Baseball’s Longest Day – May 31, 1964

“Well, You Don’t Beat our Guys in a Hurry”[i]

It’s hard to believe it was more than 50 years ago.  I was a senior at West Babylon High School and the Giants were coming to Shea Stadium for the first time to play the Mets.  In those days, I was a big Giants fan and each time they would come to town I would go to the local Howards Clothes Store and reserve my ticket.  Sometimes I would drag a family member or friend along.  Sometimes I flew solo.  On May 31, 1964, it would just be me.  That morning, I decided to make a stop at the World’s Fair and check out a few exhibits before heading off to the ball park.

At the end of what was to be baseball’s longest day, I put my thoughts together in an article.  After I retired, I was cleaning out the basement and discovered my paper which was written for my creative writing class.  I dusted it off, did some updates, and now, here is the story of that wonderfully exciting first visit to Shea Stadium.

Across from the magnificent 1964 New York World’s Fair stood a spacious new arena known as Shea Stadium.  During the spring and summer months, baseball was played there.  In the fall, football attracted fans to the arena.  In fact, the first sporting event in the history of Shea Stadium was a Jets football game. This story concerns baseball and, more specifically, two teams that on a part cloudy, part rainy, part clear, and much too long day, played a doubleheader during which records were set, broken, and made altogether unrecognizable – and after which the result was absolutely clear.  The San Francisco Giants had swept two games from the New York Mets.

The “Official Program and Scorecard,” available at the Stadium, included a number of features, one of which was a higher price than existed during the days when the Mets played their home games at the Polo Grounds.  Late on that day, looking around the stadium, you could notice that it was very difficult for those keeping score (most had given up), to find room on the scorecard to keep an account of the second game as it went into its latter stages.

Clouds hung overhead as I joined with the first remnants of the crowd entered the Stadium.  The time was half past ten.  It was unbelievable, unless you had seen the lines of fans outside the stadium purchasing tickets (and knowing that the lines were longer than any that existed on the other side of the tracks at the World’s Fair) that the crowd would eventually number 57,037, paid.  It would be the largest major league crowd of the season, breaking the record of 55,062 that the Mets and Giants had set two days previously. The attendance figures for the Mets-Giants series – 150,571 – were the best since the 1963 World Series when the Los Angeles Dodgers, formerly of Brooklyn, had defeated the New York Yankees.

By noon, most of the seats not sold in advance had been gobbled up.  However, a mist like rain began to fall.  Umbrellas sprung up all over the park, and some spectators elected to purchase hats in order to shield their heads from the steadily falling rain.  The rain stopped just as the game was to begin.  The time was 1:05 PM.  The Mets took the field and were wildly applauded by their fans.  The Mets, for those who do not know, were an expression of human futility.

The Mets gave their fans something to cheer about in the second inning.  Joe Christopher, who, as the day passed into night, gained a great following in right field, singled.  Ed Kranepool singled. Ed was tired. Regular first baseman Tim Harkness had suffered an injury and Kranepool had just been called up to the Mets from their Buffalo farm team after playing a doubleheader for the Triple A affiliate. The doubleheader in Syracuse and been a day-night affair, and Kranepool, who had received word of his call-up between games on Saturday.  Prior to getting the word, he had clubbed two homers a double and a single as the Buffalo Bisons defeated the Syracuse Chiefs 9-0 in the matinee.  In the nightcap, Kranepool added three singles, but his Buffalo squad lost 5-3.  To sum it up, during the course of those two games, he had gone 7-for-10 with two homers and five RBIs.[ii]  The nightcap was played in two hours and thirty seven minutes, but by the time the team had returned to Buffalo, it was 1:00 AM, and he had to wait until early Sunday morning for the next flight out of town.  Kranepool caught a 6:00 AM flight from Buffalo to Newark.  He did not get to Shea Stadium until 10:30 AM on Sunday.[iii]

With two men on base, Giant Pitcher Juan Marichal faced Jim Hickman, an original Met commonly known as “Whiff,” due to his propensity to take far too many called third strikes.[iv]      Hickman put the Mets ahead with a three-run home run over the left field wall.  This scoring represented the first runs scored by the Mets for starter Alvin Jackson after 37 fruitless innings.  It was also Hickman’s second homer of the four game weekend series.  His two run homer in the seventh inning on Friday night had provided the margin in a 4-2 Mets win over Jack Sanford.

