Today in baseball: Game canceled due to lack of balls

Today, eighty-two years ago, an Appalachian League game was called because there were no balls left to play with.

The Newport Canners was one of the inaugural members of the Appalachian League’s restart in1937. The team, named after its local main industry, would stay six years in the Appy League but in those years the team managed to have a winning record only once: 1941 (66-52).

Even though the Johnson City soldiers had played in previous editions of the Appalachian League, the team joined the newest edition in 1937. In the second year of the rerun of the Appy League, Johnson City would join the St. Louis Cardinals farm system with which it would stay until 1955.

On that memorable August 5 in 1937, the Newport Canners and the Johnson City Soldiers made it to the sixth inning before the teams ran out of balls. The umpires were forced to call the game much to the disliking of the fans. Some of them were even that angry, they demolished the bleachers they were sitting on, which proves that vandalism isn’t new to sports.

Unfortunately, no stats of that Appalachian League era are available, so it is not known what score was on the scoreboard when the game was canceled.

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