I’ve attended a game at all but one West Coast MLB park (sorry, Padres). I’ve gone to several night games, but I’ve attended day games far more often. Granted, night games have the added benefit of being significantly cooler than day games in the scorching SoCal weather, but there’s something special about the atmosphere of watching baseball with the sun out.
With that in mind, here are my four favorite things about day games:
1. There’s no rush
Trying to get to a game with first pitch at 7:10 p.m. can be difficult, to say the least. Depending on how far you’re traveling to the stadium, you may find yourself stuck in SoCal’s infamous rush-hour traffic, which, let’s be honest, is more like rush-HOURS. Plus, you can’t forget to factor in the inevitable traffic jam that begins at the stadium’s freeway exit and lasts until you’ve made it to your parking space. If you leave more than a few minutes behind schedule, you’re liable to miss entire innings.
Day games, on the other hand, create a far less stressful timetable. First pitch around noon? No problem. Sure, there’s still some residual traffic, but it’s much more manageable.
2. A little added difficulty
Major-league baseball players get paid big money to make big plays. They’re also expected not to screw up the small ones. Catching a routine fly ball should be all muscle memory for these athletes, and most of the time, it is. When the ball comes off the bat, you can already predict the ending.
At day games, however, there’s always a chance—however slight—that a player might lose the ball after getting an eye-full of sunlight. Sure, most of the time their dark sunglasses and eyeblack prevent this from happening, but isn’t it nice having that glimmer of hope? A dropped—or even bobbled—ball can make all the difference.
3. The sweet alternate uniforms
Every team has home and away uniforms, but most also have at least one alternate that they break out for some Sundays and special occasions. While admittedly some of these aren’t the most attractive, they’re still a welcome breath of fresh air.
4. Extra innings
While extra innings after an already long nine innings may make some people cringe, they’re far more bearable during day games. At night, the prospect of a potentially never-ending baseball game is enough to send even some of the truest fans packing. It’s late, the kids need to sleep, you have work in the morning. It’s understandable.
During day games, however, bonus baseball can be just that. When buying tickets to a day game, you’re already dedicating the “productive” part of your day to watching the game. Sure, you’ll still be tired after a full nine innings in the sun, but by the time the 10th is rolling around, the sun is beginning to set and temperatures have dropped significantly. Sit back, relax, and enjoy it a little bit longer.
Olivia is a Stanford University student and staunch defender of the Oxford Comma. She has served as a copy editor for the Los Angeles Zoo, the Stanford Daily, and Bleacher Report. She recently completed a communications internship with The Huntington Library. Olivia is currently interning with Stanford Athletics Marketing and the San Francisco 49ers, as well as writing for the sports section of the Stanford Daily.
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