The score remained 3-0 until Jesus Alou, batting against Jackson, knocked in Orlando Cepeda with San Francisco’s first run in the fourth inning.  The Giants took the lead with three runs in the fifth inning, all charged to Jackson.  After allowing the first three batters to reach safely, Jackson was relieved by the former Yankee, Tom Sturdivant.  The lead run was scored by the Baby Bull, Orlando Cepeda.  Cepeda’s double had scored Willie Mays and moved Jim Ray Hart to third base.  A sacrifice fly by Jim Davenport scored Hart and moved Cepeda to third. Then, the remarkable happened. Cepeda stole home.  His steal was remarkable in that Sturdivant’s knuckleball appeared to have the runner beaten by at least ten feet.  Some observers speculated that catcher Jesse Gonder’s better-than-average stomach got in the way of the tag.

The Giants completed the scoring in the ninth when Harvey Kueen drove in Jesus Alou with the Giants’ fifth run.  Juan Marichal completed the game by striking out two batters in the ninth inning, bringing his total to seven. In wrapping up his eighth win of the season, the San Francisco ace allowed nine hits.  The time of game was 2:29.

Between games, the Sunrisers Band from Mineola, Long Island, presented entertainment for those fans wishing to remain in their seats. As the musicians completed a fine performance, the two teams returned to their respective dugouts.

The Giants continued their scoring binge as they took the second game lead with two runs in the first inning of the Mets’ starter Bill Wakefield. The runs were driven in by Jesus Alou and Willie Mays. The Mets closed the gap by scoring an unearned run off the Giants’ Bobby Bolin in the second.  A four run outburst by San Francisco in the third inning widened the gap to 6-1.  Met Pitchers Craig Anderson and Tom Sturdivant were victimized by the Giant rally which featured six singles and no extra-base hits.  Singles by Jesus Alou, Cepeda, Tom Haller, Chuck Hiller, Jim Ray Hart, and Bolin caused some fans to head home.  The exodus was slowed but not stopped when the Mets scored two runs in the sixth inning.  The rally featured singles by Christopher and Charley Smith sandwiched around a triple by Kranepool past Mays in center.

In the Mets’ half of the seventh inning, Roy McMillan and Frank Thomas singled.  Joe Christopher then stepped in.  The count went to 3-and-0.  Encouraged by his supporters in right field, he hit the next Bobby Bolin pitch to deepest centerfield, 410 feet from home plate.  The biggest roar of the afternoon came as Mays, the great San Francisco centerfielder, leaped against the wall and, with his glove extended over the wall, grabbed the ball as it was leaving the field.  He came to the ground with his glove high in the air, signifying for all to see that he had caught the ball. There was one thing wrong, however.  There was no ball in the glove.  After Christopher had circled the bases and touched home plate, the score was knotted at 6-6.

From that point on, the score remained tied.  It was not an absolute pitchers’ battle however, as Cepeda, Haller, and Jesus Alou maintained hot bats for the Giants against the superb Met relief pitching of Larry Bearnarth and Galen Cisco. In the top of the tenth, Haller tripled but was stranded at third as Bearnarth got pinch hitter Matty Alou to ground out.  Shuffling of players between positions became commonplace. In the bottom of the eighth, after Willie McCovey had pinch hit for shortstop Gil Garrido, Jim Davenport was inserted into the game at shortstop.  In the bottom of the tenth, after Matty Alou had pinch hit for Jim Ray Hart in a lefty-righty switch, Davenport was moved to third base (his natural position) and Willie Mays took over at shortstop.  Mays, temporarily, was replaced in centerfield by Matty Alou.

The Mets, especially Charlie Smith and Christopher, would get some hits, but were unable to convert anything into a run.  The hits were singles, and the Mets were not able to bunch three singles together to score a run.  The pitchers were in control.  Giant relief ace Ron Herbel pitched the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings, allowing two hits and striking out three. Bearnarth of the Mets pitched from the 8th through the 14th inning.  In his seven innings of work, he gave up three hits and struck out four.

