First Night Game in Baseball History

Holcomb Park

Des Moines Iowa

Former home of the Des Moines Demons
Des Moines Boosters
(Western League)

Photographs of the 1st night game in baseball history
appear courtesy of
Chris Hunter of the
Schenectady Museum and
Science Center
from the G.E. Collection of Historic Photographs
(special thanks to Stephen L.J. Russo)
1914 brought to Des Moines one of the most historic ballparks that this world would see. Future home to the 1st night game in professional history, Holcomb Park would capture the fascination of the baseball world. It was in the shadows of growing unrest from the upcoming World War I, that a large wooden ballpark sprung up for the Western League's Des Moines Boosters. It would be awhile before this ballpark reached its historic status but for now, this Class-A team (equivalent to today's Double-A or Triple-A) would make excellent use of the facility. The 1914 Des Moines Boosters played average baseball finishing a game above .500 behind future NY Yankees pitcher George Mogridge (21-15, 3.07) and future White Sox' Tex Jones (35 2B, 9 3B, 20 HR, .297). By 1915 however, it wasn't just the George and Tex show. Tex Jones came back for a fantastic season putting up a 43 2B, 14 HR, .320 performance but it was the pitching staff that turned this team around. George Mogridge was just stellar at 24-11, 1.93 but he was flanked by future Red Sox' Paul Musser who was practically unbeatable at 20-2, 3.00 and by future Washington Senators' Claude Thomas (22-13, 2.09). Finishing with an 87-53 record, the Des Moines Boosters would capture 1st place and bring home their first every Championship to Holcomb Park.