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Doubleheader (baseball): Wikis


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Doubleheader is by definition two baseball games played between the same two teams on the same day in front of the same crowd. (The term originated in the railroad industry; see doubleheader.)

Today, a doubleheader is generally the result of a prior game between the same two teams being postponed due to inclement weather or other factors. Most often the game is rescheduled for a day on which the two teams play each other again. Often it is within the same series, but in some cases, may be weeks or months after the original date. On rare occasions, the last game between two teams in that particular city is rained out, and a doubleheader may be scheduled at the other team's home park to replace the missed game.

There are two types of doubleheaders commonly used today, day-night and twi-night doubleheaders.

The neologism single-game doubleheader is used for a game that lasts 18 innings or more.



A day-night doubleheader is one in which the first game is played in the early afternoon and the other is played at night; in this scenario, spectators have to pay twice to gain admittance to both games. Except in special circumstances with the approval of the MLBPA, such as a makeup game resulting from a rain-out, this is prohibited under terms of the 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Elias Sports Bureau does not include this as a doubleheader for the sake of the record books. These types of doubleheaders are favored by Major league clubs as the clubs can still realize revenue from gate receipts for two games.


In a twi-night doubleheader (short for "twilight-night" doubleheader), the first game is played in the twilight, or late afternoon; after the first game ends, there is a break of usually 20 to 30 minutes, after which the second game is played. Fans in this case get to see both games for the price of a single ticket. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, this is allowed provided the start time is no later than 5 p.m. These types of doubleheaders, usually as a result of a rainout, are more common in Minor League Baseball. Since the fiscal demands are not as huge as the Major Leagues, Minor league clubs are more willing to do these types of doubleheaders.


A third type of doubleheader used to exist; the "classic" doubleheader was like the twi-night doubleheader except the first game was played in the early afternoon and the second in the late afternoon. This was done out of necessity in the years before many ballparks had lights; often if either game went into extra innings the second game was eventually called due to darkness. However, it is extremely rare nowadays in the major leagues, even for rain makeups, since the use of lights in baseball stadiums, most games are scheduled for the night. Like the twi-night doubleheader, this type of doubleheader is more prominent in the Minor Leagues.


There are three recorded instances of a tripleheader in Major League Baseball, indicating three games between the same two teams on the same day. These occurred between the Brooklyn Bridegrooms and Pittsburgh Innocents on September 1, 1890 (Brooklyn won all three); between the Baltimore Orioles and Louisville Colonels on September 7, 1896 (Baltimore won all three); and between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds on October 2, 1920 (Cincinnati won two of the three). Triple headers are now prohibited under the current collective bargaining agreement, except when the first game is the conclusion of a game suspended from a prior date. This would only happen in the extremely rare case of the only remaining dates between teams being doubleheaders and no single games are left for the suspended game to precede.

College and minors

In college and the minor leagues, however, the doubleheader also results in shorter games. In most instances, both ends of such a doubleheader are seven innings, even if it is a playoff game; in 1994, the first game of the five-game Pacific Coast League championship series between Vancouver and Albuquerque was rained out; the two teams played a doubleheader, seven innings each, on the originally-scheduled date of the second game. In the minors, the only exception is when the first game is the completion of a suspended game from a prior day; i.e., the game was started but was halted by weather before becoming an official game. In these cases, the suspended game is played to completion (seven or nine innings, whichever it was scheduled to be when it started), and the second game of the doubleheader is seven innings. If, however, the suspension came after the game became official (possible if, for example, a game is tied), then the suspended game is played to its originally-planned length and the second game is scheduled for nine innings.

Doubleheaders of Note

The New York Mets and the New York Yankees have on three occasions played home-and-home doubleheaders, where each team hosts one game. Each occasion was due to a rainout during the first series of the season and was possible due to the geographical proximity of the ballparks of the two teams. During the second series of the season, a makeup game was scheduled at the ballpark of the opposing team as part of a day-night doubleheader.

  • July 8, 2000
    • Game 1: Shea Stadium: Yankees 4, Mets 2
    • Game 2: Yankee Stadium: Yankees 4, Mets 2 (June 11 makeup)
  • June 28, 2003
    • Game 1: Yankee Stadium: Yankees 7, Mets 1
    • Game 2: Shea Stadium: Yankees 9, Mets 8 (June 21 makeup)
  • June 27, 2008
    • Game 1: Yankee Stadium: Mets 15, Yankees 6 (May 16 makeup)
    • Game 2: Shea Stadium: Yankees 9, Mets 0

On September 25, 2000, the Cleveland Indians hosted a doubleheader against two different teams. The September 10 game against the Chicago White Sox in Cleveland had been rained out. With no common days off for the remainder of the season and both teams in a post-season race, the teams agreed to play a day game in Cleveland on the same day that the Indians were to host the Minnesota Twins for a night game. The Indians defeated the White Sox 9-2 in the first game while the Twins defeated the Indians 4-3 in the second.

Incidence of swept doubleheaders

In a paper in American Statistician, Michael Goodman makes the claim that double-headers are swept more often than they are split.[1] The Elias Sports Bureau, however, found that double headers are swept only 26.2% of the time.




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