Game attendance more than doubled — from 2,830,613 in 1918 to 6,532,439 in 1919. 1918. Published March 12, 2020 Updated March 12, 2020 . Credit: Underwood And Underwood/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images, During the 1918 pandemic, the New York Health Board's stance regarding wearing masks was: "Better be ridiculous than dead.". This unusual influenza was deadly to younger people, while elders were left untouched. 16 “Players, Umps, and Fans Wear Masks During Flu Scare,” Washington Herald, February 10, 1919: 8. After the season, many players traveled west to California to enjoy the balmy climate and continue playing all winter against top major-league, minor-league, and Negro League stars.3. The climate anomaly likely … scenario predictions for a current pandemic are based on the global influenza pandemic of 1918, which killed 675,000 people in the United States (nearly 0.8 percent of the 1910 population) and 40 million people worldwide from the early spring of 1918 through the late spring of 1919.4 In all of recorded history, The flu’s effect was still prevalent in 1919, leading to the death of a celebrated hockey player and cancellation of the Stanley Cup finals. Overall, the war and the pandemic slashed MLB game attendance by over half from what it was in the previous season. The death toll ended up being much higher there than in cities with stricter lockdowns. The outbreak was caused by influenza type A subtype H1N1 virus. And baseball was not immune. In San Francisco, court was held in a park in an attempt to curb the spread of the deadly flu. “Standard Takes Series from Pasadena,” Whittier News, January 28, 1919 (reprinted from the Pasadena Star-News). My 1919 Baseball Magazine featuring Lt. By JIMMY GOLEN January 26, 2021 GMT. It was 1919. When Pasadena lifted its mask ordinance for good four days later, the city rejoiced with an impromptu parade of cars tooting their horns along the main thoroughfares. U.S. involvement in World War I -- and on a lesser level the flu pandemic of 1918 -- compromised the 1918 and 1919 MLB seasons, but baseball on Memorial Day persisted. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. Shieber identified the photographer as Frank S. Wilton, a well-known newspaper and film studio cameraman from Huntington Park, California. But during the 1918 flu pandemic, baseball players, umpires and fans donned masks and headed to the diamond. This exhibit sheds light on the experiences of families like the Romboughs, and considers how this global pandemic played out at home. This scandal resulted in commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banning eight players from baseball for life. Contact SABR, 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, https://sabr.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/1919-baseball-in-flu-masks-clear.png, /wp-content/uploads/2020/02/sabr_logo.png, January 26, 1919: The Flu Mask Baseball Game, si.com/mlb/2020/03/09/coronavirus-baseball-history, cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-pandemic-h1n1.html, https://influenzaarchive.org/cities/city-losangeles.html, latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-19/coronavirus-lessons-from-great-1918-spanish-flu-pandemic, baseballhall.org/discover/1918-flu-pandemic-didnt-spare-baseball, sports-reference.com/cfb/bowls/rose-bowl.html, newspapers.com/clip/51830833/palladium-item. 17 “Pasadena Ball Game Masked,” Los Angeles Evening Herald, January 27, 1919. Meanwhile, 20 miles away at Walter Reed Hospital, influenza patients were put in beds on the porch, separated by hanging sheets. A patient wears a flu nozzle. At the influenza camp in Lawrence, Maine, patients were prescribed fresh air as a treatment. 17 “Pasadena Ball Game Masked,” Los Angeles Evening Herald, January 27, 1919. Game attendance more than doubled — from 2,830,613 in 1918 to 6,532,439 in 1919. In October of 1918, months into the influenza outbreak, this crowd of war munitions workers in Washington D.C. gathered to drink hot chocolate near the Washington Monument. Governors of at least 40 states and many more local governments ordered people to stay at home unless it's absolutely necessary to leave. As a historian of epidemics and infectious disease, I have been asked frequently over the past months: "What are the lessons of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic?" Credit: St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Tribune News Service/Getty Images. March 6 – Fred Demarais, 52, Canadian pitcher for the 1890 Chicago Colts of the National League. By 1919, the war and the pandemic were over, and a tidal wave of baseball fans swelled into stadiums. If these images did not survive, it might be hard to believe such an absurd spectacle ever took place: a baseball game played while everyone present was wearing flu masks. A Timeline of Historical Pandemics. The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. That pandemic lasted 15 months and killed an estimated 50 to 100 million people worldwide, including approximately 675,000 Americans, according to HISTORY. Buses were sprayed with anti-flu disinfectants. On January 18 the City of Pasadena issued a strict order requiring that flu masks be worn at all times in public; even dogs were not exempt. At right, Carl Sawyer poses with Doc Crandall’s dog, both sporting face coverings on January 26, 1919, in Pasadena, California. On October 11 the City of Los Angeles declared a public-health emergency, taking quick and decisive action to close down schools, theaters, and public gatherings of any kind.4 When the Great War finally ended in November, massive celebrations were held all across the country and the flu reached its peak. (Author’s collection). Each soldier was outfitted with a mask provided by the Red Cross. In 1918, an estimated one-third of the world's population contracted the H1N1 "Spanish flu" influenza virus. The World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs was played in early September. John “Beans” Reardon, left, wearing a flu mask underneath his umpire’s mask, prepares to call a pitch in a California Winter League game on January 26, 1919, in Pasadena, California. 1918: The year Major League Baseball — and Babe Ruth — faced a flu pandemic Approximately 675,000 American died from the “Spanish Flu” the U.S. By 1919, the war and the pandemic were over, and a tidal wave of baseball fans swelled into stadiums. Overall, the war and the pandemic slashed MLB game attendance by over half from what it was in the previous season. In October 1918, Boston mayor Andrew Peters invited news crews to come along as he received a flu shot. Influenza pandemic of 1918–19, the most severe influenza outbreak of the 20th century and among the most devastating pandemics in human history. Eventually, hospitals were so overcrowded that overflow facilities, like this one at the Eberts Field military base in Arkansas, were created. A Seattle streetcar conductor turned one commuter away because he wasn't wearing a face mask. Here, a crossing guard is seen wearing a mask and gloves. The war dominated 1918, and attendance per game rose 92% in The 1918 flu pandemic had lessons to teach us about future pandemics and preparedness efforts. The fans in the wooden bleachers are wearing masks, too. A police officer burned his mask in the middle of the street, causing other citizens to join in and start a small bonfire on Colorado Boulevard.21 The winter-league baseball schedule resumed the following weekend — without masks — until the players had to report for spring training in March. The flu’s second wave devastated Southern California before the two baseball teams could return to the field for their next game. In 1910 Rube Foster and the Chicago Leland Giants began traveling west to test their skills against white stars from the major and minor leagues. 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