Posted by: Namar | April 26, 2013

In May, baseball blooms

In May, 1919, the three New York baseball teams, the Giants, Superbas (Dodgers) and Highlanders (Yankees) played Sunday home games…for the first time ever. Prior to that it had been illegal to play on Sunday.*

This was not the case in Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinnati, mind you. They had been doing it for years. And very early in this same decade, Detroit, Cleveland and Washington had joined in the practice as well. But baseball, it was argued in New York, would distract the people from their attendance of church.

Wealthy patrons could ride their horses or play golf on the day of rest; but the common man (and it was almost entirely men attending games at this time) were not allowed to watch a ballgame on the day of rest.

In Boston and Philadelphia, the ban would continue until the 1930s.


* There had been two exceptions: in 1906, a Sunday game between the Highlanders and Philadelphia Athletics at Hilltop Park drew 15,000 fans and raised $5,600 for San Francisco earthquake relief; and in 1912, a benefit game between the Highlanders and the Giants at the Polo Grounds raised $10,000 for the survivors of the Titanic.


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