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Aug 31

Nats first game under the lights – August 31, 1939

Mickey Vernon’s two-run single in the second inning erased a 1-0 deficit and the Nationals went on to defeat the White Sox in their first game under the lights, 4-3 at Comiskey Park. The White Sox took 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but the Nats responded in the top of the second. Charlie Gelbert drew a base on balls and went to third on Jimmy Bloodworth’s double. Both runners scored on first baseman Mickey Vernon’s single to right-center.

Washington increased its lead to 4-1 in the sixth. Buddy Lewis opened the inning with a triple off the wall in left-center field and scored on John Welaj’s single to center field. Welaj advanced to third when Bobby Estalella

Dutch Leonard

Dutch Leonard

poked a single to right field and scored the eventual winning run on Bloodworth’s single to center. Knuckleballer

Dutch Leonard allowed the White Sox only six hits and improved his record to 16-6. The game was completed in one hour and 38 minutes before a crowd of 23,000.

The following morning, the Nats’ 4-3 victory in their first night game was not foremost on the minds of many Washingtonians. Front-page headlines and radio bulletins announced that German Chancellor, Adolph Hitler had declared the Warsaw Pact invalid and ordered German armed forces to attack Poland. The second World War had begun.