Seventy-five years ago, on May 24, 1935, Crosley Field hosted the first night game in the history of Major League Baseball.
Night baseball was immediately a huge success in Cincinnati. The Reds averaged over 18,000 fans per game at seven night games played during the 1935 season-four times the average of its day games.
On Monday, May 24 when the Reds take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:10 pm, Great American Ball Park will go back in time to 1935 with many exciting celebrations honoring the 75th anniversary of the first night game:
A Journey Back To 1935
From the pregame ceremonies through the top of the seventh inning, GABP will go “unplugged” to simulate baseball in 1935. The scoreboard will have an old-time look similar to what fans saw at Crosley Field, and organ music will fill the air. There will be no videos or modern graphics on the videoboards. The Pete Wagner Dixieland Band will play in the ballpark prior to the game.
Just as Crosley Field public-address announcers worked from field level years ago, Great American Ball Park PA man Joe Zerhusen will make his pregame announcements from the field. Look for Joe wearing a vintage outfit near the Reds dugout.
Attendees Then And Now
With the help of the The Enquirer’s John Erardi, the Reds Hall of Fame has invited several fans who attended the first night game in 1935 to be honored on the field during pregame ceremonies.
Reds Mascot Race
For the first time ever, mascots Mr. Red, Gapper, Mr. Redlegs and Rosie Red will compete in a “live” Reds Race on the field. Make sure you are in your seat at the end of the third inning to see this classic mascot race.
1935 Ticket Prices
Reds on Radio flagship station 700WLW will be offering a limited number of $1 tickets for the May 24th game. Listen to WLW for promotion details or visit www.700wlw.com.
“Get Your Peanuts…”
In a throwback to 1935 concession prices, fans visiting the UDF Reds Market will be able to purchase bags of peanuts for just 10 cents, benefiting the Reds Community Fund. Also, be on the lookout for several ushers dressed in old-time uniforms like the ones fans used to see at Crosley Field.
Ceremonial Lighting Of The Ballpark
During the seventh-inning stretch, a ceremony will be held from the Cincinnati Bell Riverboat Deck to commemorate the moment President Franklin D. Roosevelt flipped the switch to turn on the lights at Crosley Field. An original lamp from Crosley Field will be turned on, causing the ballpark to come alive with an explosion of light on all video boards.
The Sparkling “C”
Rozzi Famous Fireworks will showcase a sparkling “C” out on top of the Cincinnati Bell Pilot House in centerfield. The sparkling “C” was showcased at the first night game and could be seen frequently at Crosley Field. 2010 also marks the 75th anniversary of the Rozzi family providing fireworks for the Reds. Arthur Rozzi and his teenage sons Joseph and Paul began shooting fireworks after Reds games during the 1935 season.