But Herbel and Bearnarth’s accomplishments were to be overshadowed by the exploits of Gaylord Perry of the Giants and Galen Cisco of the Mets.  Two weeks prior to this game, Perry and Cisco entered the game in the late innings of a 15 inning affair at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.  In that game, Willie Mays had sent the game into extra innings with a home run and the Giants went on to win 6-4, as Jim Davenport’s homer off Cisco sent everyone home.

On this day, Perry, still young and unproven, entered the game in the bottom of the thirteenth, and there were wholesale changes in the fielding alignment.  Mays went back to centerfield.  He did not have anything hit at him during his three innings at shortstop. Davenport went back to shortstop and Cap Petersen took over at third base.  Matty Alou moved from centerfield to leftfield, replacing Harvey Kueen.

In “Me and the Spitter”, Perry devotes his entire first chapter to the events of that day.  He lists the records set that day and concludes by saying that “they saw Gaylord Perry throw a spitter under pressure for the first, and hardly the last, time in his career.”  Before May 31, 1964, Perry was the eleventh man on an eleven man pitching staff.  The twelfth man was in Tacoma (the Giants Triple A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League).”

In the thirteenth inning, Amado “Sammy” Samuel reached Perry for a single.  This was followed with a single to right field by Roy McMillan.  A great throw by Jesus Alou cut down Samuel trying to advance to third base.

In the fourteenth, the Giants had Jesus Alou on second and Mays on first with none out, with the great Cepeda coming to the plate, prompting more fans to head for the exits.  Dark, with fast runners on base, put on the signal for a hit-and-run play.  It was the obvious thing to do, and why shouldn’t Dark have made that call with Cepeda, the hottest bat in the Giant lineup, coming up. Well, as one Met fan may have reasoned – if Cepeda should hit a line drive at an infielder, there could be a triple play.  He hit a line drive that shortstop Roy McMillan grabbed. He stepped on second and fired to Kranepool at first.  The Mets had the triple play, the fans returned to their seats, and the game went on. 

In the Mets’ fifteenth inning, Perry was struggling.  Hickman had singled and advanced to second on Smith’s sacrifice bunt.  Haller went to the mound and instructed Perry him to try out that “new pitch” that he had been working on.  If there was ever a time to use it, this was it. Haller said, “It’s time to break the maiden, kid.  I think you can do it.”  Before resuming his position behind the plate, Haller told Perry, “Throw it when you can get it on the ball.  Don’t worry about me.  You throw it.  I’ll catch it. Let’s go.”

Chris Canizzaro stepped in and Perry loaded it up.  Five spitters later, the count went to three-and-two.  Perry unleashed a fast ball and Cannizarro checked his swing.  Umpire Ed Sudol awarded Cannizzarro first base.  What followed was the best argument of the long day. Dark argued that umpire Ed Sudol should have conferred with the other umpires before making the decision.  Sudol, whose temper had become very hot, quickly ejected Dark.

Sudol’s temper was short, as Cannizarro, earlier in the at-bat, had fouled the 0-2 pitch off Sudol’s foot. His temper made even shorter by hunger.  Someone had forgotten to bring food to the umpires’ quarters between games. Before he left the playing area, the Giant manager put the game under protest. The base on balls was not fatal.  While the commotion was going on, Gaylord loaded up another spitter and Cisco hit a ball back to Perry.  Perry fired to Davenport who threw the still wet ball to Cepeda to complete the inning-ending double play. Cepeda rolled the ball back to the mound ever so slowly, so as to allow the ball to dry.[v]

From then on, Sudol became the target of taunts from the Giant fans in attendance.

At this stage of the game, the impatient fans could hear constant police whistles as fights sprang up around the stadium.  Hunger was a problem throughout the park.  The vendors had left the park at 8 o’clock.  Even before that, most fans were not about to leave their seats for food, fearing that they might miss an important piece of action. Up until that advanced stage of the game, the spectators had felt that the game would not last more than fifteen innings. Over the course of the day, twenty-four innings had been played before their eyes, and those eyes were beginning to close. It looked as though the game would go on forever.

