Longest Major Professional Sports Games in History
Sunday night, October 29, baseball fans witnessed one of the greatest World Series games in MLB history, as the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 13-12 in a 10-inning, five-hour-17-minute affair that left everyone on the edge of their seats.
While not the longest World Series game in history, it got us here at SeatGeek thinking: What actually are the longest games ever in each of the four major sports? Let’s find out.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago White Sox
Date: May 8, 1994
Length: 8 Hours, 6 Minutes
Final Score: White Sox 7, Brewers 6
It was one of the early days of the 1994 MLB season when Milwaukee met the White Sox at Comiskey Park on Chicago’s Southside. A lovely May evening game was just what the doctor ordered for baseball fans, but little did they know that this would turn into a 26-inning, 8-hour ordeal that took two evenings to complete.
With the game tied 3-3 in the 17th inning, play was suspended due to a league rule, at the time, that stated that no inning could begin after 12:59 AM. This meant that play was resumed nearly 24 hours after the game’s first pitch and proceeded to go another eight innings before finally coming to a close in the 25th frame, when White Sox outfielder Harold Baines hit a walkoff homer to win the game 7-6.
At an official game time of eight hours and six minutes, it’s the longest game in Major League Baseball history.
Indianapolis Olympians vs. Rochester Royals
Date: January 6, 1951
Length: 78 Minutes (official game time), 6 OT
Final Score: Olympians 75, Royals 73
As someone who was born and raised in Indianapolis, this author had no idea that the original Indianapolis-based NBA team was part of a piece of history like this. However, it’s true: in January of 1951, the Indianapolis Olympians met the Rochester Royals in a regular season matchup.
The two teams met in an extremely low-scoring affair, even by pre-three-point-line standards. Regulation saw the Olympians hold the lead for most of the game – a feat at the time considering the team had a losing record and the Royals were one of the top in the league. However, Rochester came back in the second half, sending the game into overtime after playing a much better fourth period than Indianapolis.
The first overtime saw just two points from each team and NEITHER team scored a single point in the second. It was a rinse and repeat scenario in the third and fourth overtimes, as each scored a basket in the third and none in the fourth. In the fifth overtime, both teams scored four points each and the Olympians sealed the victory with a single bucket in the sixth and final overtime, ending the game 75-73.
Official game time: 78 minutes
Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Length: 82 Minutes, 40 Seconds (game time), 2 OT
Final Score: Dolphins 27, Chiefs 24
Back before the NFL’s current overtime rules, which allow for just a single overtime that results in a tie if neither team scores, the 1971 Miami Dolphins met the Kansas City Chiefs in a rivoting AFC Playoff game.
With the Dolphins playing from behind for nearly the entire game, a Chiefs victory would have been assured were it not for their six turnovers resulting in three blown leads. Knotted up at 24 in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, the Chiefs missed a game-winning field goal, sending the game into overtime.
With another chance to gain the lead and win the game, Kansas City had a field goal blocked. In the second overtime, Miami quarterback Bob Griese–former Broncos QB Brian Griese’s father–led the Dolphins to the edge of the red zone, where kicker Garo Yepremian nailed a 37-yarder to send the team to the AFC Championship game.
After 82 minutes and 40 seconds of game time, the favored Chiefs were sent home while Miami celebrated.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Montreal Maroons
Date: March 24, 1936
Length: 176 Minutes, 30 Seconds (game time)
Final Score: Red Wings 1, Maroons 0
Imagine buying tickets to game one of the semifinals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and sitting in your seats for nearly 177 minutes of game time before witnessing a goal. If you were alive on March 24, 1936 and a fan of either the Detroit Red Wings or Montreal Maroons, you need not imagine it, as you played witness to it.
On that fateful Spring evening, the Red Wings met the Maroons up North, playing nearly three full games in one. It took until 2:25 a.m. on March 25 for the first and only goal to come in the sixth overtime. Rookie forward Mud Bruneteau (my new favorite name ever) scored at 16:30 of that sixth OT period, notching a game one win for the Detroit Red Wings.
Fun fact: Red Wings goaltender Normie Smith made 89 saves while losing 12 pounds in the process.
Some of these are pretty amazing, right? Could you imagine being in the stands for a game that lasted six overtimes or 25 innings? Who knows, maybe the next game you go to will go down in the record books.
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(Image courtesy Anthony Doudt via Flickr.)