Saturday’s downright oppressive heatwave has affected a portion of the United States that spans from the Northeast all the way to certain parts of the Midwest. In the NYC/Southern New York state area, an excessive heat warning has been in effect all weekend until 8 p.m. on Sunday, and the National Weather Service has issued warnings about dangerously high temperatures to at least 15 million people, according to the New York Times.
And yet, because there was baseball to be had, some people decided to brave the elements and risk heat stroke so that they could watch their favorite teams play. In an AP report from Ben Walker, in conjunction with eight other contributors, the way the heat wave affected ballgames across the country was pretty well chronicled.
In Baltimore, players were told to take their time making it out into the sun.
Hours before Baltimore played Boston at sweltering Camden Yards, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde pulled aside starting catcher Chance Sisco and issued a stiff directive.
“I told Chance, ‘Do not go outside until the game starts,’” Hyde said.
“I told Chance, I don’t want him hustling on and off the field. I want to see him walking,” Hyde said. “When you’re a catcher in these type of games, it’s not easy. After the eighth inning, his face was beet red.”
Each ballpark took a different approach to battling the heat for their patrons. In Cincy, the pregame songs were winter-themed, Wrigley Field had misters and built a cooling station in right field, the Yankees added hydration stations and Cleveland widened the scope on things fans were allowed to bring to the stadium—empty thermoses were now allowed.
Players, much like what happened with Sisco in Baltimore, were told to remain inside for as long as possible. The Tigers worked out indoors in batting cages, Yankees outfielder Cameron Maybin was the only one who took BP and the Red Sox, who didn’t participate in BP on Friday or Saturday, intend on skipping it on Sunday too.
In a quote that creates a rare situation where you might actually feel bad for a Yankees player, catcher Austin Romine told AP that the grass was fine, but described the area by the plate as “a cone of heat.” For reference, the heat index for the city was supposed to be around 111.
The report wasn’t all a bummer, however, as they were able to get a quote from Ned Yost about hydration.
“They didn’t have Gatorade when I played,” Royals manager Ned Yost recalled. “No, we didn’t have the knowledge about hydration back then. It was take a couple salt pills and drink a little bit of water. We didn’t know anything about hydrating.”
If you’re in an area that this heat wave has hit, I strongly recommend you don’t follow Yost’s advice there and just stick to regular hydration with water.