Top 10 Longest Games in the Baseball History (2024)

One of the great things about baseball is that it’s played until it’s over. It’s not possible to run out the clock or stall for time. And, the 2002 All-Star Game notwithstanding, there are no ties. Both teams have to keep playing until one team wins. And while that might be exhausting for players, it can be great fun for fans. The cost of going to an MLB game is well-documented, so when we get to watch more than nine innings, it feels like we’re getting a bargain. Every once in a while, games will go on-and-on-and-on and lucky fans end up seeing the equivalent of two whole games. That’s what happened with all the games below. Here are the ten longest games in AL/NL history, by innings played.

Brooklyn Robins at Boston Braves, May 1, 1920, 26 innings

You’d think making it to the World Series might be the most remarkable thing to happen to a team in a single season. Not so for the 1920 Brooklyn Robins, who lost to the Indians 5-2 in the best-of-nine World Series. The Robins, who would go back to being called the Dodgers in 1931, tied this twenty-six inning pitchers duel. I guess there are ties in baseball when darkness arrives and nighttime baseball hasn’t been invented. Leon Cadore threw twenty-six innings for the Robins, and, not to be outmatched, Joe Oeschger threw twenty-six innings for the Braves. It’s unclear why the game wasn’t postponed and resumed later. However, it couldn’t be resumed the next day. Schedules were different back then. May 1 was a Saturday, and the Robins had to get back to play the Phillies in Brooklyn on Sunday. They lost that game 4-1 in 13 innings, which took only two hours and sixteen minutes to play. And then the next day, Monday, the Robins went back up to Boston to play the Braves again. They lost that game 2-1 in 19 innings. So in case you’re keeping track, that’s three games in three days, 58 innings played, and zero wins. Also, three pitchers used.

St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets, September 11, 1974, 25 innings

Jerry Koosman started for the Mets and went nine innings, but wouldn’t get credit for a complete game because there was a lot of baseball left to play. He was one out away from a victory when he gave up a two-run, game-tying homerun to Ken Reitz. What followed was fifteen innings of scoreless baseball. Claude Osteen pitched 9.1 innings in relief for the Cardinals, and Jerry Cram threw eight innings of relief for the Mets, who almost had two pitchers throw nine innings in the same game! Bake McBride led off the 25th inning with a single, and immediately tried to steal second. Mets pitcher Hank Webb had him picked off, but threw wildly to first. Mets first baseman John Milner recovered the ball and made a good throw to home that appeared to cut down McBride, who was trying to score all the way from first. But Mets catcher Ron Hodges – who came into the game after starting catcher Duffy Dyer needed a pinch runner after a single in the 23rd inning – dropped the ball, allowing McBride to score. Sonny Siebert shut down the Mets in the bottom of the 25th and the Cardinals finally won after seven hours and four minutes.

Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago White Sox, May 8-9, 1984, 25 innings

The Brewers played in their first World Series two years before, and the White Sox were the defending American League West champions, but both teams struggled at the start of the 1984 season. Don Sutton started the game for the Brewers and pitched seven innings, allowing only one run. In the top of the ninth, when Robin Yount stole third base and scored on an error, and then Ben Ogilvie drove in an insurance run, things were looking good for the Brew Crew. Rollie Fingers worked around an error to start the ninth, and got two outs, but then a double and a single tied the game, and they went to extras. The White Sox has bases load with one out in the fourteenth inning, and couldn’t score, and then the winning run on third with one out in the eighteenth, and again couldn’t score. At that point, the game was postponed to the next day. When it picked up, they played two scoreless innings before Ogilvie hit a three-run home run, but then the White Sox came back with three of their own in the bottom of the 22nd. They’d play three innings after that until Harold Baines mercifully ended it with walk off home run in the bottom of the 25th inning. Julio Cruz went 1-for-11 in the game and saw his batting average fall by 21 points, from .242 to .221.

Philadelphia Athletics at Boston Americans, September 1, 1906, 24 innings

The game has changed a lot over the past one hundred plus years, and there may be no better example of that than the fact that both pitchers in this game – Jack Coombs for the A’s and Joe Harris for the Americans – threw complete games. 24 inning complete games! Doc Powers caught all 24 innings for the A’s. News reports claim that both teams wanted to quit after the 23rd inning because they were tired and it was getting dark, but umpire Tim Hurst made them play on. Two singles and two triples scored three runs for the A’s, who won 4-1, in a game that took only four hours and forty minutes to play.

