The Longest Games in Baseball History

Baseball history was made this weekend…very, very slowly and over a very, very long period of time.

Longest Games in BaseballLongest playoff game: Last Saturday night, the longest game in Major League Baseball postseason history took place. In game two of their National League Divisional Series, the San Francisco Giants beat the Washington Nationals 2 to 1 after 18 innings of play, which, in terms of innings played, equals two games.

Longest game (old timey baseball): In May 1920, the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers played to a tie after 26 innings—it got too dark for the players to see. Amazingly, those 26 innings were played in just under four hours—not much longer than a standard game today.

Longest game (modern era): The longest game played with an actual winner took place in May 1984. The Chicago White Sox beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7 to 6 after Harold Baines hit a home run in the bottom of the 25th inning. A 1974 game between the St. Louis Cardinals New York Mets also went for 25 innings, but the Chicago-Milwaukee slog took longer to play: eight hours and six minutes, separated over two nights due to a league curfew rule that prohibited a new inning to start after 1 a.m.

Longest game overall: The longest game in pro baseball history was a AAA-level minor league game in April 1981. The Pawtucket Red Sox beat the Rochester Red Wings 3 to 2…after 33 innings. The league president called a temporary stop to the game at 4:07 a.m., at which point a manager had been ejected, all the players were exhausted, and 19 fans remained in the stands. The final inning was played about seven hours later.

For more baseball trivia read Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Sports Spectacular.