Talk about getting your money's worth at a Major League Baseball game!
The large majority of baseball games last nine innings. Each team comes to bat in each of the nine innings.
There are exceptions to every rule. And one of those is the reality of extra inning professional baseball games, which occur when a game remains tied after the regulation nine innings.
How long was the longest game?
The record was set almost a century ago. On May 1, 1920, the Brooklyn Robins and the Boston Braves battled for 26 innings in front of 4,500 baseball fans. What's also interesting is that the game was ended and declared a tie.
Games back then went a lot faster than they do today. The Robins-Braves game only lasted three hours and fifty minutes. By contrast, a 25-inning game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago White Sox on May 8, 1984 lasted for eight hours and 6 minutes. The Sox prevailed, besting the Brewers, 7-6.
There was a second 25-inning game. On September 11, 1974, a crowd of 13,460 watched the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, 4-3. This game was also quite long, lasting a little over seven hours.
The three games which lasted 24 innings each
There have been three major league baseball games that have gone 24 innings. The earliest one took place on September 1, 1906. when the Philadelphia A's defeated the Boston Pilgrims, 4-1.
The next time a game went 24 innings took place near the end of World War II. On July 21, 1945, the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies battled to a 1-1 tie in front of a crowd of 4,526. This game was done in four hours and 48 minutes.
The third 24-inning game took place on April 15, 1968. The Houston Astros defeated the New York Mets 1-0 at the Houston Astrodome. Each team had 11 hits. The Astros scored a run in the bottom of the 24th inning to seal the win.
On the next rung of long inning games are two games that each went 23 innings. On June 27, 1939, the Boston Bees and the Brooklyn Dodgers battled to a tie at 2-2, in front of 2,457 long-suffering fans. No team scored a run after the eighth inning, when Brooklyn scored a run and tied the game, which is how it ended. In major league play, ties are only called because of darkness or a major weather disturbance.
On May 31, 1964 at Shea Stadium, the San Francisco Giants defeated the New York Mets 8-6 in a 23-inning outing. The Giants scored twice in the top of the 23rd. The Mets were unable to reply in the bottom of the inning. A huge crowd of 57,037 fans were treated to this feast, which lasted seven hours and 23 minutes.
Nine major league games went 22 innings. The earliest one took place on August 22, 1917, when the Brooklyn Robins defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-5. The most recent outing occurred on April 17, 2008. The Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres, 2-1 in front of 25,984 fans.
Eight major league games have lasted 21 innings and seventeen games lasted 20 innings. The most recent one was on April 17, 2010, when the New York Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1 at Busch Stadium III in St. Louis.