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Baseball Analysis  Mike McCann / Minor Leagues

January 2004


By Mike McCann

I'm sure that most people don't pay that much attention to the starting times of baseball games.  Most people aren't that interested in trying to see multiple games while on trips or care much about seeing multiple games in one day.  For me, it does make a big difference since I am trying to see every major and minor league baseball team.  If I could combine two stadiums in one day, it would greatly benefit me.  The problem is that it is getting increasingly difficult.

Most teams follow the pattern of having games start around 7:00 on Monday through Saturday and have an afternoon game on Sunday starting around 1:00 or 2:00.  There are a number of teams that start games around 6:00 on Sundays once June starts.  The main problem that I have is that with every team having night games, it is tough to combine them.

Previously, many more teams had afternoon games on Saturdays.  I especially liked that because I can travel a little further for an afternoon game without worrying about getting home extremely late on a Saturday or Sunday.  Many teams found that fans didn't care much for Saturday afternoon games and preferred Saturday night games.  I guess that I'm in the minority, but I enjoy baseball games played during the day more than ones under the lights.

Some teams have taken this a little further and also play Sunday games at night.  Apparently the same logic applies for Sundays as they do for Saturdays.  People are more interested in doing other things with their Sunday afternoons and would rather go to baseball games later on.  I know that during the summer it can get very warm during the afternoon.  But it is nice to have a change of pace for one day a week where the game isn't played at night.

As far as combining games goes, it can get tough.  Since most afternoon games typically end around 4 and night games start around 7, there are less than three hours to get from one place to another.  Typically in the area between New York and Washington DC, this isn't that much of a problem because there are many teams that are fairly close together (assuming you can get the day and night games to match for the same day and traffic isn't a problem).  But outside of that area, teams are more spread out.

It definitely isn't impossible to combine games, depending on how much you are willing to drive and whether or not you are willing to miss a portion of a game (no chance I would).  Some teams have the school kids specials where they begin games in April and May around 10:30 or 11:00 and schools will take field trips to the games.  Once that game is over, you have plenty of time to see another game.  The problem gets to be seeing a game the night before that which is close by.

I know that some people have attempted to see three games in one day with these special morning games.  I don't think anyone has been able to see three complete games yet though.  I think it would be a great promotion if three teams like Harrisburg, Reading and Trenton were to have three games staggered enough so that somebody could see all three in one day.  For instance a 9 AM game in Harrisburg, 2:00 in Reading, and 7:30 in Trenton.  The Eastern League could market that as a special promotion and give people some special item for making it to all three games that day.  Well, maybe three teams a little closer, but you understand what I'm getting at.

Since I'm willing to drive pretty far to see a game, I prefer afternoon games that start at 2:00 since it gives me the most time to get there at get home.  Some teams accomodate me with this, but other never have any afternoon games which makes it much tougher on me.

I know that most people out there don't care much about seeing this many games.  But I also know that there are number of baseball fans out there who enjoy travelling a little bit to see some stadium, and I think they should do their best to see as much as they can while they are away from home.

I am always looking for topics to write about, so please send me an e-mail and let me know what would be interesting reading for you. Feel free to ask any questions or give an idea for a column.

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