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Sunday, June 25, 2006

NY Times: Berkow: 33 Innings, 882 Pitches and One Crazy Game (RR)

In honor of the game itself, the story is posted a day after it was run:

The game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings, the Class AAA affiliates of the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles, began in Pawtucket, R.I., on the night of April 18, 1981, went into the early morning of April 19 (when the game was halted), and concluded June 23.

It became the longest game in the history of professional baseball, lasting 33 innings, with a total of 882 pitches thrown and 156 baseballs used over 8 hours 25 minutes. It finally ended with Pawtucket scoring a run in the bottom of the 33rd.

The 1981 game began on a Saturday night at McCoy Stadium with 1,740 fans in attendance. When it was stopped, after 32 innings, at 4:09 Easter morning, with the score tied at 2-2, 19 fans were left in the stands.

Jeff K. Posted: June 25, 2006 at 05:44 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues, orioles, red sox

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   1. CraigK Posted: June 25, 2006 at 05:51 PM (#2075223)
I wonder if anyone actually stayed for all 33 innings.
   2. Dr Love Posted: June 25, 2006 at 05:55 PM (#2075232)
33 innings and only 5 runs were scored. That's amazing, and it figures that they resume the game a month later and it's over in an inning. The 21st inning must have been one hell of a Maalox moment, since both teams scored. I guess they'd have to scrap the "you can only use players that were on the team at the time" rule since they were probably all used up anyways.
   3. Dr Love Posted: June 25, 2006 at 05:57 PM (#2075237)
I wonder if anyone actually stayed for all 33 innings.

The intro says that 19 fans remained after 32 innings. I'd think that they would have gone to the restart.
   4. Handle's Messiah Posted: June 25, 2006 at 06:07 PM (#2075265)
I wish Berkow was featured wrote more frequently
   5. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: June 25, 2006 at 06:50 PM (#2075332)
with 20 former Pawtucket players and 9 former Rochester players attending a luncheon

Sore losers.
   6. RichRifkin Posted: June 25, 2006 at 06:59 PM (#2075352)
I listened to the radio broadcast of every inning of the A's-Dodgers game last week that went 17 innings. (I started out listening while working on a project in my garage, and later played in an on-line poker tournament, keeping a radio on.) That was definitely the longest game I've ever stayed with from start to finish. I just can't imagine a game that lasted almost twice as many innings. Thirty-three innings is almost as long as a cricket match.
   7. GregD Posted: June 25, 2006 at 07:47 PM (#2075432)
That's just a great article. I was puzzled that Bruce Hurst assumed Cal Ripken Jr. wouldn't remember him. I mean Bruce Hurst won 145 games; we're not talking about Jeff Sellers or Jim Dorsey or somebody. If nothing else, I'd assume Cal would remember how Hurst pitched him, as in the Bill Dickey comment, "I don't remember your name but I do remember we liked to throw curveballs on the outside corner."
   8. Jeff K. Posted: June 25, 2006 at 08:08 PM (#2075450)
I was puzzled that Bruce Hurst assumed Cal Ripken Jr. wouldn't remember him. I mean Bruce Hurst won 145 games; we're not talking about Jeff Sellers or Jim Dorsey or somebody.

I wondered that myself. When I was posting the article, I almost included that bit, as well. I can't find historical batter vs. pitcher, but I wouldn't be surprised if Ripken faced Sutter 75 times in the majors.
   9. Jeff K. Posted: June 25, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#2075452)
I was puzzled that Bruce Hurst assumed Cal Ripken Jr. wouldn't remember him. I mean Bruce Hurst won 145 games; we're not talking about Jeff Sellers or Jim Dorsey or somebody.

I wondered that myself. When I was posting the article, I almost included that bit, as well. I can't find historical batter vs. pitcher, but I wouldn't be surprised if Ripken faced <strike>Sutter</strike> Hurst 75 times in the majors.

