And as the twenty third inning ended, they watched the sun rise over the left field wall...
August 25, 2007 12:55 PM   Subscribe

I was at 8/24's epically late night Tigers/Yankees game, ending around 3:30 am, and am wondering where it ranks among the latest finishes of any professional sporting event. Has any game ever run later? I can't seem to find a list of late night finishes, baseball specific or otherwise - does one exist?
posted by boombot to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Various accounts of the game called it the "longest, latest", and there were quotes like "I've never hit a home run at 3:30 a.m. before". It could well be the latest ever in baseball if not pro sports. Stat of the day addressed the 30-run game the other day, so they may get around to this question.
posted by beagle at 1:19 PM on August 25, 2007

Well, actually, here's one that ran later. It was also the longest in baseball, 33 innings. They suspended play at 4:09 a.m. on April 18, 1981, and continued for 18 more minutes on June 23 of that year.
posted by beagle at 1:24 PM on August 25, 2007

The Longest Professional Baseball Game was a minor league game (but considered a "pro game") that went 32 innings until 4:09 a.m. before being called for the day, and resumed later that year. I don't know if any other sport has gone past 4am. But you might try checking out the Google results for that game, surely some of the people who have written about it have addressed other long/late games.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 1:26 PM on August 25, 2007

~shakes fist at beagle~
posted by Banky_Edwards at 1:26 PM on August 25, 2007

My beloved White Sox played in the longest game ever, 8 hours and 6 minutes. An 11 inning game is nothing.

Harold Baines won it in the 25th with a homer. I'll never forget that game.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:52 PM on August 25, 2007

I'm certain that this game ended after 3 a.m. I remember it like it was yesterday. Maybe you can find a record of the actual time somewhere.

Also, I was at this game, which ended at 12:59 a.m. There was an announcement that if it went until 1:00, it would be suspended per American League rules. I guess those have changed.

Both these games, and the game in the OP, ended with walk-of homers. Coincidence?
posted by Dec One at 2:10 PM on August 25, 2007

It was 4:09 a.m. on April 19, the game having started the evening of the 18th.
And, that White Sox game Ironmouth mentioned was the longest Major League game. The minor league Pawtucket-Rochester game was 19 minutes longer.
posted by beagle at 2:39 PM on August 25, 2007

Ironmouth, I'm a lifelong Brewers fan and I was about 9 when that game happened. My family had just rolled in from visiting relatives a few hours away- it was after midnight and for some reason I felt possessed to turn on the TV, and sure enough, the game was on and it was about the 23rd inning. So we watched the ending as a family, in the middle of the night. I remember the Baines HR as vividly as anything the Brewers did around that time period.
posted by gazole at 4:07 PM on August 25, 2007

You were there? God, I'm jealous. I wonder if my old roommate was there too...

As for games going long, take a look at cricket; depends on how you feel about "matches," but they routinely take days (not just subjectively).
posted by klangklangston at 4:27 PM on August 25, 2007

Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally, since it was on Stat of the Day) I just blogged about that White Sox-Brewers game. I love Harold Baines.
posted by escabeche at 5:21 PM on August 25, 2007

Boombot, I stayed up to watch the game in NY. Despite the result, it was a terrific game. On TV, they said that the American league had just changed the 1:00 am curfew this year. They felt that the only reason the umpires started the game 4 hours late was because there was no curfew. The game was not that long, but it ended very late.

I think the participants were all tired. Especially the umpire behind the plate who kept calling outside pitches strikes. I think Jorge WANTED to be kicked out of the game so he could get some sleep.

The annoucers did not speculate on what would happen if the game went on much longer. What if it were 5 am and the sun was coming up? The no curfew rule could lead to soem real strange games. At what point (if any) would you halt play? What if they had an afternoon game the next day?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:20 PM on August 25, 2007

boombot posted "I can't seem to find a list of late night finishes, baseball specific or otherwise"

Car rallyes routinely go from dusk to dawn.
posted by Mitheral at 9:45 PM on August 25, 2007

In 1938-39, the Durban Test cricket match between South Africa and England was abandoned as a draw after 43 hours 16 minutes of actual play taking place over ten days.
posted by Wolof at 11:01 PM on August 25, 2007

JohnnyGunn -- Everyone I saw there was tired. There was, apparently, some discussion about doing a day-night doubleheader on Saturday (which I think would have made a lot more sense), but I'm not sure why they chose to play the game Friday night. Well, other than the weather forecast showing a rain band crossing the Detroit area late-morning/early afternoon Saturday.... The game did take 4:29 to play, so it wasn't all that short, even for an extra inning game.

I was wondering when they'd changed the curfew -- the bus driver said that they'd had one in the past, and I wasn't aware (until the 7 inning started at 1:15 or so) that the curfew had been lifted. Did the NY broadcast mention that everytime the Tigers came up from the 8th inning on it started to drizzle again?
posted by jlkr at 7:25 PM on August 26, 2007

I was at the Dodgers/Phillies game that lasted 20 innings. I think that same week, other long games caused MLB to implement different rules to adjust ending or pausing games. Great times getting to watch 2 games for the price of one with about 200 other fans. Box score from 1993.
posted by brent at 11:27 AM on August 28, 2007

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