The Longest Game (eight hours and six Minutes) in Major League history

Randy Ready, four months removed from his magnificent 1983-84 winter season for the Puerto Rico Winter League (PRWL) Mayagüez Indios, played third and led off for the Milwaukee Brewers at Comiskey Park, Tuesday evening, May 8, 1984. Ready posted a .361 BA for Mayagüez, second to Caguas’s Don Mattingly’s .368. Arecibo’s Candy Maldonado (.346), Santurce’s Jerry Willard (.338), and San Juan’s Tony Gwynn (.327) finished 3-4-5. Little did Ready know that he would play 17 innings at Comiskey through 1 a.m. on May 9, 1984, followed by eight more innings that night, preceding the regularly scheduled game. This blog focuses on the 25-inning White Sox 7-6 win versus Milwaukee, an eight-hour and six-minute contest—the longest game, timewise, in big-league history, and most extended, inning-wise, in American League (AL) history. Tom Seaver, who pitched the 25th inning, got the win in the marathon and proceeded to pitch 8.1 innings in the “nightcap,” with Salomé Barojas preserving Seaver’s 5-4 win. Ready played third and batted seventh in that scheduled game. He played 34 innings of baseball, May 8-9, 1984.

Randy Ready, 1983-84, 1985-86 Mayagüez Indios third baseman. Photo credit: Jorge Colón Delgado. Colorization: Joe Torres

Ready’s December 29, 2023 e-mail to the author stated: “A long night that continued the next day! How ‘bout Seaver getting two wins on the same day! He pitched the top of the 25th, and then Harold Baines homered off Chuck Porter in the bottom half to give Tom the W! Thirty minutes later, he [Seaver] started the originally scheduled game and went 8, I think, to pick up the second win of the day! I told Tom (Seaver) that a few years back, we got him two wins on the same day on his way to 311 and the Hall of Fame!”

Cooperstown Inductees in the Epic 25-Inning Contest and their Winter Ball Experience

Visiting Milwaukee featured shortstop Robin Yount, a 2005 Cooperstown Inductee, who plied his trade at 19 with 1974-75 Santurce Crabbers (.306 BA, 10 RBIs). Ted Simmons (Class of 2020) played for Milwaukee. Simmons, at 20, caught 13 games for the 1969-70 Licey Tigers, Dominican Winter League (LIDOM), with a .308 BA, one HR and eight RBIs. Don Sutton (Class of 1998) started for the Brewers and Rollie Fingers, inducted in 1992, blew a ninth-inning save on May 8. Fingers pitched superbly in Venezuela with 1968-69 La Guaira Sharks: 4-3 W-L in 61 innings, 1.48 ERA, and 1.00 WHIP (49 hits and 12 walks allowed). He fanned 44; threw one SHO; had a league-leading four saves. Fingers defeated the Aragua Tigers, 7-2, on November 18, 1968, with 34-year-old Luis Aparicio Jr. making his season’s debut for the Sharks at short. Historian Miguel Dupouy Gómez noted that David Concepción was Aragua’s shortstop. Fingers pitched superbly for LIDOM 1970-71 Estrellas Orientales (EO), who played home games at Tetelo Vargas Stadium in San Pedro de Macoris. Fingers was 9-5 in 124 innings with a 3.05 ERA, and 1.19 WHIP. His wins, 17 starts, eight CG, and WHIP led the loop. EO starter Ray Miller, future big-league pitching coach, and Baltimore manager, became a Caguas and Santurce PRWL skipper. Paul Lindblad pitched for EO. Dave Duncan, Oakland A’s teammate of Fingers and Lindblad, caught all 60 EO games. Duncan was Tony La Russa’s pitching coach with the 1983-1986 White Sox, Oakland A’s, and St. Louis Cardinals. Duncan and Lindblad also toiled for the PRWL Arecibo Wolves in the late 1960s.

                                                                       Rollie Fingers, 1970-71 Estrellas Orientales, LIDOM.