The Mets were not going to remove Cisco, as they had run out of pinch hitters.  The Giants had back-up catcher Del Crandall on the bench available for pinch-hitting duties, but opted to leave Perry in the game. Perry, in relief, went on to strike out nine batters, allowing seven hits.  In the top of the 20th inning, Haller singled with one out, was slow getting back to first on a fly ball to right by Hiller, and was thrown out by Christopher.

It seemed as if every longevity record would fall.  The first record to fall was time for a doubleheader, followed by innings in a doubleheader.  The record for time for a doubleheader had been 8:07, set by Houston and Cincinnati on July 8, 1962.   The record for innings in a doubleheader had been set at 29 by the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox on July 4, 1905.  Interestingly enough, those two teams also played a 24 inning game on September 1, 1906. The Mets and Giants went into the twenty-third inning, and it became clear that the single game record for time would quite obviously be broken. The teams set a new record as they went into the eighth hour of the second game.  The record had been 7 hours, set by the Yankees and Tigers on June 24, 1962.  After that game, as I recall, Yankee pitcher Whitey Ford noted, “If anyone had a beer between innings as prompted by the commercials, they’re pretty drunk by now.”

In the Giants’ half of the 23rd inning, Hiller and Matty Alou were out before some fans in the front row had time to sit down from their between inning stretch.  Jim Davenport, who had been excelling in the field, then stepped in.  The crowd roared as he hit a ball that travelled into the right field corner.  By the time a very tired Joe Christopher could retrieve the ball, Davenport was standing at third base with a triple.  Met Manager Casey Stengel ordered Cisco to intentionally walk Cap Peterson, bringing up Perry.  Perry was not your typical hitting pitcher.  He was worse, and had gone 0-for-3 with a strikeout and two ground balls. The brain trust of the Giants sent in Crandall to pinch hit for Perry.  Of course, Giant fans were a bit apprehensive as Perry was not showing any signs of tiring on the mound. Crandall proceeded to break up the game, plating Davenport with a ground rule double to right field. Peterson advanced to third and scored on an infield hit by Jesus Alou.  The Giants took an 8-6 lead into the bottom of the 23rd inning, Bob Hendley then came in to settle the issue retiring the three Mets he faced, striking out two. Very few fans were around for the finish.  Estimates run from 8,000 to 15,000, but they may be on the high side.

In the twenty-third and final inning, two records were set.  One was about dexterity, and the other was about time.  The strikeouts by Hendley brought the total by Giants’ pitching for the game to twenty-two, eclipsing the mark for strikeouts in an extra-inning game (21), set initially by the Phillies against the Pirates in a fourteen inning win on September 22, 1958 and tied by Tom Cheney of Washington in a sixteen inning complete game against Baltimore in 1962.  When Jesus Alou caught the final out, the game became the longest ever, in terms of time, to be completed in the history of the major leagues – 7 hours and 23 minutes.

Fans filed out of the ball park, and the looks on some faces implied that some fans were hoping for the game to last even longer so as to break more records.  None of the Met fans seemed to mind the loss because in that loss there had been several wins – the thrills of such a game, including a triple play, the fact that the Met pitchers had kept the Giants scoreless for twenty straight innings, and the realization that it would not be hard to fall asleep.  How could you stay awake after a game like that?

Postscript and Update:

The core of this presentation was originally written in June, 1964.

The game took place a few days before the twentieth anniversary of the D-Day invasion.  Darryl F. Zanuck’s feature film, “The Longest Day” had been released in 1962 and was still showing in theaters at the time the games of May 31, 1964 were played.  Writers in at least three New York Newspapers used “The Longest Day” to headline their articles.

In those days, fans would come early for batting and fielding practice.  Fielding practice for the Giants was always a highlight as Willie Mays played at shortstop during the infield drills.  Thus it was no big surprise when Giant manager Alvin Dark played Mays at shortstop during the nightcap.