(While fixing this post, I discovered where bbref has bvp stats. Ripken faced Hurst 39 times.)
   10. Jeff K. Posted: June 25, 2006 at 08:14 PM (#2075455)
In fact, perusing that, Ripken only faced 33 pitchers substantially more than Hurst (49 ABs or more). If you raise that to just "more than Hurst", it goes up to about 60 pitchers. I have no idea why Hurst would assume that Ripken wouldn't remember him.
   11. AndrewJ Posted: June 25, 2006 at 08:54 PM (#2075483)
Jim Umbarger came in to relieve for the Red Wings in the 23rd inning and threw 10 shutout innings.

That sound you hear is Tom House blowing his brains out.
   12. Guapo Posted: June 25, 2006 at 09:03 PM (#2075492)
While fixing this post, I discovered where bbref has bvp stats.

Where?
   13. Jeff K. Posted: June 25, 2006 at 09:15 PM (#2075498)
Where?

Oops, that shouldn't have been bbref. I meant Retrosheet.

If you don't know where they are there, go to the home page, click "Players", then the section that contains the player you want, and then the player. On the player page, there's a link to "Pitcher Matchups".
   14. Guapo Posted: June 25, 2006 at 09:22 PM (#2075503)
Thanks. Retrosheet is the balls.
   15. RichRifkin Posted: June 26, 2006 at 01:14 AM (#2075647)
"I have no idea why Hurst would assume that Ripken wouldn't remember him."

Maybe Hurst meant that he wasn't sure if Ripken remembered that Hurst pitched in that 33 inning game? Or remember him as a minor league opponent?

"I'm sure he didn't remember me [pitching in that game], but of course I knew him [even back then]," said Hurst, once a standout pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.

Alternatively, maybe when Hurst said "remember," he meant "recognize."

"I'm sure he didn't [recognize] me [on that golf course in Arizona, because I'm now old and bald and look different than I did when I was a ballplayer], but of course I [recognized] him, [because he's frickin' Cal Ripken, Junior!]" said Hurst, once a standout pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.

I favor my second theory.
   16. TravisBedard Posted: June 26, 2006 at 02:37 AM (#2075779)
There is no way to NOT recognize Hurst. With those eyes?
   17. Chris Needham Posted: June 26, 2006 at 02:52 AM (#2075799)
Dave Sheining, who writes for the Washington Post, wrote about the game a few months ago.

My favorite tale from the piece:
If you're walking in your front door at 3 o'clock on a Sunday morning and you have not called your wife to tell her where you have been, you're taking your marriage into your own hands. But Luis Aponte figured that on this night, of all nights, it would be all right.

Aponte, a right-handed reliever for Pawtucket, threw four dazzling, scoreless innings of relief that night -- the seventh through 10th innings -- and some time after 2 a.m., with no end in sight, Pawtucket Manager Joe Morgan allowed him to go home.

What happened next is part of the lore surrounding that night, the story told and retold in various versions. As the story goes, Aponte was confronted at his front door by his wife, Xiomara, who wanted no part of his explanation that he had been at the ballpark all night.

"Yeah, it's true," Aponte said recently in a telephone interview from Venezuela, where he is a scout for the Cleveland Indians. "She didn't believe me. Whenever we had a game, I was usually home by 11:30."

Aponte finally convinced his wife to let him in, promising that the morning newspaper, with its account of the extra-long game, would prove his story correct. Of course, the game went too late to make the paper, so there was no such proof, and Aponte was forced a second time to plead with his wife to believe him.

It took another entire news cycle -- until the Monday newspaper hit the doorstep -- for Aponte to convince his wife, once and for all, that he had been telling the truth.

"She finally believed me," he said. "But it wasn't easy."
   18. Chris Needham Posted: June 26, 2006 at 02:55 AM (#2075806)
Sheining? Oy. Sheinin.
   19. McCoy Posted: June 26, 2006 at 03:37 AM (#2075940)
The game was stopped after repeated calls to Harold Cooper, the president of the International League, in Columbus, Ohio. Cooper had been at a wedding and did not get home until 3 a.m. Hurst said, "I heard that he said: 'You idiot, this is absurd. Call the game.' "


This is the part I like.

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