Baseball is my favorite sport, I am counting the days until it starts again. I’m not kidding, I have a countdown clock on my phone and every morning I look at it and get all excited about how many days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. It therefore should not be surprising that when I was at the library and walking past the non-fiction section my eyes were drawn to the baseball books.
On September 22, 2012 the Yankees played the A’s, that game lasted 14 innings, 5 hours and 43 minutes. The longest game for the Yankees since 2006. I was there for that game. I stayed for every inning, watched every pitch, every hit. The longest major league baseball game was 25 innings, but that isn’t the longest professional ball game every played, that honor goes to a minor league game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings. This record still stands: 33 innings, 8 hours 25 minutes.
There is a rule that a new inning cannot start after midnight, however the rule book the home plate umpire had did not have that paragraph in it, so play continued until 4 in the morning when the president of the league finally returned a phone call to the ball park. Play was halted at the 32nd inning. The next time the Red Wings were in town the game resumed. It took 1 inning and 18 minutes to finish the game. Two names you might recognize in this book are Wade Boggs, Pawtucket Red Sox and Cal Ripken, Jr., Rochester Red Wings.
This book is more than just an account of a baseball game, we learn about life in the minor leagues, what players and managers and reporters had to put up with. We learn some of the history of the players, how their lives progressed after, who went to the major leagues and so on. Well written and interesting.