline

Now, a majority of major sports contests are televised. Sports fans love to watch their favorite teams in prime time, or even later than prime time. A World Series day game almost seems unthinkable.

Still, old-timers will tell you that skipping work to watch a day baseball game is about as good as it gets.

I can think of something better: a doubleheader.

We were there: See Deseret News front pages from 45 big moments in Utah, world history
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