Baseball has a rule acknowledging the whims of Mother Nature. Rule 4.03(e) allows the umpire to suspend play in response to severe weather — rain, snow, whatever might arrive. But a few old-timey stadiums demand application of this rule for non-severe weather, perhaps Mother Nature’s least whimsical, most reliable habit: the setting sun.
Nearly every ballpark is built such that the batter faces east so that games played in the evening won’t put the glare of sunset directly in the batter’s eye. But a couple of very old stadiums, including the legendary Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, MA, were built before electric outdoor lighting made evening games possible, so their architects didn’t worry about the compass. Wahconah Park faces almost due east, which means games regularly pause to accommodate the most predictable thing known to man. In this episode of Weird Rules, we wrap our heads around a long-ago oversight that interrupts baseball games to this day.
Let’s talk about the sun delay.