The Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings, two teams from the triple-A International League, played the longest game in professional baseball history in 1981 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
The game began on Saturday, April 18, 1981, and continued through the night and into Easter morning before finally being suspended. Although most leagues have a curfew rule that would have suspended the game, the rule book that the home plate umpire had that night did not contain one. So the teams continued playing until the president of the league, Harold Cooper, was finally reached on the phone sometime after 3 a.m. Finally at 4:07, at the end of the 32nd inning, the game was stopped. At this point, there were 19 fans left in the seats, all of whom were given lifetime passes to McCoy Stadium.
The game resumed on the evening of Tuesday, June 23, the next time the Red Wings were in town. A sellout crowd and news media from around the world were on hand, partly because the major leagues were on strike at the time. On that evening, it took just one inning and 18 minutes to settle the game, with Pawtucket's Dave Koza driving in Bill McDaniel for the winning run in the bottom of the 33rd.
|Rochester Red Wings||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||18||3|
|Pawtucket Red Sox||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||21||1|
|Parks pitched to 3 batters in the 7th
Grilli pitched to 3 batters in the 33rd
Two future Hall of Famers were part of the historic game. Cal Ripken, Jr., who was inducted in 2007, went 2-13 on the night playing third base for Rochester. Wade Boggs, who was inducted in 2005, played third base for Pawtucket and went 4-12 with a double and an RBI. (The Joe Morgan involved in this game was the manager, not the Hall-of-Fame player.) Ripken was the American League's Rookie-of-the-Year in 1982.
A number of other future major leaguers played in the game:
Some content from an anniversary article in the 2001 Pawtucket game program.