Both teams played shorthanded.  Mets second baseman Ron Hunt (spike wound) and Giants shortstop Jose Pagan (rib muscle tear) were on the shelf due to injury.  Kranepool was one of two recent acquisitions to see action that day.  The Mets had bought pitcher Frank Lary from Detroit.  He arrived after the first game had begun and was pressed into service in the sixth inning of the second game.  As he walked onto the field, Met organist Jane Jarvis played “Hold That Tiger” and the fans welcomed the old “Yankee Killer” with a standing ovation.  He stopped the bleeding, pitching two shutout innings.[vi]

A game of thise length lends itself to second guessing and there was significant second guessing of Stengel, who by 1964 and a third year of losing baseball, had become a favorite target of the local media, particularly Howard Cosell.  In bottom of the second inning, with the Mets behind 2-0, Stengel pushed the button.  He elected to send up George Altman to pinch hit for pitcher Bill Wakefield.  He received an intentional walk.  Then Stengel used his other left-handed power threat, Jesse Gonder, to pinch hit for Rod Kanehl. Gonder flew out to end the inning, and when the 23rd inning came around, the only pinch hitter available was John Stephenson, who struck out.

Stengel also took some heat for his moves in the top of the 23rd inning.  After Davenport’s triple, he elected to walk the light hitting Cap Peterson.  Peterson had gone 0-for-4ince entering the game in the 13th inning and was batting all of .158. Peterson’s walk set the stage for Del Crandall’s game winning double.

Of course, Dark took some heat for sending the runners in the 14th.  McMillan had no trouble initiating the triple play.  Had he not been covering second, Cepeda’s liner would have gone through for a run scoring hit.  

Shea Stadium did not see much baseball activity in the fall months during its first years of existence.  There was post season play starting with the Miracle Mets of 1969.  Shea Stadium was torn down prior to the 2009 season and replaced (to use a song lyric) with a parking lot.  There was a certain irony that, in that morning’s New York Times, there was a story about the demolition of the Polo Grounds, a Stadium that both the Mets and Giants called home.[vii]

The New York Jets played at Shea Stadium until they moved to Giants Stadium in New Jersey in September, 1984.  One of Shea’s drawbacks, abundantly clear on that day, was that there was little protection from the elements.

The New York World’s Fair lasted from 1964 through 1965.  Not much is left.  The Unisphere was US Steel’s contribution.  The large globe is still there, as are the towers of the New York Pavillion that served as a back drop in the movie Men in Black. The Singer Bowl was renamed the Louis Armstrong Arena and is part of the US Tennis Center.  It has played host to numerous US Opens and now stands aside Arthur Ashe Stadium.  The Disney produced program “Carousel of Progress” at the GE Pavillion was moved to Walt Disney World in Florida and my eyes still well up with tears each time I visit – There is a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.

Christopher was to go on to play 154 games in 1964 and bat .300. It was a great series for Joe.  In the Friday night opener, he singled to drive in Frank Thomas with the tying run, and scored on Hickman’s home run.  On Memorial Day, Joe had driven in three runs as the Mets beat the Giants 6-2.  During the Doubleheader, he went 5-for-14 and raised his average from .325 to .330. During the course of the doubleheader, he, along with Roy McMillan, Eddie Kranepool, Frank Thomas, Jim Hickman, and Jesus Alou had 14 at-bats, eclipsing the old mark of 13.

And yes, Orlando Cepeda did steal home.  In the early stages of his career, Cepeda was most definitely a stolen base threat.  Over the course of his career, he had 146 thefts, including 23 in 1959.  And yes, Kranepool tripled past Mays. Willie got over it and went on to with his eighth consecutive Gold Glove Award.  However, during the course of the doubleheader, Mays saw his batting average decrease 19 points to .364, and he went from second to fourth place in the batting race.

