Friday, June 5, 2009

And Now You Know!: Longevity

We were treated to something special in sports this past week, a college baseball game that went 25 innings, over 7 hours long. Some people would consider that to be worse than watching paint dry but just looking at the stats, one has to be in awe. A relief pitcher for Texas threw 13 innings, including 12.1 of no-hit baseball with 14 strikeouts recorded throughout his 169 pitches. Boston College went just 8-for-80 in the loss. Then again, if I'm going to hate on Syracuse and UConn, I really can't praise this game. But what the heck.

So what other long and torturous games have occurred in baseball history? Well just over 25 years ago the longest MLB game was played between the White Sox and Brewers. In a game that went 25 innings and over 8 hours long, the White Sox pulled out a 7-6 victory after the game was suspended to the next day due to time limitations and a game in which both teams scored 3 runs in the 21st inning. It seems as if every Red Sox vs. Yankees game goes 8 hours but almost 3 years ago the two teams played in the longest 9-inning game lasting 4-hours and 45-minutes. The Yankees were victorious, 14-11.

Ironically the longest MLB game by innings was one 26-inning game back in 1920. In a game between Boston and Brooklyn the game lasted a mere 3-hours and 50 minutes but was called in the 26th inning due to darkness and the two teams left the field at 7 p.m. in a 1-1 tie never to be settled.

Still not long enough for me though, so how about we head to the minors where things really get interesting. On April 18, 1981, the Pawtucket Red Sox took on then minor league affiliate of the Orioles, the Rochester Red Wings in a grueling 33-inning affair that was suspended at 4 in the morning only to be resumed on June 23rd and decided within 18 minutes of playing. This game epic game included Hall of Fame members Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken Jr.. Boggs went 4-12 while Ripken was 2-13. The losing pitcher Steve Grilli, father of Seton Hall alum and current Colorado Rockie Jason Grilli, was not on the Red Wings when the game first started.

Meanwhile, speaking of long games, the Boston's Men's Baseball League holds a 100 Inning Charity Event for Curt's Pitch for ALS. The game usually takes a day-and-a-half to complete with nearly 200 people participating. All donations go to Curt Schilling's foundation.

Should baseball games have ties or is there something exciting about a timeless game? Well there certainly isn't anything exciting about a tie game.

And Now You Know! (And Knowing Is Half the Battle)

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