Longest MLB Games Ever

Longest MLB Game Ever! It is not unusual for MLB games to have extra-innings, and a good number of games have been noted in the game’s history as the longest MLB game!

The game can last until the 26th innings and sometimes even more. We rarely see a baseball game that lasts beyond the 20-inning mark, but few games in MLB history have crossed that extreme mark.

Can you guess the longest game in the major league by innings that have crossed the 20-innings mark?

Eleven Longest MLB Games
Eleven Longest MLB Games (Source: NPR)

Here we have compiled a list of the eleven longest games in MLB history. So please stick with us to find out the answer!

Now without further ado, let us dive into our list.

Quick Overview

But before the details, take a peak at the overall rankings of the list first.

MatchInnings
11. Los Angeles Dodgers VS. Montreal Expos22
10. Minnesota Twins VS. Cleveland Indians22
9. Colorado Rockies VS. San Diego Padres22
8. Brooklyn Dodgers VS. Boston Bees23
7. San Francisco Giants VS. New York Mets23
6. Philadelphia Athletics VS. Boston Americans24
5. Detroit Tigers VS. Philadelphia Athletics24
4. Houston Astros VS. New York Mets24
3. St. Louis Cardinals VS. New York Mets25
2. Chicago White Sox VS. Milwaukee Brewers25
1. Brooklyn Robins VS. Boston Braves26

Eleven Longest MLB Games Ever

We have prepared our list with the primary reference from MLB.com.

11. Los Angeles Dodgers VS. Montreal Expos

For the first game on our list, we are returning to the game between Los Angeles Dodgers and Montreal Expos on August 23, 1989. The game lasted for six hours and 14 minutes, totaling 22 innings.

The game took place at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. However, the one who took the win was the Dodgers, defeating the Expos in their home stadium.

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrating their win, August 23, 1989
Los Angeles Dodgers Celebrating Their Win, August 23, 1989 (Source: Mlbstatic.com)

The game is the second-longest game with a scoreless start. Both the teams were unable to score until the 22nd and final inning.

Rick Dempsey, Orel Hershiser, and rookie John Wetteland were the star players of the Dodgers at the game.

Hershiser showcased his strong pitching, shut out the Expos for the first seven innings, and Wetteland pitched for the final six. 

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10. Minnesota Twins VS. Cleveland Indians

The 10th longest MLB game occurred between the Minnesota Twins against Cleveland Indians on August 31, 1993. The game lasted for six hours and 17 minutes, finishing in the 22nd inning.

The match took place at the Metrodome, the home stadium for the Minnesota Twins. The Twins took advantage of their home stadium and won the game 5 to 4.

1993 Cleveand Indian team
1993 Cleveland Indian team (Source: Bonanza.com)

The Indians’ Albert Belle and Jim Thome gave a head start to their team with a 4-1 lead in the eighth inning. However, the Twins got two back in the eighth inning and tied the game at 4.

The score remained for another 11 1/2 extra innings. Then Twins’ Pedro Munoz concluded the game in the bottom of the 22nd innings with a walk-off home run off Jason Grimsley.

9. Colorado Rockies VS. San Diego Padres

The Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres came head to head in one of the longest games in the major league’s history. The game took six hours and 16 minutes at Petco Park on April 17, 2008.

The game started with pitchers from Padres’ Jake Peavy against Colorado’s Jeff Francis. Peavy threw eight scoreless innings and struck out 11 against Francis, who went seven scoreless.

Colorado Rockies' Yorvit Torrealba hugs Kip Wells after the Rockies beat the San Diego Padres, 2008
Colorado Rockies’ Yorvit Torrealba Hugs Kip Wells After the Rockies Beat The San Diego Padres, 2008 (Source: Denverpost.com)

Until the 14th inning, no runs were scored; Colorado’s Brad Hawpe gave the team a 1-0 lead in the top half. The lead was tied by the Padre’s Josh Bard RBI single in the bottom half.

It was another seven more scoreless innings until the 22nd when Troy Tulowitzki from Colorado led the team to the victory in the Padres’ home stadium.