Roy McMillan of the Mets had the game of his life.  During the course of the second game, he had 10 assists and five putouts.  Not only did he start the triple play in the 14th inning, but he also made a dazzling play in the 12th inning.  With Cepeda at second, he grabbed a grounder off the bat of Haller and was able to tag Cepeda before the Giant first baseman could get back to the bag. He almost gunned Haller out at first.  He also was able to convert a bad-hop grounder off the bat of Jesus Alou into a force play during the 11th inning, preventing Jim Davenport, who was on second base at the time, from scoring.[viii]      

Gaylord Perry, prior to this outing, had minimal success.  In this game, he used a new pitch, his “hard slider”, to dominate the Mets.   Over the course of his more than twenty year career, many accused him of doctoring the ball.  Perry also went on to pitch 10 or more innings in a game on 37 separate occasions – more than anyone since 1950.[ix] 

The second game ended at 11:25 PM, prompting Met announcer Lindsey Nelson to say that it had been the longest game ever broadcast in color.  In New York, TV ratings were higher than those for such stalwarts as “What’s My Line?” on CBS. Only Ed Sullivan and Bonanza topped the Mets in the Ratings on that day. For New York’s Channel 9, WOR, the ratings bonanza was somewhat of a financial disaster.  They had to cancel the scheduled programming which would have generated advertising revenue, and the Mets’ sponsors had paid a fixed rate, virtually getting four hours of free advertising.[x]

I took the subway to Woodside, Queens and transferred to the LIRR for the long trip to Babylon.  Mom came to pick me up at the station.  The next day was a school day.  In homeroom, I mentioned that I was at the game, and the girl to my left had also been there.

Five future Hall-of Famers were in the second game for the Giants: Mays, Cepeda, Perry, McCovey, and Duke Snider.  Another Hall of Famer, Marichal, had pitched in the first game of the doubleheader.

The extra- inning game team strikeout record has been eclipsed on four occasions.  The record, set by the Oakland A’s (in 20 innings) in 1971, and tied by the Angels (also in 20 innings) in 2004 stands at 26.  The Giants came to within two of setting the all-time double header strikeout record.  The Phillies stuck out 31 Pirates in a double header on September 22, 1958. Combined team strikeouts were equally impressive.  Mets and Giants pitchers combined for 36 strikeouts in the second game and 47 strikeouts for the doubleheader.  Prior to May 31, 1964, the single game strikeout record had been 33 (Phillies and Giants in 1958), and the doubleheader record had been 44 (Indians and Red Sox – 1963).  Over the years, both records have been eclipsed. The single game record, set in 1971 by the Angels and A’s, is 43. The doubleheader strikeout record of 47 was broken by the Mets and Phillies on September 26, 1975, when they combined for 51.

The record for the longest game in terms of elapsed time is eight hours and six minutes, set by the Brewers and the White Sox in 1984.  The game began on May 8, was suspended at 12:59 AM on May 9, and was resumed later in the day on May 9. The Mets-Giants game is still the longest without an interruption.  The Mets have been involved in six games of twenty innings or more, including three of the eight longest.  The records for most innings in a double header (32) and time of a double header (9 hours 52 minutes) still stand.

Chris Cannizzaro (Mets) and Tom Haller (Giants) caught all twenty-three innings of the second game.  264 baseballs were used during the marathon. The umpires were even hungrier than the fans.  No food had been sent to the umpires’ quarters between games of the doubleheader.  After the festivities, they shared a steak dinner, courtesy of the Mets.

Harvey Kueen went on to become a Pennant Winning Manager.  Tom Haller became a General Manager with the Giants, and Jim Davenport served as his field manager for part of his tenure.  Al Jackson, Larry Bearnarth and Galen Cisco became pitching coaches. Roy McMillan continued on in the Mets organization as a coach and minor league manager, managing in New York for 53 games in 1975, and was instrumental in the development of a young Bud Harrelson.

In 2012, I was at the Honda Classic in Florida.  On Pro-Am day, I caught up with Rusty Staub and he shared a story with me.  He was playing with the Houston Colt 45’s at the time and they had just completed a series in Philadelphia.  They had changed, had dinner, took the train to New York and checked into their hotel rooms in time to catch the end of the game on television. 

I was fortunate enough to speak with Joe Christopher on several occasions.  He remembers the game well, especially the homer off Bolin.  Prior to the game that day, he had had his picture taken alongside Mays.

At the 50th Anniversary of the New York Mets Conference at Hofstra University, I had the opportunity to talk with Kranepool about the game, and he commented that “Perry was putting anything he could find on the ball.”

Tom Haller died all too young in 2004 at the age of 67, after contracting the West Nile Virus. His wife Joan remembers being in church with their two sons in California when the doubleheader began, and putting the kids to bed before the doubleheader reached its conclusion.  She scolded husband Tom when he told her he had called for an illegal pitch. 

