This Day in Baseball History: May 20th, 1985

(Insert one of Shyster’s rain lyrics here.)

On May 20, 1985:

The game between the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers is rained out.

Doesn’t really seem newsworthy does it? But I guess you realize by now that I’m hiding something special. This was actually the first rainout of the 1985 season, which is pretty miraculous. It’s so miraculous that it set a record. The previous start to a season that did not include a rain-out was in 1960 with 44 games. The 1985 season? 455! That’s ten times as many games. That takes quite a bit of luck. First, baseball just doesn’t go that long without someone getting rained out. Second, it is the Spring at this point, and you know the “April Showers” stanza by now.

Now, you’ll note some differences. Today’s MLB has 30 teams, but in 1985, they only had 26. While four isn’t a huge number, it is a discrepancy that counts (it does cover 13.333% of the teams). In addition, the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies aren’t around. It rains a lot in Florida and snows quite a bit in Colorado, both of which lead to postponements. To help things out, Seattle had a dome and so did Houston (it doesn’t really rain much in Houston and Safeco has a retractable roof, but stay with me). The Expos weren’t in Washington and had a dome. Even then, no other season had nearly as many games without a cancellation, so it doesn’t really matter. The point is that it’s really freakin’ hard to get that many games to start a season without a game getting cancelled due to inclement weather.

What about the past few seasons?
2009 –> 2 games
2008 –> 6 games
2007 –> 24 games
2006 –> 21 games
2005 –> 99 games

MLB.com won’t let me go past this point, but you get the picture. 1985 was pretty impressive. I’m still looking for the longest streak between any cancellation, but I haven’t found it yet. If anyone knows or knows where to find it, leave a comment.

Trivia Time
Before the game starts, who calls for the delay or postponement of a particular game?

Yesterday’s Answer –> Bob Lemon with 37. Warren Spahn, a good guess, is 3rd with 35.

Note: I’m off to Huntington for a 3 Doors Down concert tonight, so there won’t be anything more for today. However, there are some new posts from late last night, and things should be back to normal, albeit later, tomorrow.

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4 Responses to “This Day in Baseball History: May 20th, 1985”

  1. Ron Rollins Says:

    The home team has responsbility to call a game until the umpire calls ‘Play Ball’.

    Then it’s his.

    Crew chief, that is.

  2. jorgesaysno Says:

    retractable roofs should be mandatory in places where it rains non stop.

  3. Ron Rollins Says:

    Yes, but no domes.

    I did, however, work a rain delay at Safeco Field, when it started raining and roof didn’t move because the computer crashed.

  4. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    I agree whole-heartedly on the retractable roofs/no domes comments.

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