(National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)
Young fans waved their newly-acquired baseball bats in the air amid the packed stands in Yankee Stadium on the team’s second Bat Day on Aug.14, 1965. Bat Day was a special promotion sponsored in collaboration with Hillerich & Bradsby Company, the manufacturers of Louisville Slugger bats. All ticket holders, 14 years old or younger, received a free Little League model bat as a souvenir.
The first Bat Day at the stadium earlier the same summer was so successful at increasing ticket sales that a second Bat Day, depicted here, was scheduled for the same season.
The second Bat Day attracted more than 50,000 fans to watch a Saturday afternoon game against the Kansas City Athletics. A two-run single by Hector Lopez in the ninth inning gave the Yankees fans their 3-2 victory. Previous contests between the last-place Athletics and the flagging Yankees drew an average of less than 9,000 spectators.
The Yankees continued Bat Day as a regular event in subsequent years. The team viewed it as a way not only to increase ticket sales, but also to develop their fan base and encourage youngsters to “become more baseball-minded.” The following year the equipment giveaways were expanded as the team introduced Cap Day and Ball Day.
This image of Bat Day is one of more than 50 that are featured in the Hall of Fame’s newest exhibit, Picturing America’s Pastime.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum features a collection of nearly 250,000 photographs like this one. Reproductions are available for purchase. To purchase a reprint of this photograph or others from the Photo Archive collections, please call (607) 547-0375. Hall of Fame members receive a 10-percent discount.
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