First Night Time Baseball Game in Arkansas

The First Night Time Baseball Game in Arkansas was played under electric lights at West End Park in Little Rock, AR on July 13th, 1894.


The first ever known night time baseball game in the United States occurred as early as 1880 in Hull, MA, but the first night time game in the south did not occur until perhaps July 6th, 1894, when an exhibition game was played under electric lights in Nashville, TN. The Nashville game may have influenced Little Rock to host Arkansas' first night time game shortly afterwards on July 13th at West End Park. The Arkansas Gazette described the game the following day:

Rose Citys Defeated the Uncle Joes. Score 6 to 4.

A large crowd witnessed the game of ball at West End Park last night between the Rose Citys and Uncle Joes. The First regiment Band discoursed delightful music both before and after the game. The First Regiment Band has greatly improved and is now one of the best in the State. Baseball by electric light is a new thing in Little Rock, but as predicted it was a success. All those in attendance expressed themselves as delighted with last night’s game.

There was plenty of light and the game was played as though in broad day light. The game resulted, Rose Citys, 6; Uncle Joes, 4. Last night’s game was an experiment, and as it proved such a success should another game be played soon the park will be crowded to overflowing."1

The game was considered a success, but there are no accounts of any similar night games played in Arkansas thereafter. In fact, the next known night game in Arkansas wasn't until July 21st, 1930 when the Little Rock Travelers and the Birmingham Barons played the first night time game in the Southern Association at West End Park, then known as Kavanaugh Field.
1 Arkansas Gazette, 7/14/1894