February 18, 2011

Marathon Game: 45 Innings

SABR member Philip Lowry has been researching marathon baseball games for almost 50 years. In a 2004 interview, he said:
[M]y father and I attended a 26-inning twi-night doubleheader at Forbes Field August 9, 1963. After a long rain delay, the first game took 15 innings. Roberto Clemente's RBI single ended the second game in the bottom of the 11th at 2:30 AM. The next day, we discovered that nobody at KDKA Radio or any Pittsburgh newspaper, indeed nobody in the entire world, could answer the question, "Is that the longest-ever night of baseball?"
Thus began a life-long fascination with very long baseball games (20+ innings or 6+ hours). Last year, Lowry published "Baseball's Longest Games: A Comprehensive Worldwide Record Book" with McFarland. I don't own the book -- McFarland is more of an academic press (or they sell primarily to universities) so this book is roughly $50 -- but I was looking at it in Google Books and found an entry of a Japanese game that lasted 45 innings!

It was the title game of the 38th annual Amateur Industiral Emperor's Cup Nan-shiki Tournament between Tokyo Raito (Light) Kogyo (Manufacturing Company) and Miyazaki Tanaka Byouin (Hospital), played at Ibaraki-Mito Kenei (Prefectural) Kyujo (Stadium) in Mito, on September 20, 1983.
TRK: 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 010 000 000 001 - 2
MTB: 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 010 000 000 000 - 1
Scoreless for 34 innings -- one inning longer than the famous Pawtucket-Rochester game in 1981 -- and then both teams score!

The game began at 8:50 in the morning and did not end until 5:15. After 25 innings, the players declined a 30-minute break and the umpires took six minutes to have a snack. Time of game: 8:19. A total of 318 batters came to the plate, and 1,029 pitches were thrown. A poster in this forum says ("IIRC") the winning pitcher threw a compete game with over 500 pitches.


allan said...

That poster was about to link to a box score of the game, but his message cuts off. He never returned ...

laura k said...

God I love baseball! It is completely insane.

Also: can you imagine if you had gone with McFarland for 1918? At 50 bucks a pop, I can't imagine many people would have read it.

Jere said...

So that guy basically pitched 5 complete games in one game. By comparison, Ted Lilly has pitched 5 complete games in 10 years.