1918: Baseball During The Spanish Flu Pandemic


Pictured with this article is a photo of a baseball game which was played in the Southern California Winter League during the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic. Everyone in the City of Pasadena was required by law to wear a mask. Sixty people within that municipality were arrested for not wearing a mask. So, the baseball teams in that league complied with the law. Notice the batter, catcher and umpire in the photo are wearing cloth masks. But during the 1918 baseball season Major League Baseball did not have an official protocol concerning the epidemic (which killed over 170,000 people in the United States). Baseball went on. The 1918 season was cut short, not because of the flu but due to World War I.