First Night Game in Baseball History

Holcomb Park

Des Moines Iowa

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

Photographs
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)
1923 would go down as the year of the hitter in Des Moines. Records would be set over and over only to be broken by someone else on the team. In fact every record would be broken and reset only to be broken and reset again and again. Red Corriden was solid posting a .343 average with 52 2B and 12 HR. The future Chicago Cub should have been in the record books twice for 2Bs and Avg. beating the all time batting record by 23 points, but would get credit for neither. He was bested by future Cubs/Indians' Joe Klugmann who hit 38 2B and batted .346 who should have won the All-Time Holcomb Park batting title but he would be bested by future Chicago Cubs' Polly McLarry who had a sensational season batting a whopping .363 with 57 2Bs and 16 HRs. So what would McLarry be credited with? Nothing but a tie for most doubles as the previous season's slugger and future New York Yankees' Shags Horan blew them all away with a phenomenal and record setting season posting a record tying 57 2Bs, 9 3Bs, a record breaking 23 HRs and would you believe… a .411 batting average over 623 very qualifying at bats?! What a turn around, as these 4 men made up a deadly lineup. Sadly, despite the incredible statistics… the pitching would fail them and cause the Boosters to finish in 5th place at 87-79… tying them for their most wins ever and better than seasons where they had gone all the way and won the Championship. 3 teams however would finish with over 100 wins and Des Moines had to settle for being happy just to finally be out of last place.