8. Brooklyn Dodgers VS. Boston Bees

For our 8th longest MLB game, we are returning to June 27, 1939, when the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Bees faced head-on. Both the teams raced to win the match in 23 innings, over five hours and 15 minutes.

The match occurred at the Beehive in Allston, and by the time the game ended, it was 8:12 pm. The Bees took the lead of 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning, thanks to Hank Majeski and Eddie Miller.

Brooklyn Dodgers, 1939
Brooklyn Dodgers, 1939 (Source: Getty Images)

However, Dodger’s Mel Almada helped to get one back in the next half-inning on a run-scoring groundout. Then, Ernie Koy’s RBI single tied the game in the top of the eighth inning.

The sun was starting to set, and the Bees seemed to have won the game in the 13th inning if it wasn’t for the Dodgers’ making a comeback.

The game ended in a tie between the two teams when the plate umpire Babe Pinelli called the game because of darkness.

7. San Francisco Giants VS. New York Mets

Another longest MLB game that finished in 23 innings was between San Francisco Giants against New York Mets. The team created history on May 31, 1964, at Shea Stadium in front of 57,037.

Both teams are the only MLB team to play three games of at least 23 innings. The match is memorable not just because of its 23 innings but also because it was the second game of a doubleheader.

Both teams had already played nine innings where the Giants won by 5-3. Then they played 23 more innings, making the total of innings played on the day 32.

Shea Stadium 1964
Shea Stadium 1964, 57,037 Giants Vs. Mets (Source: Barstool Sports)

The Giants lead the game by 6-1 in the 23 innings of game 2, thanks to Willie Mays’ single RBI. However, the Mets’ Joe Christopher helped the team to make a comeback and tied the game.

The San Francisco Giants ultimately won the game by 8-6. Gaylord Perry pitched ten scoreless innings in relief with nine strikeouts for the ultimate victory.

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6. Philadelphia Athletics VS. Boston Americans

On number 6, we have the Philadelphia Athletics versus the Boston Americans match played on September 1, 1906. The match occurred on a Saturday afternoon at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, Boston, in front of an estimated crowd of 18,000.

The Athletics were the first to strike with a run-scoring infield hit by Harry Lord in the top of the third inning. This was returned by Freddy Parent of Boston’s at the bottom of the sixth.

Philadelphia Athletics' Jack Coombs
Philadelphia Athletics’ Jack Coombs (Source: Sabr.org)

Two pitchers came on top during the game. Athletics’ rookie Jack Coombs and Boston’s Joe Harris pitched the entire game, and especially Coombs gave a brilliant performance.

The Athletics broke the tie with Boston in the 24th inning with the help of Oscee Schrecongost, Socks Seybold, and Danny Murphy. Subsequently, the Philadelphia Athletics won the game with a score of 4-1.

5. Detroit Tigers VS. Philadelphia Athletics

On number 5, we again have Philadelphia Athletics playing the longest MLB game, where they faced off against the Detroit Tigers on July 21, 1945, in a 24-innings match that lasted for four hours and 48 minutes.

The game was the AL record for the longest game before White Sox, and the Brewers’ match surpassed it. The Tigers and Athletics came head to head on Saturday afternoon at Shibe Park in Philadelphia.

During the game, both teams used only two pitchers. Les Muller returned from military service in World War II and played the first 19 2/3 innings for the Tigers. Dizzy Trout was called next with two runners on and two outs in the 20th innings.

Detroit Tigers VS. Philadelphia Athletics, 1906
Detroit Tigers VS. Philadelphia Athletics, 1906 (Source: Barstoolsports.com)

On the other hand, Russ Christopher was the starting pitcher for the Athletics and played the first 13 innings. And for the last 11 innings, Joe Berry filled in the position.

The game was a tie, as neither team could break the tying score when the game was called out due to darkness.

4. Houston Astros VS. New York Mets

The 4th longest MLB game was played on April 15, 1968, between Houston Astros and New York Mets. Both teams played 24 innings in a time frame of six hours and six minutes at Astrodome.

