Growing up in the suburbs of New York City (or New Jersey, if you prefer), I was and remain a fan of the New York Yankees.
As a child, it felt like the Yankees would almost always start their season on the west coast playing the A’s or Mariners or Angels. A brief search on Baseball-Reference, which could and very well may get its own version of this post, helps me discover that, aside from a stretch in the late 1990s, this was untrue.
However, the fact is, when the Yankees did inevitably head west, their games would start at around 10 PM and finish some time after midnight (inconceivable as it may seem to young baseball fans, games weren’t always a lock to go more than 3 hours.)
As a child, if I wanted to know the score of these games I had two options: stay up until it was over or wait for the newspaper two days later.
First off, let’s start with the obvious question: what in the hell is a newspaper? Well, kids, a newspaper was (and still is, in remote sections of the world) a collection of stories (some newsworthy, many not) and cartoons printed on larger-and-flimsier-than-normal paper with actual ink. You know, the kind that would actually stain your fingertips after flipping through it, much like you get from scrolling pages on an iPhone.
Back to the point here… the first option of staying up late was out of the question. Bed times still very much a thing, as a youngster I wasn’t really allowed to stay up for normal west coast games (maybe, maybe if it was a playoff game things could be extended… but a regular season game against Chuck Finley and the California Angels? My parents had to draw the line somewhere.)
The other option, which was the normal option anyway, was to check the boxscore the next morning in the newspaper as kids and adults alike had done for generations before. What they’d also done before me was read in that very same paper some version of the “Night” denotation next to the game, indicating that the paper you were reading was printed out before the game in question had finished.
Sure, you could go to SportsCenter or, if you were super early to it, the internet. But, your specific highlight was easy to miss on SportsCenter and we simply didn’t have a computer that early (and, frankly, when we did it wasn’t nearly as convenient to use as we’ve come to expect.)
So, you waited.
And even when you’d find out from your dad or brother that Ariel Prieto had, in fact, blanked the Yankees and the A’s had won the game… you still had no idea what the actual stats were.
You had to wait.
And because there was no better option for a while, you did, because this was a thing.