Nov 29

This Day in D.C. Baseball History – Griffith wants more Night Games

On November 29, 1942 in Chicago, baseball owners start to gather at the Palmer House to discuss some of the bigger issues that will arise at baseball’s annual winter meeting that will start later in the week. One of the biggest topics is a request from the Washington Senators’ president Clark Griffith.

Clark Griffith will attempt to sway the other baseball owners to allow the Washington Senators to play every week night during the summer months. For Griffith it will be an uphill battle to get the other owners to support his request.

During the 1942 season the Washington Senators played in 21 night games 7 more than the other teams in the American and Nationals Leagues. American League president William Harridge attended the meeting with some telling numbers. Harridge stated that in the 35 night games in the American League in 1941 the average attendance was 30,000. That number dropped drastically in 1942 when the American League teams played in 75 night games that only drew an average crowd of 18,000.

The owners did not support Griffith’s request and the Senators are only allowed to schedule 21 night games at Griffith Stadium. On July 14, 1943 the Chicago Daily Tribune reported that day baseball will be a novelty from now on in Washington. In a special joint American and National league meeting, the Senators today were granted permission to play all their remaining home games, except Sunday and holiday at night.