Was the first night baseball game played in Des Moines?

Though it has been widely believed that the first night professional baseball game under lights was played in Des Moines on May 2, 1930, it appears that this is not entirely accurate. The Des Moines Demons did indeed play the first game under permanent lights on that date at the Western League Park at Sixth and Holcomb. However, the Independence (Kansas) Producers of the Class D Western Association, when they learned of Des Moines’ plan, “hastily posted some arc lights and played on the night of April 28, 1930,” thus depriving Des Moines of the distinction. Nonetheless, the game in Des Moines was highly promoted. Baseball commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis attended, and the game was broadcast nationwide on radio. The final score: Des Moines Demons 13, Wichita Aviators 6.

Des Moines Register, April 15, 1997
Des Moines Tribune, June 27, 1980
Iowa Cubs Yearbook, 1994
Iowa Cubs web site, http://www.iowacubs.com

One Response

  1. The first night baseball game in Independence was played on April 17, 1930. They played 55 night games at home that year, and used the same lighting system for following years.

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