BRADENTON, Fla. -- The lights came on at McKechnie Field on Friday night. However, at night's end, Bradenton had still never seen night baseball. Looming severe thunderstorms postponed the start of the game and led to the eventual cancellation of the Pirates' nightcap against the Reds. The two teams had played earlier in the day 12 miles away in Sarasota, with Pittsburgh coming away 13-8 winners.
The buildup to Friday's game had been coming for over a year, ever since the organization announced in December that lights were going to be installed at McKechnie Field. Friday's contest was to be the first of two night games that the Pirates were to play this spring. The second -- and now only -- night game will be on March 19, when the Pirates play host to the Yankees in a 7:05 p.m. ET start. Until this spring, McKechnie Field was the only Spring Training facility not equipped for night baseball. However, $1 million of the $30 million renovations to the Pirates' facilities down in Bradenton went toward erecting eight light towers at the 85-year-old ballpark. Fans who waited out Friday's 54-minute delay before the game was officially cancelled, however, were treated to the scheduled fireworks show. Also, any fans who had tickets to Friday's game can exchange their tickets to any other Spring Training game at McKechnie Field this month or can opt to have their money refunded.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.