8/8/88 or 8/9/88… Which One Really Counts?
Greg Maddux sliding on a wet tarp during the 8/8/88 rain delay
I’ve been tossing this question around in my head, trying to make sense and come to a conclusion on the age old question surrounding the first night game at Wrigley Field: Which day actually counts as the official first night game in Cubs history?
In short, to catch you up if you’re not familiar with how Wrigley’s first night game went, it goes something like this; Harry Caray had probably been drinking since high noon, might have shagged balls during BP since it was a night game and why not, and the whole northside was buzzing in lieu of 91-year-old Cubs fan Harry Grossman flipping the switch and cutting the lights on for a night game at Wrigley at 6:05 pm that evening.
However, did the game actually happen? After 3 ½ completed innings, Mother Nature unleashed her fury with rain, ended up banging the game, and August 8th, 1988 came to an abrupt halt. So the Phillies packed their bags up, left town, and the Mets came into town for a set with the Cubbies. The following evening, the Cubs completed a 9 inning game, in which the W flag was flown afterward and all seemed well in Wrigleyville.
Now that we’re caught up, which game officially counts as the first night game at Wrigley Field? Sure something definitely happened on August 8th, there is no denying that teams showed up at the field, media arrived, fans went through the turnstiles, and the bleacher bums probably forget it was a night game and had probably been there all day, but was it ever officially recorded in the history books?
I’m not proclaiming that my thought process is right, or wrong, I’m just saying that if the game didn’t meet the necessary requirements to be constituted as a completed game, then it didn’t happen? I’m open to hearing opinions, and hope to hear thoughts in the comments below, but in my personal book of history, the first Cubs night game had to be on August 9th, 1988 against the Mets right?
Box Score from August 8th, 1988:
(There wasn’t one)
Box Score from August 9th, 1988: