Doubleheaders

keninten

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Nov 24, 2005
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It`s the offseason and not alot of posts I thought I`d look up the lack of doubleheaders. In 2014 & 2015 the Sox played 2 each year. In the 60`s they played 14 in 68 & 69. Over 20 every other year with a high of 26 in 66. That`s close to 1/4 of their games. In the 70`s it started dropping into the teens and single digits. The 80`s started seeing single digit seasons. The AL started the 162 game schedule in 1961 and the NL the next year in 1962, but they were still playing quite a few before. I got my info off Retrosheet. I guess for Ernie Banks to say let`s play 2 wasn`t that uncommon. Last year they added a roster spot for doubleheaders. I just wonder if they expand rosters in the new CBA, could they play more doubleheaders again? I`m in Tennessee and if I could fly up for a doubleheader it would be great. They even played some back to back days.
 

Andrew

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It always comes down to the bottom line, which means they won't be doing "true" doubleheaders in terms of tickets. And I imagine ratings for a game are better when it is the only one that day, as opposed to one of two.
 

Flynn4ever

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Interesting topic and something I have thought a bit about over the years. When I was a kid (70's to 80's) doubleheaders were a staple of MLB and a value for the fans. I get that it doesn't work that way anymore because the fan has to be a value to MLB and not the other way around in the trumpiverse (sorry, I know no politics but that's a great word!) But at the same time MLB wants the season to end a little earlier and be a little more compact. I get that the old days of one ticket, two games is gone, but I wonder if more doubleheaders wouldn't be a bit more economical in the long run. Little league travelling and all-star teams play up to four games a day (at least they used to, not sure if that is still the case.) The big boys with the big bucks could handle a few more of those days I think. Pedey would likely be on board.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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With game times running so much longer than they did in the 60s and 70s, and the national attention span growing shorter in part due to a greater variety of things to do at any given moment, I'm not so sure that doubleheader sweep really represent more "value" for most fans. Most innings of baseball for the dollar, sure, but if they are innings most folks don't care to sit through the value isn't there. Your point about TV ratings likely being lower for two gamEs on a day reflects this -- there just isn't broad demand for doubleheaders. Baseball isn't just being "greedy" in this case it's listening to the customer.

As for Little Leaguers and college teams, remember that they're not regularly scheduled to play 6 days a week, so pitching rotations can be designed to accommodate doubleheaders. Most MLB bullpens are a shambles the day after a doubleheader.

Fake edit: fascinating that my spellcheck turns "doubleheaders" into "doubleheader sweep".
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Ken: Did you find in your research the last time any of those Double Headers the Sox played in were scheduled ones? I'm pretty sure it's been more than 20 years and maybe 30 since the Sox actually schedules a twinbill. Some of the teams with attendance issues may have scheduled them a bit more recently.

The MLBPA would never approve it, unless rosters were increased for the whole season, not just for that day.
 

joe dokes

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Ken: Did you find in your research the last time any of those Double Headers the Sox played in were scheduled ones? I'm pretty sure it's been more than 20 years and maybe 30 since the Sox actually schedules a twinbill. Some of the teams with attendance issues may have scheduled them a bit more recently.

The MLBPA would never approve it, unless rosters were increased for the whole season, not just for that day.
It has to be at least that long.
Not scheduled, but in 1986, the Sox and Brewers played a single-admission doubleheader in September to make up for an earlier rain-out. Memorable only for the fact that Mark Clear, then with Milwaukee, melted down one inning with a succession of walks, hit batters and wild pitches.
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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From strictly a comfort standpoint*, scheduling doubleheaders would allow the season to start later and end earlier, which is a positive in my book.

*I fully realize this is very low on the totem pole of MLB's concerns.
 

Saints Rest

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My recollection of doubleheaders from the 70's usually meant that Game 2 looked like Spring Training with backups at about 6 positions. With 12&13 man pitching staffs these days, that doubleheader now means that most of the team is playing 18 innings (at least).

As someone noted upthread, that could easily mean 7 hours of baseball. Who are the fans (keninten, aside) who are clamping to sit in Fenway's uncomfortable seats for 7 hours?

The only way I see doubleheaders ever returning is with expanded rosters and with separate admission (which likely means 1:05 and 7:05 start times).

Yes, it shortens the season, which would be good on many levels, but it makes those weeks longer.
 

Harry Hooper

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I've always thought that doubleheaders were a relic of the days when teams needed more off days because they traveled by rail.
Yeah, there was that, plus baseball had such a dominant mindshare that having Sunday doubleheaders was SOP.

