Major League Baseball is approaching an arbitrary but fun milestone: its 200,000th game of all time. Unless it reached that milestone a month ago. Or last October.
The statistical website Baseball-Reference has been counting up to the majors’ 200,000th game. Through Sunday, the tally is 199,254 games, and the site is predicting the milestone will be reached Sept. 24. But there are some uncertainties about the total. Alternate ways of counting lead to the conclusion that the 200,000th game already has happened—on one of two aesthetically pleasing dates.
Baseball-Reference’s count doesn’t include games from the National Association, an early-1870s precursor to the National League that many consider a major league. Include NA games, and the 200,000th game occurred on July 4, between the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals.
But this count excludes postseason games, which is understandable but subject to second-guessing. Playoff stats don’t count toward career totals, but playoff games are far more important than the average regular-season game, and therefore could credibly be counted toward the total number of games that have been played in baseball history.