The first month of the Major League Baseball season is notorious for its ubiquitous cancellations, what with the whole April showers bringing May flowers thing. That's why there are a good amount of off days budgeted in and there's been a tendency to avoid cold-weather open-air stadiums. But something rather remarkable happened at the outset of the 1985 season.
The first 100 scheduled contests went on without inclement weather usurping control. Then 200. Then 300. Then 400. On April 27, all scheduled games went on as planned, breaking the previous good-luck high-water mark to begin a year. The streak grew to 458.
Then it ended. In Cleveland, where the Milwaukee Brewers (then in the American League) were in town to play the Indians. A cold front swept over the Midwest and dumped rain on the shores of Lake Erie. Officials had no choice but to call the game.
Reading wire stories on the non-event, it's striking just how much the visitors relished in using the precipitation to zing the city.
“It figures it would happen in Cleveland,” Milwaukee Manager George Bamberger said. “Well, I don’t really mean it that way. Being the first place to have a rainout doesn’t help anybody’s reputation, though.” Said Milwaukee third baseman Paul Molitor: “What is there to do? Like some other towns we visit, there’s not much to do in Cleveland late at night. We’ll probably have something to eat in the hotel and then watch television.”
In 2010, Major League Baseball was fortunate enough to avoid rainouts until April 23, still far short of the crazy 1985 stretch. Of course, there hasn't been one yet this season but that's quite a different story.