In the older CBAs, I believe Fenway and Wrigley (due to their low seating capacity) were allowed two separate admission doubleheaders per season. All other doubleheaders were single-ticket ones.

You haven't really lived until you've sat in the bleachers for a twi-nite doubleheader on the hottest July night of the year. Talk about burning memories into your brain.

In terms of Game 2 looking like ST in the 70's, I don't recall that really being the case most of the time given that the doubleheaders tended to pile up in August/September and the Sox were usually in the playoff hunt.
 

grimshaw

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I could only see scheduled ones on a holiday - like Memorial Day, Labor Day or 4th of July and to make it some sort of a yearly event where they have bands on the streets or other types of entertainment that could translate to tv.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I could only see scheduled ones on a holiday - like Memorial Day, Labor Day or 4th of July and to make it some sort of a yearly event where they have bands on the streets or other types of entertainment that could translate to tv.
I was just about to write this. And there would be nothing preventing them from raising prices of a ticket that allowed admission to see 2 baseball games.
 

keninten

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Nov 24, 2005
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I didn`t look up any scheduling of doubleheaders. In the earlier years games may have been called earlier due to weather because of the frequency of doubleheaders. Nowadays they seem to try to get games in because of scheduling, less teams could have also played a role.

Another reason I`d like to see more DHs is remembering running home from school to watch games. I don`t know if it would get more kids interested if they could actually be able to watch at a reasonable time of day for them. I doubt there would be any weekday DHs though. It was most often playoff games I was hurrying home for.

They all could be priced as single game tickets. Baseball towns like Boston I wouldn`t think would have a problem selling out still. With people so busy with so many things going on, they would have a choice of game times. The owners could also save just a little without as many days to set up the whole stadium.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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The Red Sox owners make far too much money selling tickets to 81 game days at Fenway Park, even with paying ushers, grounds crew, cops, etc, that they would never intentionally go down to 80 or 79 or 78 or fewer dates. You have to pay the ushers overtime on a Double Header (or for an extra inning game, for that matter), so by scheduling a doubleheader, you are either increasing costs or at best keeping them flat, while decreasing revenues.
 

Flynn4ever

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They all could be priced as single game tickets. Baseball towns like Boston I wouldn`t think would have a problem selling out still. With people so busy with so many things going on, they would have a choice of game times. The owners could also save just a little without as many days to set up the whole stadium.
Very true for bigger market teams, but smaller market teams could likely earn more on weekends for two games a pop (one admission I mean) with that savings on setting up the ballpark. We need Nate Silver in here to figure that out. I think what makes me really interested in this topic is that as a kid who lived 3 hours from the nearest ballparks (Yankee and Shea) I loved the one time our little-league outing was to a double-header at Shea. I loved the fact that after the first game, there was another to come. Then again, it isn't 1979 anymore. I can see the argument against.
 

Suze

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Nov 8, 2010
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Ken: Did you find in your research the last time any of those Double Headers the Sox played in were scheduled ones?
My first year as a season ticket holder was 1978, and I remember that that was the last year there were scheduled doubleheaders on Sundays. In fact, there were 3 scheduled Sunday doubleheaders that summer, and I loved it!
 
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WinRemmerswaal

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I definitely went to a single-ticket admission doubleheader in 1997, remember since I had just moved back to Boston.
OK went to retrosheet, here's game 1: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS199706101.shtml
I had remembered it as both 4-2 losses but I guess game 1 was actually worse. I did remember correctly that the only Sox scoring was a 2-run HR by Mo Vaughn in each game. Long day.
But I am 99% sure I just had one ticket for the two games - would they do that in rainout situations?
 

TeddyBallgame9

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My first trip to Fenway was July 16, 1978 for this scheduled double header (I was 13, my Dad got the tix for my Birthday).

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS197807162.shtml

Gene Mauch lost his shit after Mike Cubbage was called out on a pick off attempt at first (good throw by Monty but he was definitely safe). From my seat behind the Twins dugout I watched as Mauch tossed what looked like every bat in the rack after getting ejected arguing the call. Sox swept the DH and were 60-28 after the game with an 8 1/2 game lead on the Brewers and 13 on the Yankees. What could go wrong?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I definitely went to a single-ticket admission doubleheader in 1997, remember since I had just moved back to Boston.
OK went to retrosheet, here's game 1: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS199706101.shtml
I had remembered it as both 4-2 losses but I guess game 1 was actually worse. I did remember correctly that the only Sox scoring was a 2-run HR by Mo Vaughn in each game. Long day.
But I am 99% sure I just had one ticket for the two games - would they do that in rainout situations?
They would if they didn't have the opportunity to schedule a separate admission DH, and they'd refund the tix for the game that got added to yours