Baseball Oddities: The Longest Professional Game

When you love this game as much as I do, you find yourself doing research in most pockets of downtime; stats, player backgrounds, etc. I love looking up random things that pop up in my head and years ago I looked up what was the longest game ever played and I stumbled upon this.

The Game

4540On Saturday April 18, 1981 the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox affiliate) hosted the Rochester Red Wings (formerly affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, now an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) in a AAA International League contest. Little did anyone know at the time, but this game would not be completed for another two months!!! No, they didn’t play for two months straight. After the teams played 32 innings…yes, you read that correctly, the game was suspended on April 19th. The two teams played the final inning of the game on June 23 when the Red Wings were back in town. There are so many quirks that happen in game that it’s hard to know where to begin.

An interesting fact is that most leagues have a curfew in place. The International League’s kicks in at 12:50 AM. The home plate umpire for the game, Dennis Cregg’s rulebook did RedWingsLogonot contain this information so the game was not suspended until 4:07 AM. Apparently there were only 19 fans remaining at the time of the suspension. They were all given season/lifetime passes to McCoy Stadium. The game concluded in one 18-minute inning on June 23.

With all that took place in this game, it should also be noted that the game featured two Hall of Famers. Rochester’s shortstop at the time was Cal Ripken Jr. and Pawtucket’s third baseman was Wade Boggs.

Records in the Game

  • Most putouts by one team in one game: 99 (PAW)
  • Most total putouts in one game: 195
  • Most at-bats for one team in one game: 114 (PAW)
  • Most total at-bats in one game: 219
  • Most strikeouts (batting) by one team in one game: 34 (ROC)
  • Most total strikeouts in one game: 60
  • Most strikeouts (batting) by one player in a game: 7, Russ Laribee(PAW)
  • Most total assists in one game: 88
  • Most innings: 33
  • Most at-bats by one player in one game: 14, Dave Koza, Lee Graham, Chico Walker (all PAW)
  • Most plate appearances by one player in one game: 15, Tom Eaton, Cal Ripken Jr, Dallas Williams (all ROC)
  • Total time for one game: 8 hours, 25 minutes
  • Longest plate appearance by a single umpire: Denny Cregg (882 pitches over 8 hours and 25 minutes)
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