Baseball Shorts: Curfews in MLB

For those Dutch baseball fans who thought, the curfew rule in the Dutch hoofdklasse is unique, forget about it. There was a time in MLB when curfews happened more often. But it wasn’t a rule, it was merely an agreement between two teams.

The curfew rule in the Dutch hoofdklasse prohibits to start a new inning after 10:30 PM on Thursday nights. This in order to avoid noise pollution for the surroundings.

There was a time in MLB that the curfew was used as well. They were agreements before the night game started to make sure the game would end at 10:30 PM as well. The reason? To make sure the visiting team could catch the train in time.

Ebbets Field - Baseball Fever
A night game at Ebbets Field

Curfews were fairly common in the major leagues into the 1950’s and 60’s. But well before the 1950’s, the curfew was used. During World War II there were curfews to accommodate so-called dim-outs (as in “dim” the lights) to save energy. During those WWII days, games all over the country had curfews that put a limit on the duration of the game. By the 1970’s curfews were gone.

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