Collegiate summer teams play first 'Cosmic Baseball' game

June 2nd, 2024

Baseball played under the lights is nothing special. But when the baseball is the light? That’s worth paying attention to.

On Saturday night, the Tri-City Chili Peppers made history by hosting the first game of what they refer to as “Cosmic Baseball.” The Chili Peppers, who are based in Colonial Heights, Va., beat the Greenbrier Knights, another Virginia-based team, by a score of 9-4. The Chili Peppers are members of a southern U.S. collegiate summer league called the Coastal Plain League, which has produced the likes of Justin Verlander, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Kevin Youkilis, Chris Taylor, Alec Bohm and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson.

You can check out this feature by’s Jason Foster for more detail on what “Cosmic Baseball” entails and how the idea originated. But to summarize, this modification of the sport is essentially “Glow in the Dark” baseball played under black lights, where the ball, bats, bases, jerseys and just about any other necessary equipment are lit up so that players and fans can see them.

It was believed to be the first organized sporting event to be played entirely under black lights, as, prior to Saturday night, the only known instance of sports occurring in this setting was “just guys messing around” hitting tennis balls, according to team owner Chris Martin.

But Martin, in conjunction with local lighting company J.W. Electric, along with Federated Lighting of Virginia manufacturer’s rep Chad Lawson, was able to make an organized game happen, resulting in a huge hit. Tickets for Saturday’s showdown, which was also streamed on the team’s YouTube channel, sold out within 24 hours of the initial “hype” video being posted on May 2. And according to Martin, interest among collegiate players to join the Chili Peppers has soared tremendously in the time since.

That interest may pay off with some thorough long-term dividends for the Chili Peppers. But in the meantime, “Cosmic Baseball” isn’t done for the summer yet. The team will also host games with this format on June 15, June 28 and July 20. And if all goes as planned, the team could prove to be innovators for the future of how fans consume all sports.