LET THERE BE LIGHT
Baseball America|May 2021
New ballpark lighting standards will help hitters and fielders see the ball better at the lower levels
J.J. COOPER

A few years from now, some minor league outfielder will be unaware of how good he has it.

Somewhere, at some Class A stadium in Illinois or North Carolina or Oregon, he’ll step into the batter’s box against a young pitcher at the moment when day melts into night.

Maybe he will strikeout. Maybe he’ll smash a ball to the wall. But it will be a fair fight—batter versus pitcher.

And then he’ll wander out to center field. There will be a ball hit into the gap, one of those high flies that sails deep into the night sky. He’ll track the ball the entire way, run it down and start to jog in with the third out nestled in his glove.

As normal as that might seem, it will be different from today, because the ballpark will be twice as bright.

That player won’t ever know the difference. But those who have gone before him will. To fans at a game, one park looks like another. But for the players on the field, there are clear differences.

Some ballparks have even, well-distributed lighting. Others have spots where players—especially outfielders—can step into the shadows. Some have low-slung lighting where fly balls become harder to track.

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