By Ken Reed

Baseball has a problem. Well, they have a lot of problems, the vast majority COVID-19 related.

But if they reach an agreement with the players; get the doctors and scientists to sign off on their safety plan; and get the go-ahead to play ball from enough state governors; then their next problem is trying to get as many games played in 2020 as possible.

Single-admission doubleheaders — two games for the price of one — used to be a staple of the Major League Baseball schedule. But over the last couple decades, per game attendance has risen to the point where teams don’t need to schedule doubleheaders as an inducement to boost attendance. When teams do have doubleheaders these days, they are always day-night doubleheaders requiring separate tickets.

But this season — if there is one — baseball will need to be creative in many areas. One creative idea should be having teams play at least one doubleheader a week. It would allow for a little nostalgia and maximize the length of the 2020 season.

One or two doubleheaders a week would be nothing, compared to the old days. During the World War II era, more than 40% of league games were part of doubleheaders. In 1945, the Washington Senators played 44 doubleheaders, including a stretch of five doubleheaders in a row!

One of baseball’s enduring charms, especially relative to other American pro sports, is the nostalgia that baseball evokes. By bringing back single-admission doubleheaders, grandparents and parents (well, grandparents at least) can take their kids to doubleheaders and maybe share tales of attending doubleheaders when they were youngsters.

Ernie Banks famously said, “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame. Let’s play two!”

“Let’s play two!” should be a popular refrain heard across MLB ballparks in 2020.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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