Rainouts: Rescheduling Then, And Now

Brian Kersey

You know that in the second decade of the 21st Century, baseball games get played in horrid weather conditions. That wasn't always the case. Here's how the Cubs handled postponements decades ago.

Now that it's finally nice summer weather in Chicago, let's talk about... rain.

I'm in the midst of doing a research project for the Retrosheet folks. It involves putting together a list of rained-out games and the dates they are rescheduled. You'd be surprised to learn this information isn't generally available; baseball-reference just lists the dates the games were actually played; you can sort of figure out when games were postponed by looking for gaps in the list of dates, but you can't know for sure.

I have been keeping track of Cubs results on the paper calendars printed in the local newspapers since the mid-1970s. Obviously, with bb-ref I don't need to do this any more, but it's kind of a fun routine. When I found out that Retrosheet was looking for this information I contacted David Smith, who runs the site, and he was happy that I could send him Cubs-related info.

Compared to now, when games are played in steady rain, delays of three hours or more are common, and some games end at three in the morning, back in the 1970s teams frequently called off games if it was cold, or if there was even a threat of rain, and the term "split doubleheader" hadn't been considered; all of the doubleheaders (DH) below were straight doubleheaders. The last such event at Wrigley Field was in 2006. Here's the information I've compiled for Retrosheet thus far for the Cubs, covering the years 1974-1981. Hope you find it interesting. I may do more of these when I complete the project.

1974

April 6, Cubs at Expos, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH June 28 DH
April 7, Cubs at Expos, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH September 11
May 8, Braves at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH July 5
May 23, Cubs at Mets, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH August 1
August 2, Cubs at Mets, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH September 13
August 10, Giants at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH August 11

1975

April 8, Pirates at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH July 6
April 15, Cubs at Pirates, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH June 27
April 27, Cardinals at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH August 2
June 11, Cubs at Braves, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH June 12
August 2, Cardinals at Cubs, second game of rescheduled DH postponed, rescheduled again as part of DH August 3
August 30, Braves at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH August 31

1976

May 6, Dodgers at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH August 14
May 15, Padres at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled for off day August 8
May 18, Cubs at Expos, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH August 5
May 19, Cubs at Expos, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH August 6
August 5, Cubs at Expos, second game of rescheduled DH postponed, rescheduled again as part of DH August 7

1977

April 20, Phillies at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH August 14
April 22, Reds at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH July 27
July 13, Cubs at Mets, suspended due to New York City blackout, to be completed September 16
July 14, Cubs at Mets, postponed due to New York City blackout, rescheduled as part of DH September 18
September 16, Cubs at Mets. The July 13 game that had been suspended due to the NYC blackout was completed on this date. However, the regularly-scheduled game was postponed due to rain and rescheduled as part of a doubleheader September 17.

1978

April 20, Expos at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH September 4
May 23, Phillies at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH June 30
September 12, Cubs at Mets, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH September 29 in Chicago

1979

April 8, Mets at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH July 1
April 11, Cubs at Cardinals, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH September 19
April 24, Astros at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH July 7
May 23, Cubs at Mets, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH May 24
July 29, Cubs at Mets, second game of scheduled doubleheader postponed, rescheduled as part of DH September 18

1980

April 16, Cubs at Pirates, postponed, rescheduled for off day October 4
April 27, Pirates at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH August 6

1981 (Oh, this one was fun!)

April 14, Cubs at Expos, postponed, not rescheduled
April 29, Cardinals at Cubs. The second game of a DH was suspended after 11 innings due to darkness with the score tied 2-2. It was scheduled to be resumed July 3 as part of DH; that was cancelled due to the strike. It was then rescheduled again for September 21, the Cardinals' next visit to Chicago after the strike ended; on September 8 the National League cancelled the resumption due to disagreement over which half of the split season the result would count in; the game was declared a tie.
September 16, Cubs at Pirates, postponed, rescheduled for off day September 17
September 17, Cubs at Pirares, rescheduled 9/16 game postponed, rescheduled as part of DH September 28 in Chicago
September 26, Phillies at Cubs, postponed, rescheduled as part of DH September 27

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