“Weather Has No Favorites; All Games Off”

Chicago Tribune, 4/15/1950

“Weather Has No Favorites; All Games Off”

It was 2-below this morning here in Virginia. Even colder in some parts of the state.

I know this because I, like many of my Virginia friends, took a photo of the thermometer. Evidence. It’s like a pseudo-selfie.

It was 117 degrees in Sydney, Australia yesterday. So, there are degrees of miserability. (Miserability. Not a word. Should be.)

It was a cold, snowy spring in 1950.

On April 13, a snowstorm blanketed much of the east coast from Virginia northward. On April 14, it was still cold … and still snowing. Baseball season hadn’t officially started – Opening Day was four days away – but the teams were just back from spring training and exhibition games were on their calendars.

It was so cold and so snowy, they cancelled all the games.

Every single one.

Lansing State Journal, 4/14/1950

Baltimore Sun, 4/15/1950

Muncie Star Press, 4/14/1950

Hanover (Penn) Evening Sun, 4/15/1950

Even the Cubs-White Sox exhibition in Chicago was cancelled and you’d think a little cold would be no big deal to them.

The day before, with temps in the 40s, the Giants-Indians game went on in Kansas City and fans started small fires to stay warm.  Wait, what? You could do that?!

They also cancelled the Dodgers-Yankees game at Ebbets Field – a rematch of the 1949 World Series. But, someone, somehow, convinced a few Dodgers to pose – uncomfortably – for a photo with a snowman. (You can see in their eyes that these players are wondering if they get paid enough to do this.)

From L to R: Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson on the mound at Ebbets Field, April 14, 1950 via Cut4.

“The Dodgers showed up and promptly built a snowman on the pitcher’s mound and its fate was the same as most Dodger pitchers in recent years – it didn’t last long.” – Associated Press

Meanwhile, the day before in Pittsburgh, the Pirates-Yankees game was too cold for the young players, but 76-year-old Honus Wagner, then a Pirates coach, was at Forbes Field, despite the cold and despite a bad hip. “He was so homesick, he just had to get to the park,” his wife told a reporter.

Rochester NY Democract & Chronicle, 4/14/1950

Coldest major league game on record is thought to be the Atlanta Braves at Colorado Rockies on April 23, 2013.  Game-time temperature at first pitch? 23 degrees.

Now that teams are spread from coast to coast, and some even play inside, there’s very little chance that weather will shut down every game. Thank goodness.

In the meantime, there’s nothing funny about cold weather. Except this.

 

23 thoughts on ““Weather Has No Favorites; All Games Off”

    • And made possible by the media conglomerates to whom advertising revenue mandates a higher priority to “prime time“ events than the comfort of players/fans.

    • College baseball doesn’t get a respite — their season starts in February. At Virginia games, there’s free hot chocolate if the temperature is 40 degrees or colder, which happens a few times each season. I sat through a game a few years back where they played through sleet. I was miserable. But, I did it just to say I did!

  1. Before I permanently moved south, I remember the cold, miserable, rainy (bordering on freezing rain) in Old Orchard Beach, Maine for the 1984 debut of the Indians ill fated Triple A team, the Maine Guides. Many lessons from that brief chapter in minor league history, the first of which is, when it’s not cold, snowing, or raining on the Maine Coast, when the air cools about sundown, a blanket of fog covers the ballpark. Live and learn, I guess.

  2. Spent the New Year in Chicago’s -7 degree weather but somehow feel colder at -2 here. Appreciated the closing cartoon. Spring and spring training cannot come too soon.

      • Here in MN as I write it’s a balmy +25F. (I think it’s trying to warm enough to snow). Folks here have scoffed when I’ve mentioned it gets cold in VA. They’re unclear on the effects of humidity, less densely insulated buildings, etc. Likewise they suffer in the summer when it occasionally hits triple digits here. Not that it’s not uncomfortable, but neither is it the ‘swampy’ feeling of my younger days.

        • Things are definitely not built to withstand Minnesota-North Dakota cold here in Virginia and I’m not built for it either. I always feel like the cold wind here cuts right to the bone. And, yes, a hot day in North Dakota never seemed quite so bad as the heavy heat of a humid Virginia summer (plus, things never cool down at night here as they do back there).

  3. Didn’t think I’d ever say I feel blessed to be on work travel in Seattle where it’s a balmy 43 degrees this morning.

  4. -2 in Virginia is pretty damn cold. Of course, you’re going to warm up. We’re going to go from 30 above today to minus twenty by Friday night. At least the drought is still in effect so we won’t get too much snow.

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