Jun 3, 2024 - Sports

Colonial Heights team makes history with glow-in-the-dark baseball

a glow in the dark baseball player, bat and ball - pink and neon green

The team will host "Cosmic Baseball" three more times this summer. Image: Courtesy of Chris Phillips via The Tri-City Chili Peppers

Tri-City Chili Peppers, the Colonial Heights collegiate baseball team, made history on Saturday for hosting the world's first ever "Cosmic Baseball" game.

Why it matters: "Cosmic Baseball" is essentially regular baseball, just played under blacklights that make the team's specially designed, UV-reactive uniforms, balls, bats and bases glow in the dark.

The big picture: The journey from idea to viral success took more than a year and cost over $100,000, Tri-City Chili Peppers' owner Chris Martin told MLB.com.

  • Martin got idea last season when the team threw out glow sticks during a game.
glow in the dark fans and a few players
Glow in the dark baseball is now in Colonial Heights. Image: Courtesy of Chris Phillips via The Tri-City Chili Peppers

Zoom in: At first the idea seemed far too expensive to execute, and Martin thought it was over until Richmond's own Federated Lighting found a manufacturer to develop a single prototype blacklight.

  • And with installation expertise from Colonial Heights-based J.W. Electric, the team managed to make the lighting happen with 18 500-watt blacklights.
  • Of course, Tri-City Chili Peppers also needed special uniforms and equipment, supplied by national manufacturers with hats by Bretmor Headwear in Petersburg, per The Athletic.
  • And it needed to outfit competing teams, which was made much easier when rival the Greenbrier Knights out of Chesapeake signed on to play in every Cosmic Baseball game of the season.

The result: The Tri-City Chili Peppers sold out the first Cosmic Baseball game within 24 hours of announcing it in early May.

  • The next three games sold out, and thousands of names were added to the waitlist within 24 hours of the end of the first game on Saturday, team spokesperson Deana Nichols tells Axios.

What's next: The next Cosmic Baseball games are June 15, June 28 and July 20.

  • All are sold out, but you can register here to add your name to the waitlist for this year — and for early dibs on next season.
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