Jim Davenport is still coaching in the Giants system working with minor league infielders.  He remembers that after finally getting to bed well past midnight, the Giants had an early wake-up call the next day.  It was San Francisco Day at the World’s Fair and the Giants were scheduled to be part of the festivities before boarding a plane to Pittsburgh for a series with the Pirates.

It was a week for marathons.  On May 28, the Reds and the Dodgers locked horns in a 2-2 affair that was called due to curfew after 17 innings and four hours and 58 minutes.  Under the rules in place, the game was replayed in its entirety.  The Dodgers were no strangers to long games that ended in ties.  In their Brooklyn days that hooked up with the then Boston Braves in two such encounters.  In 1920, the two teams went 26 innings tying at 1-1, and in 1939 it was 2-2 when the game was stopped after 23 innings.  In the latter encounter, the Dodgers Manager was Casey Stengel.

You can look it up.  

Articles referred to for additional information and documentation include:

Jesse Abramson, “Met’s Giant-Sized Effort Included a Triple Play in 14th”, New York Herald Tribune, June 1, 1964, 1.

Jimmy Cannon. “The Longest Day”, New York Journal-American, June 1, 1964

Murray Chass (AP). “Off-Broadway Show of Gaylord and Galen Has Its Run Extended”, Greensboro (NC) Record. June 1, 1964, B5.

Richard K. Doan, “Mets’ Marathon Brings WOR-TV Highest Ratings. . . and $20,000 Loss”, New York Herald Tribune, June 2, 1964, 17

Joe Donnelly. “At Shea Stadium: The Longest Day”, Newsday, June 1, 1964, 44

Joe Donnelly, “Mets Better? By the Clock, Not the Record, Newsday, June 2, 1964, 31

Joseph Durso. Giants Top Mets Twice, as 7 hour 23 Minute 23-Inning Sets marks, The New York Times June 1, 1964

George Frazier. “Stay as Awful as You Are”. The Boston Herald, June 1, 1964, page 8-C.

Sam Goldaper. “The Moaning After a 23 Inning Baseball Game”, New York Herald Tribune, June 2, 1964, 23

Stan Isaacs. “It was No Waltz as Casey’s Band Played On”, Newsday, June 1, 1964, 5

Barney Kremenko. Mets, Giants Go Round and Round to L. P. Record, The Sporting News, June 13, 1964, page 5.

Barney Kremenko. Christopher Heating up Mets with Sizzling Bat, The Sporting News, June 13, 1961, page 6.

Robert Lipsyte. Ball Park Well Built and “Could have lasted forever”, The New York Times, May 31, 1964.

Jim McCulley. “The Longest Day: Mets Swept in 23”. New York Daily News, June 1, 1964, 46

Harold Rosenthal. “Longest Game Ever”, The New York Herald Tribune, June 1, 1964, 21

Gary Schnorbus. Marathon went on. And On. And On. Trenton Evening Times, June 1, 1964, 17.

Red Smith. “The Desperate Hours”, The New York Herald Tribune, June 2, 1964, 23



[i] Kremenko, in his Sporting News story, makes mention of this headline in one of the New York Papers.

[ii] Syracuse Post-Standard, May 31, 1964, 25-27.

[iii] Goldaper, June 2, 1964

[iv] Kremenko notes this in his story about Christopher.

[v] Gaylord Perry (with Bob Sudyk).  Me and the Spitter:  An Autobiographical Confession.  New York.  E. P. Dutton and Company. 1974, pages 12-20.

[vi] Donnelly, June 2, 1964

[vii] Lipsyte, May 31, 1964

[viii] Smith, June 2, 1964

[ix] Tom Zocco.  Stats by Zoc.

[x] Doan, June 2, 1964


About adc0317

I am a Recent Retiree involved in baseball research and volunteer work. I work with the Hartford Jewish Coation for Literacy, reading with area children, and have been a volunteer at the Travelers Championship (PGA event) since 1993. I currently am a walking scorer. I also work with the New Britain Rock cats, doing stats.
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