Go to contents

Why do baseball games start at 7 or 37 past the hour in Toronto?

Why do baseball games start at 7 or 37 past the hour in Toronto?

Posted September. 25, 2020 08:00,   

Updated September. 25, 2020 08:00


South Korean baseball fans know games begin at 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. during the weekends in Korea. Baseball games also start at 6 p.m. on weekdays in Japan.

On the other hand, no Major League Baseball games begin at the exact hour. Only 21 games out of 967 start at 30 minutes past the hour. The most common start time is 10 minutes past the hour such as 7:10 with 443 games, followed by five minutes past the hour with 195 games.

The reason why they start at an odd time is because of television broadcasting. It takes five minutes to introduce baseball players of each team, which explains why games start at five minutes past the hour. South Korea does not have the same issue because broadcasting begins before a game starts. The start time is determined based on TV slots in the United States, whereas TV slots change according to the start time of the game in South Korea.

Games in Toronto need two more minutes because of the national anthem. When other teams play, only the U.S. national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played, but the 90-second-long Canadian national anthem “O Canada” is also played in Toronto, hence two more minutes is needed.

To be sure, games can advance the preparation time or adjust ad length in Toronto instead of delaying the game by two minutes. This is why games do not always start at seven or 37 minutes past the hour when the Toronto Blue Jays play at other stadiums. Other teams sometimes begin their games at seven or eight minutes past the hour if there is a special event.

Kyu-In Hwang kini@donga.com