Is Glow-in-the-Dark ‘Cosmic Baseball’ the Future of the Sport?

A Southern collegiate baseball team has been getting a lot of attention for hosting “cosmic baseball” games played at night, under black lights, with players using UV-reactive uniforms, balls, and bats.

With balls flying toward players at breakneck speeds, baseball isn’t the kind of game that can be played in less-than-perfect lighting conditions, but one Southern collegiate baseball team has found a way to make it playable in the dark. Using massive black light installations and UV-reactive uniforms, balls, bats, and bases, the Tri-City Chili Peppers have been putting together ‘cosmic baseball’ games that look like something out of a Tron movie. Despite the seemingly pitch-black atmosphere, players claim that after a bit of practice, playing under UV lights becomes second nature, as does seeing the ball, no matter how hard it’s hit or thrown.

“It’s actually a lighter atmosphere than what most people would think,” said Chris Martin, owner of the Chili Peppers told “You can see everything extremely well.”

“If you can get everybody out there in practices and feel comfortable and have everybody relax while they’re playing, I think it’s going to make it a really good experience,” Chill Peppers catcher Jacob Lee agreed.

Cosmic baseball started as a crazy idea over a year ago, but as the pieces started to fall into place, it turned into a feasible project, and this month, into reality. It wasn’t easy, or cheap, but with the help from local companies, the Tri-City Chili Peppers made history, becoming the first team to organize an official sporting event exclusively under black lights.

Chris Martin got the idea for cosmic baseball last season when a bunch of glow sticks were thrown onto the field. The whole thing looked way too hard and expensive to implement until the team found a lighting company to help them. J.W. Electric first developed a black light prototype and then went on to build a massive 18 500-watt blacklight installation.


Securing UV-reactive uniforms and equipment was another challenge, but the Tri-City Chili Peppers found suppliers willing to make it for them, and now they even offer uniforms to spectators who want to stand out in the stands. The whole investment in cosmic baseball is estimated at $100,000, but the response has been worth it.

Videos of the first cosmic baseball game on June 5 went viral online, and now the tickets for the next games on June 28 and July 20 are sold out. People seem to love the novelty of this unusual take on a classic sport and some have even called it the future. Time will tell if this is anything more than a gimmick, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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