Mets’ Tom Seaver and Astros’ Don Wilson were the first to kickstart the match. It was Seaver’s second MLB season, and he threw ten shutout innings with only two hits. Meanwhile, Wilson went nine scoreless with only five hits.

Mets starter Tom Seave
Mets Starter Tom Seave (Source: Getty Images)

The match went on as both teams played to outdo each other. The scoreboard at the time of the 20th inning read, “We hope you are enjoying tonight’s third game as much as you enjoyed the first two.”

Finally, in the bottom of the 24th inning, Astros’ Bob Aspromonte hit a routine ground ball to short, which decided the game. The game ended with a score of Houston Astros 1 with New York Mets 0.

3. St. Louis Cardinals VS. New York Mets

We are down to the top three longest games in MLB history. On number 3, we have the 1974 game between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets.

The match occurred on Wednesday night, September 11, at Shea Stadium. More than 13,460 fans attended, and the game lasted seven hours and four minutes. By the time the game ended, it was 3:13 in the morning.

Bake McBride of St. Louis Cardinals comes in with the winning run
Bake McBride of St. Louis Cardinals Comes in With the Winning Run (Source: Ap photo)

Mets’ Jerry Koosman made the team’s 3-1 lead into the ninth inning. Cardinals’ Ken Reitz tied it with two outs. It wasn’t until the 25th inning that both teams could score again.

The Cardinals won the game with a score of 4-3.

It was undoubtedly one of the longest MLB games, and by the time the game ended, only an estimated 1,000 fans were left in the stands.

2. Chicago White Sox VS. Milwaukee Brewers

On number 2, we are looking at the match between Chicago White Sox versus the Milwaukee Brewers on May 8, 1984. The game took place at Comiskey Park, with an attendance of 14,754 fans.

The game had to be completed over two days, which took eight hours and six minutes. After the first 17 innings, the game was suspended at 1 am, and the score tie was 3-3 between the team.

Chicago White Sox celebrating their win
Chicago White Sox Celebrating Their Win (Source: Barstoolsports.com)

In the top of the ninth inning, the Brewers had the upper hand and looked like they would win the game. However, White Sox’s Julio Cruz and Rudy Law helped to tie the score against their rival.

No teams could score until the next day, and the Brewers were again able to take the lead in the 21st inning when the game resumed. Miraculously, White Sox was able to time the game in the bottom half and win by a 7-6 score.

1. Brooklyn Robins VS. Boston Braves

Now, the longest game in MLB history goes to the match between Brooklyn Robins and Boston Braves. For this game, we are going back to May 1, 1920. 6 innings were played before the game was called due to darkness.

The game could have gone longer than that had it not been for the sun setting down and darkness.

The game was held at Braves Field and ended in a tie at 1; it took three hours and 50 minutes for the game to end.

Ivy Olson of the Brooklyn Robins was the leadoff man who lined an RBI single over shortstop Rabbit Maranville in the fifth. Then, Braves’ Tony Boeckel made a tying run with a single to center in the bottom of the sixth.

Brooklyn Robins' Cadore Leon
Brooklyn Robins’ Cadore Leon (Source: Sabr.org)

No more scores were made until the game had to be called off due to darkness. It was an unbelievable game and would never be possible at major league games today.

This game is memorable for the extraordinary 26 innings and the pitchers’ role in the game. Starting pitcher Leon Cadore of Robins and Braves’ Joe Oeschger pitched the entire 26-innings game.

Conclusion

In baseball, a comeback is always possible, as time can never run out. The game can go on, and as you can see, the longest game in MLB history has had 26 innings, nearly making it to 27th one.

However, one can only guess how difficult it must have been for the players to play through their exhaustion during the long inning. It must also have been quite a task for the fans to watch the game for more than seven hours sitting on the bleachers or couch.

As of 2019, MLB has made the average duration of the baseball game 3 hours, 5 minutes, and 11 seconds. The league is further trying to speed up the game. Therefore, seeing a game that goes 20th inning or even further may not be possible in the future.

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