Why Do Baseball Games Start at Weird Times?

If you’re a baseball fan, you may have noticed that games often start at odd times. For instance, the MLB postseason games set for Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, started at 1:07 p.m., 7:07 p.m., and 9:37 p.m [1]. Why do baseball games start at random times? This article will explore the reasons behind this phenomenon.

The History of Baseball Game Start Times

Baseball games have been played since the mid-19th century, and their start times have varied over the years. In the early days of baseball, games were often played in the afternoon to accommodate players who had day jobs [4]. As the popularity of baseball grew, games started to be played in the evenings to attract larger crowds.

In the 1930s, night games became more common, and teams began experimenting with different start times to see what worked best for their fans [4]. Eventually, a standard start time of 7:05 p.m. was established for most evening games. However, this still left some games with odd start times, such as 1:05 p.m. or 4:05 p.m.

The Impact of Television on Baseball Game Start Times

Television has had a significant impact on baseball game start times. Networks want to broadcast games during prime time to attract the largest possible audience [3]. This means that games often start later than they would if they were only being played for a live audience.

In addition, networks often schedule multiple games in one day, which can lead to odd start times. For example, during the MLB postseason, there may be multiple games played in different time zones, which can result in games starting at odd times to accommodate viewers in different regions [1].

The Influence of Weather on Baseball Game Start Times

Weather can also play a role in determining baseball game start times. If there is a chance of rain, teams may choose to start the game earlier in the day to avoid having to postpone or cancel the game [2]. This can result in odd start times, such as 12:35 p.m. or 1:05 p.m.

The Convenience of Baseball Game Start Times

Finally, some baseball game start times are simply more convenient for fans. For example, a weekday game may start at 12:35 p.m. to allow fans to attend the game during their lunch break [1]. Similarly, a weekend game may start at 4:05 p.m. to allow fans to attend the game and still have time for other activities in the evening.


In conclusion, there are several reasons why baseball games start at odd times. The history of baseball, the influence of television, the impact of weather, and the convenience of fans all play a role in determining game start times. While odd start times may be inconvenient for some fans, they are a necessary part of the game and help ensure that baseball remains accessible to as many people as possible.

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