Detroit Tigers at Philadelphia Athletics, July 21, 1945, 24 innings

The first night game was played in Shibe Park in Philadelphia in 1939, so it’s not clear why this 24 inning marathon had to be called as a 1-1 tie due to darkness six years later. After four hours and forty-eight minutes of play, it seems like they could have had more in the tank. Except for Joe Berry who threw 11 innings in relief of Russ Christopher, who started and threw 13 innings for the A’s. Les Mueller threw 19.2 innings for Detroit. Bob Maier came up for Detroit with the bases loaded in both the 22nd and 24th inning, but lined out and hit into a double play. The A’s didn’t have a runner reach third base after the 4th inning, so they were lucky to escape with a tie.

New York Mets at Houston Astros, April 15, 1968, 24 innings

There are pitcher’s duels, and then there are pitcher’s duels! Don Wilson threw nine shutout innings, allowing five hits, walking three. Tom Seaver threw ten shutout innings, allowing just two hits, one in the second, and one in the tenth. Relievers on both teams continued to shut down the offenses, led by Jim Ray on the Astros who threw seven innings, allowing two hits and striking out eleven. Bob Aspromonte ended the longest scoreless game in baseball history with a ground ball that went through the legs of Mets shortstop Al Weis, driving in Norm Miller. Tommie Agee and Ron Swoboda both went 0-for-10 in the game. The first four hitters in the Mets lineup went a combined 2-for-39, good for a .051 batting average.

Brooklyn Dodgers at Boston Bees, June 27, 1939, 23 innings

The Bees, who would go back to being the Braves a few years later, scored two in the bottom of the second, but that was all they’d get for the day. It looked like it might be enough until the Dodgers scored one in the top of the 8th to tie the game. No more scoring after that though, with pitchers on both teams combing to throw fifteen scoreless innings. Whit Wyatt threw 16 innings for the Dodgers, before being lifted for three relievers who finished the game. Lou Fette threw 9 for the Bees. Future manager Leo Durocher started at shortstop for the Dodgers and went 0-for-5 before coming out of the game.

San Francisco Giants at New York Mets, May 31, 1964, 23 innings

After Juan Marichal threw a complete game to beat them in the first game of a doubleheader, I’m sure the Mets were hoping to get off to a good start in the second game. But the Giants roughed up Mets starting pitcher Bill Wakefield to start the second game, with a walk, double, and single in the first. Wakefield’s two inning start wouldn’t have been ideal in the second game of any doubleheader, but soon became a real problem for the Mets. They fell behind 6-1, but scored two in the sixth and three in the seventh to tie it. That concluded the scoring for the next 15 innings though. The game remained interesting despite the lack of offense. Orlando Cepeda lined into a triple play in the 14th inning. Gaylord Perry pitched ten innings in relief for the Giants. Larry Bearnarth pitched seven innings in relief for the Mets, after throwing two innings in the first game that day. Galen Cisco threw nine innings in relief after throwing seven innings in his start three days before. Willie Mays played shortstop for three innings. Del Crandall doubled in the top of the 23rd to give the Giants the lead, and Jesus Alou drove in an insurance run in his eleventh plate appearance of the day. Bob Hendley came in and shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning to preserve an 8-6 victory after a game that lasted seven hours and twenty-three minutes.

Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres, April 17, 2008, 22 innings

Defending NL Cy Young award winner Jake Peavy continued his masterful pitching in his fourth start of 2008, with eight innings, four hits, no runs, and eleven strikeouts. But the Padres offense struggled against Jeff Francis, who threw seven scoreless innings. Brad Hawpe drew the ever-exciting bases load walk in the top of the 14th inning, to give the Rockies the lead, but Josh Bard’s bases loaded single wasn’t enough to plate two, in the bottom of the inning, so the game continued. In the top of the 22nd, Troy Tulowitski doubled home the go ahead run off of Glendon Rusch. Kip Wells made it hold up in the bottom of the inning, and the Rockies won, 2-1.

Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins, August 31, 1993, 22 innings

It looked like Jerry DiPoto was going to secure the win for the Indians when he retired the first two hitters in the bottom of the 9th with a 4-3 lead. But back-to-back doubles by Dave McCarty and Terry Jorgensen tied the game and sent it to extras. Both teams had opportunities to secure a win, but no one would capitalize until Jason Munoz led off the bottom of the 22nd with a home run off of Jason Grimsley to win it for the Twins.

What is the most innings in a baseball game ever?

The Brooklyn Robins and Boston Braves played 26 innings on May 1, 1920, which is the longest game ever (by innings).

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 22nd, 2023 at 2:33 pmand is filed under Statistical Achievements.You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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