What is the longest baseball game ever? How long the famous 33-inning game lasted. (2024)

Baseball is America's pastime, but as attention spans get shorter and games get longer, the sport is searching for a solution.

The average length of a nine-inning Major League Baseball game over the last 10 seasons is just over three hours. These climbing numbers inspired the minor leagues to implement a pitch clock last year. It's the Major League's turn now, and the pitch clock in MLB is already tightening game times.

What is the longest baseball game ever? How long the famous 33-inning game lasted. (1)

What is the longest baseball game?

The answer depends – are you looking for the longest Major League game, which went on for 26 innings in 1920? Or are you looking for the longest professional baseball game, the one that finished after 33 innings in 1981?

Longest professional baseball game ever

The longest professional baseball game ever was in the minor leagues. The Pawtucket Red Sox played the Rochester Red Wings on April 18, 1981, in a 33-inning game that spanned two days.

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After eight straight hours, the league president instructed umpires to suspend the game in the 32nd inning. It was 4 a.m., hours into Easter Sunday, and players were so cold they burned their broken bats in metal trash cans to stay warm, NPR reports.

The game – which included Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Wade Boggs – picked up two months later on June 23 in the top of the 33rd.Pawtucket's Dave Koza hit a single with the bases loaded and no outsand won the game.

Longest MLB game ever

The longest game in Major League history went on for a whopping 26 innings. The Brooklyn Robins vs. the Boston Braves game on May 1, 1920, took almost four hours.Today, we know the Robins by a different name – the Los Angeles Dodgers.Likewise, the Boston Braves are today’s Atlanta Braves.

After 26 innings, the score wastied 1-1, The New York Times reported in 1920. It was only called off because of how dark it was outside. According to the MLB, both starting pitchers – Leon Cadore for the Robins and Joe Oeschger for the Braves – pitched the entire length of the game.

The longest MLB game in terms of time was in 1984 between the Chicago White Sox and theMilwaukee Brewers. The 25-inning game ran for a total of eight hours and six minutes and was completed over two days. According to the MLB, the teams played the first 17 innings on May 8 but paused with a tied 3-3 because of an American League rule prohibiting new innings after 1 a.m.

The game resumed the next day and the White Sox won 7-6.

The longest continuous Major League game with a winner was a seven-hour play between the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets. The 1974 game ended after 25 innings at 3:13 a.m. According to the MLB, there were 13,460 fans in Shea Stadium when the game began, but by the time the Cardinals won 4-3, only an estimated 1,000 fans remained.

What is the longest postseason baseball game ever?

Game 3of the 2018 World Series was the longest postseason gamebytime in Major League history. The Dodgers beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 in an 18-inning game that lasted seven hours and 20 minutes.

Therehave been three other 18-inning games in postseason history. The Houston Astros' Game 3 win against the Seattle Marinersin the 2022 American League Division Series was a scoreless game until the 18th inning. Game 2 of the 2014 National League Division Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals lasted six hours and 23 minutes.

And the fourth – the Houston Astros vs. the Braves in Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS – lasted 18 innings. The almost six-hour game ended in a win for the Astros, 7-6. Tim Hudson started both this game for the Braves and the 18-inning playoff game for the Giants in 2014.

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What is the longest baseball game ever? How long the famous 33-inning game lasted. (2024)
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