They played baseball for 24 hours straight in Alaska to mark Summer Solstice

Yahoo Sports
Every game at MLB’s 24 hours of Play Ball took place under natural lighting. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Every game at MLB’s 24 hours of Play Ball took place under natural lighting. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Major League Baseball hosted an event so full of baseball and softball, even Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks would blush. The league took Banks’ famous “let’s play two” line to the next level. They held an event that featured baseball or softball games for 24 straight hours in Alaska, where the Summer Solstice meant 24 hours of daylight.

Why did MLB host 24 straight hours of baseball or softball?

The league held the event as part of its Play Ball initiative, which encourages people of all ages to … well … play ball.

This particular event took place in Fairbanks, Alaska all day Thursday. And we say all day, we mean allllll day. There were 13 different baseball or softball events scheduled throughout the day. The first of which began at midnight. The final game began at 10 p.m.

This is what it looked like during the midnight game, believe it or not:



Why is this MLB Play Ball event held in Alaska?

That’s where the fun comes in. Thursday was the start of the Summer Solstice. The city of Fairbanks, Alaska experiences 24 straight hours of daytime during the Solstice. That presented MLB with a unique opportunity to have every single event played under natural lighting.

Who participates in the 24 straight hours of baseball or softball?

MLB teamed up with the American Legion, PONY Baseball and Softball, USA Baseball and USA Softball for the event. That pretty much guarantees all levels of competition will take part. Adults played softball during the overnight hours, while kids of all ages played during the day. In all, 500 kids participated in the event.

It culminated in the 113th Midnight Sun Game. Yes, this game is a tradition in Alaska. For the past 112 years, a game has been played just before the 24 hours of daylight ends. The Orange County Surf took on the Alaska Goldpanners in this year’s contest.


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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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