Baseball has never been described as well as how the great Willie Mays once put it: "Baseball is a game, yes. It is also a business. But what it most truly is, is disguised combat. For all its gentility, its almost leisurely pace, baseball is violence under wraps."
Some days, that pace Mays referred to is more leisurely than on others. There is no quick, easy list to say which games have taken the longest amount of time to complete. But in baseball, it's not the amount of time that really matters so much because unlike football, hockey, basketball, soccer, or any other major team sport, baseball is played without time, without a clock ticking down. Or, as Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over 'til it's over."
With that, here is a selection of some of baseball's longest games:
The National League's Longest Day (box score)
San Francisco Giants 8, New York Mets 6, May 31, 1964 (7 hours, 23 minutes)
In the second game of a doubleheader, the Mets and Giants slugged it out for 23 innings in the first extra-inning game played at newly-opened Shea Stadium.
With two outs in the top of the 23rd, Jim Davenport tripled to right field, and, after an intentional walk to Cap Peterson, pinch-hitter Del Crandall belted a double to right that scored Davenport. Jesus Alou followed with an infield single that scored Peterson, and the Giants held on for the win.
The Longest World Series Night (box score)
Chicago White Sox 7, Houston Astros 5, Oct. 25, 2005 (5 hours, 41 minutes)
Already leading the World Series two games to none, the White Sox and Astros went to Houston's Minute Maid Park for the first-ever World Series game in Texas.
Geoff Blum hit a two-out solo homer off Ezequiel Astacio to give Chicago a 6-5 lead, and Astacio later walked Chris Widger with the bases loaded to force in an insurance run -- and the White Sox had a 7-5 win and a 3-0 World Series lead.
The Longest Postseason Day (box score)
Houston Astros 7, Atlanta Braves 6, Oct. 9, 2005 (5 hours, 50 minutes)
The Astros had a couple of long days during the 2005 playoffs. Against the Braves in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, Houston wrapped up a 3-1 series victory when Chris Burke belted a solo homer off Joey Devine with one out in the bottom of the 18th inning.
The Longest Night … and Day (box score)
Chicago White Sox 7, Milwaukee Brewers 6, May 8-9, 1984 (8 hours, 6 minutes)
The teams had fought through 18 innings tied at 3-3 before the American League's curfew kicked in shortly after 1 a.m. local time in the early-morning hours of May 9. The game was suspended and would resume the following day as part of a doubleheader of sorts.
Milwaukee took a 6-3 lead with three runs in the top of the 21st, but Chicago came right back with three of its own in the bottom of the inning to keep the game tied.
Finally, Harold Baines belted a home run off reliever Chuck Porter in the bottom of the 25th to end it.
Phil Watson is a longtime New York Yankee fan who has covered baseball for more than 20 years.
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