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Maybe the biggest difference between baseball and all the other sports is a clock. There is no timer on baseball, it can last as long as it needs to, and sometimes games can stretch 5, 6, 7 extra innings and several extra hours past the average three-hour game. And then there was the 33-inning epic, the longest age in professional history.
This wasn’t in the major leagues. It took place at the AAA level, between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings, the minor-league affiliates of the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, respectively. The game, which took place on April 18, 1981, has a few stats that may likely never be touched again…
* The game started on April 18, 1981 then stopped on April 19, Easter morning, after inning 32. It was resumed on June 23.
* There were 1,740 fans in attendance at the beginning of the game. At 4:09 a.m., when the game was halted, 19 loyal fans remained.
* 882 total pitched were thrown in the game and 156 baseballs were used. Pitchers faced a total of 246 batters, and 53 batters were left on base.
* Total time: 8 hours, 52 minutes.
* Rochester scored a run in the top of the 21st inning to take a 2-1 lead, only to give up a run in the bottom of the 21st inning to tie the game once again. Runs were only scored in 4 half innings throughout the entire game.
* Final, Pawtucket 3, Rochester 2.
There were several notable major league players in the game. Pawtucket had legendary third baseman Wade Boggs, and Bob Ojeda, who was the winning pitcher. Ojeda would go on to play for the 1986 World Series champion Mets. On the Rochester side were longtime MLB players Floyd Rayford, Jim Umbarger, and Bobby Bonner, and hall-of-fame shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr.