The Wackiest Major League Baseball Weather
By WeatherBug Meteorologist, John Bateman
From heavy snow to severe storms, and even thick clouds of... bugs(!), Major League Baseball has seen its share of wacky weather throughout its long history. Granted, while not every stadium will always enjoy dry and sunny weather (i.e. Dodger Stadium - 1050 consecutive regular-season home games with no rainouts... and counting), the games listed below are fortunately the rare weather exceptions to America`s favorite pastime.
July 11, 1961 All-Star Game: The first All-Star Game of 1961 was a windy one at Candlestick Park as the American League was trying to tie up the game against the National League. According to the Associated Press, as pitcher Stu Miller recalls it, the winds were some of the strongest he had seen at the park in his career, with players` hats being blown off and stadium flags nearly torn off the poles. The winds were so strong in fact, that a gust of wind caused Stu Miller to lose his balance on the mound in the 9th inning (he emphatically states he was not blown off the mound as legend has it). This prompted a balk call and enabled the AL to tie things up late in the game before ultimately losing 5-4 in extra innings.
April 9, 1996 Yankees Home Opener - "The Snow Game": It was Derek Jeter`s first home opener with the Yankees and he must have felt that Mother Nature was hazing the rookie as the temperature hovered in the mid-to-upper 30s and persistent wind-whipped snow showers fell. Granted the Yankees have had worse weather to kick off their home season, such as 10 inches of snow for 1982`s Home Opener, but that game was postponed. Despite the chill, the limited visibility, and the gusts, the teams decided to play through the conditions and the Yankees ended up beating the Kansas City Royals 7-3.
October 22, 1997 World Series Game 4: As the World Series teams moved to Cleveland to battle out Game 4, the weather decided to add another adversary- bitterly cold temperatures, at least by baseball standards. Temperatures in the 30s teamed up with strong winds to give wind chills in the teens, along with off-and-on flurries. MLB started tracking weather records in the 1970s, and since then, this game goes down as the coldest World Series game ever. By the way, the poor team playing Cleveland? The Florida Marlins - who must have felt like they were playing at the North Pole. The result? Indians win 10-3.
July 19, 2006 - "The Storm Game":
Not long after the Braves and Cardinals stormed the field, a violent thunderstorm complex roared over St. Louis` Busch Stadium. Along with a few reported tornadoes in the area, widespread winds of 80-90 mph were reported, with torrential downpours and nearly-constant lightning. Hurricane-force winds hurled objects as large as vendor`s carts into fans, sending many to first aid stations and local emergency rooms. Flooding downpours added to the stadium`s rain-drainage problems, prompting one worker to have to literally swim through the bleachers to unclog a storm drain. After the fury passed, 75 fans had to be treated for injuries and more than a half-million people in the St. Louis area lost power. It has become so infamous in St. Louis lore that there`s even a Facebook page
for it. By the way, after a more-than-2-hour delay, the Cardinals ended up beating the Braves 8-3.
October 27, 2008 World Series Game 5: Rain is nothing new to most MLB teams, but even this was a bit extreme. Oh, have I mentioned that the date listed above was when the game started? Yes, it was finished on October 29, not because the teams played for two days straight but because constant rain and poor playing conditions prompted a suspension for two days. Nearly half an inch fell in Philadelphia on the 27th, with nearly an inch more falling the following day. By the 29th just a trace of rain fell and the field became playable enough to continue where the game left off - in the 6th inning. This remains the only game in MLB World Series history not to be played to completion or declared a tie. In the end, the Phillies won the game 4-3.
Lastly, these two games are not standouts due to weather technically, but Mother Nature certainly seemed to conspire to cause a scene of Biblical proportions.
October 17, 1989 World Series Game 3 - "The Earthquake Series": At 5:04 p.m. PDT as the Giants and Athletics were warming up in Candlestick Park, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay area. Due to the extreme coincidence that two local teams were playing in the World Series when the quake hit, it was the first major earthquake in the U.S. to be broadcast live on T.V., and it kept the loss of life much lower than anticipated; thousands of people left work early and were off the roads at the time of the 6.9 tremor. Still the earthquake killed 63 people and produced billions of dollars in damage. The series continued 10 days later with the A`s eventually winning the series in 4 straight games.
October 5, 2007 ALCS Game 2 - "The Bug Game": It wasn`t fire and brimstone, and technically it was not a plague of locusts... but a dark cloud of countless bugs did attack the players in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. It was the Yankees versus the Indians at Jacobs Field. During the 8th inning a swarm of non-biting midges descended on the stadium and pestered players on the field and in the dugouts. Scott Merkin of MLB.com reported that, according to Yankees first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, "It was annoying. They were in my eyes and my nose. I bent to pick up a ball and ate about four of them on the way down. It was very strange." Like troopers, after a slight game-stoppage, the teams played on through the bug barrage, but had to deal with them into extra innings - ugh! - as the Indians finally won 2-1 in the 11th.
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Contributing: Scott Merkin of MLB.com and The Associated Press.
Story image: Baseball fans brave rain during a rain delay which held up the start of the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays baseball game on Friday, May 11, 2012, in Minneapolis. The weather has had a long history of playing havoc with MLB games over the years. AP Photo/Jim Mone
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