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The day Tom Seaver got two wins

May 5, 2014, 2:27 PM EDT

Tom Seaver

Tyler Kepner of the New York Times has a wonderful story today about one of the longest games in baseball history. The absolute longest if you by actual game time instead of mere innings. It occurred on May 8-9, 1984. Yes, both days, as the Brewers and White Sox started on the 8th, hit curfew on early on the 9th and resumed the game the following day after it was suspended. All-in-all it was 25 innings and lasted over eight hours. The White Sox won.

The winning pitcher? Tom Seaver, who came on in relief once the game resumed the next day. The winning pitcher for the next game, played the same day: Tom Seaver, who was the scheduled starter. He just used that 25-inning affair as warmup.

The story is great beyond those odd facts of a bygone era. Kepner talks to many of the principles and it all rolls out like a wonderful baseball yarn. This is the kind of baseball writing that is most enjoyable. And it’s a great read.

Now, if someone can tell my old butt how a game I remember being talked about at the time as current news can be 30-years-old, I’d greatly appreciate it.

  1. djandujar - May 5, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Very cool! I remember reading about that game in the paper. I was 9 years old and being like “whoah, 25 innings”.

    • djandujar - May 5, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      A couple of thumbs-down for a childhood memory? You people are real assholes, you know that?

    • umrguy42 - May 5, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      I wonder if that’s the one I read about in one of those “crazy sports stories” books as a kid (the kind you could get through the book order. I kinda miss the book order – that was a great thing in grade school).

  2. DelawarePhilliesFan - May 5, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Yes, scary those are 30 year old games….I remember like it was more like 10 years ago.

    As long as we are on oddities – let us not forget July 3rd 1993, the day Gene Harris had 2 saves PLUS a blown save.

    First game of a Double Header on 7/2 had 6 hours of rain delays, and by the time Harris got the save (of game 1), it was 1 AM on the 3rd. They started game 2 at 1:30AM and at around 4 AM, Harris blew the save in Game 2. Finally, on the evening of the 3rd, Harris nailed down the save for the game scheduled that night

    • umrguy42 - May 5, 2014 at 6:39 PM

      …Why did they start game 2 at 1:30am?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 5, 2014 at 8:11 PM

        Very good question. Bottom line – it was a Friday DH to start a 4 game series, and there was a lot of pressure to get both games in (Padres were not going to be back in town, and Sunday’s game was ESPN game of the week) . But even at that, they should have scrubbed game 2 and played a double header Saturday. The umps blew it, but in their defense, they correctly noted that the league at that time really gave no guidance on what to do, and they weren’t sure how to get a hold of anyone who could give an okay to cancel at that hour (pre-cell phone era).

        Game 2 went 11 innings, and ended at 4:45 AM. Had it gone one more inning, the sun would have been starting to rise

  3. stlouis1baseball - May 5, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    I hear you. I was 12 years old. And I vividly remember thinking “baseball is so cool.”
    “You play, and play and play until there is a winner.” “No ties!”

  4. Old Hoss Radbourn - May 5, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Bah! Let me know when someone pitches all 25 innings.

    • apkyletexas - May 5, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      Bah! You would be 94 years too late. The Dodgers’ Leon Cadore and the Braves’ Joe Oeschger pitched 26 innings against each other in a game in 1920.

      How did it end you ask? A tie. Too dark.

      • rje49 - May 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM

        I remember reading about that games when I was little. My only thought these days is that it shows that the pitchers could not have thrown anywhere near as hard as they could in those days. No pitch count was kept, of course, but each pitcher faced about 100 batters.

      • anxovies - May 7, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        Anybody who ever hit against Tom Terrific would probably disagree. He once struck out 19 in a game and in another game struck out the last 10 batters. You don’t do that unless you are throwing good cheese.

  5. doctornature - May 5, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Craig, here is what I find myself doing.

    Singing “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” by Peter Paul and Mary, inserting “Damn years” for “flowers”.

    Because they go by quicker every year.

  6. mikhelb - May 5, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Back in the 90s (can not remember if it was 1996, 97 or 98), Andy Pettitte also threw in consecutive days:

    He was the starter of the first game and got pummeled by the Orioles and did not make it out of the second or third inning. The Yankees made a comeback and won an amazing game.

    The next day the game went to extrainnings and the Yankees had no pitchers left in the bullpen, Andy went to warm in the bullpen and Joe Torre allowed him to relieve, and ultimately won when the next inning Tino Martínez hit a blazing grand slam deep into the night. At that time it was the latest a grand slam had came in a game in terms of innings, it was either the 14th or the 15th inning. Andy won and pitched in two games that covered three days in total.

    I think that episode in Yankees history is what made Tino a fan favourite because he was struggling and fans booed him, he was, after all, no Donnie. Something similar happened with his succesor, when the Twins scored a bunch of runs off of Mariano Rivera in the 12th and in the bottom Jason Giambi came to bat with the bases loaded and down by three runs, under the pouring rain he hit one of the most memorable walk off grand slams in recent history to cement his name in Yankees lore.

  7. Harry Caray's Glasses - May 7, 2014 at 3:29 AM

    I was in the Fort Sheridan Army Band at that time, and our group had played the National Anthem that night. A few of us stayed for the game and had some pretty nice seats. We all stayed until the game was called, and the announcer said that our tickets would be honored the next day to watch the rest of the game. We came back the next night and finished up the 25 inning game, and then got to stay for the next game for free, since no one else asked us for tickets, so it turned out to be double fun.

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