La Russa, enshrined in 2014, with Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Frank Thomas, managed the 1984 White Sox and played winter ball for 1970-71 Águilas Cibaeñas (AC) and Escogido Lions, and 1972-73 Escogido, with a .263 BA and 31 RBIs in 76 LIDOM games. He hired Orlando Cepeda as the 1980 White Sox hitting coach after the “Baby Bull” served time in Federal prison. La Russa is fluent in Spanish—his mother’s family came to the States from Spain. His father’s family was from Italy. During the latter’s book signing, One Last Strike, Van Hyning met La Russa at a Jackson, Mississippi book store (Lemuria) in 2012. “The Kansas City A’s I began my career with had players from Cuba such as Bert Campaneris, Diego Seguí, and José Tartabull,” recalled La Russa. “José [Palillo] Santiago from Puerto Rico pitched for the A’s…”

Jim Leyland, La Russa’s 1984 third base coach, will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 21, 2024. Leyland managed the 1997 Florida Marlins to their first World Series crown before Jack McKeon did so in 2003. Leyland led Detroit to the 2006 and 2012 World Series. La Russa’s St. Louis Cardinals defeated his 2006 Tigers in the Fall Classic. Bruce Bochy’s San Francisco Giants toppled Detroit in the 2012 World Series. La Russa also won World Series crowns with the 1989 A’s and 2011 Cardinals.

Tom Seaver (311-205 in 20 big-league seasons) entered Cooperstown immortality with Fingers, in 1992. Seaver went 10-2, with a 2.47 ERA for the 1965 University of Southern California Trojans, before signing with the New York Mets and pitching one minor-league season for the 1966 Jacksonville Suns. Carlton “Pudge” Fisk batted second for the White Sox on May 8, 1984, and caught 2,226 major league games with the Red Sox and White Sox (1969, 1971-1993). He was enshrined in 2000. Only Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez caught more games (2,427). Bob Boone (2,225), Yadier Molina (2,184), Gary Carter (2,056), and Jason Kendall (2,025) also caught 2,000 plus games. Harold Baines, a 1984 White Sox right fielder, entered Cooperstown in 2019, with DH Edgar Martínez, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, and Lee Smith. Baines had three tours of duty with the White Sox (1980-89, 1996-97, and 2000-01), and is classified as a DH in Cooperstown annals.

Twenty-Five Innings, 44 Players, 486 Minutes of Action

The starting line-ups were: Brewers—Ready, 3B; Jim Sundberg, C; Yount, SS; Cecil Cooper, DH; Simmons, 1B; Ben Oglivie, LF; Bobby Clark, CF; Charlie Moore, RF; Jim Gantner, 2B; Sutton, starter. White Sox—Rudy Law, CF; Fisk, C; Greg Walker, 1B; Greg Luzinski, DH; Baines, RF; Ron Kittle, LF; Vance Law, 3B; Scott Fletcher, SS; Julio Cruz, 2B; Bob Fallon, starter. Rene Lachemann, La Russa’s friend since their playing days in the Kansas City A’s organization, managed the 1984 Brewers. Lachemann managed the 1977-78 Mayagüez Indios to the February 1978 Caribbean Series title, in Mazatlán, Mexico. He was the 1979-80 Arecibo Wolves skipper in the PRWL and later served as La Russa’s coach with the Oakland A’s,1988-1992, and with St. Louis, 1997-99.

Chicago struck first in the home sixth: Walker singled and stole second after Fisk struck out. Luzinski popped to Simmons; Baines walked. Tom Paciorek singled in Walker. (Baines’s foul pop fly was dropped making Walker’s run unearned.) Milwaukee tied it in the seventh when Ready drew a walk off Fallon. Salomé Barojas, from Veracruz, Mexico, came in and allowed a single to Sundberg, with Ready reaching third. Yount’s single scored Ready. In the ninth, Yount doubled to left; stole third; and, scored on a Fisk miscue. Simmons singled to left. Britt Burns’s wild pitch put Simmons on second. Oglivie’s hit drove in Simmons but Oglivie was caught stealing. Clark walked and was nailed stealing. Fingers entered the game in relief of Pete Ladd. Paciorek reached second on a two-base error by Moore. Vance Law flied to center, and Jerry Hairston, Sr., pinch-hit for shortstop Fletcher. Hairston fanned, but Julio Cruz’s double scored Paciorek. Cruz scored the tying run on Rudy Law’s single. Hairston is the father of ex-big leaguers Scott and Jerry Hairston Jr and son of Sam Hairston, from Lowndes County, Mississippi. Sam. a top-notch catcher in the Negro Leagues, played winter ball for the 1947-48 San Juan Senators. The author met Jerry Sr. and Jerry Jr. at an October 2010 function in Lowndes County honoring Negro Leaguers. Jerry Sr. enjoyed winter ball in Mexico and helped Hermosillo Orange Growers win the February 1976 Caribbean Series.

It remained deadlocked, 3-3, through 17, and the game was suspended at 1 a.m. Chicago’s Juan Agosto pitched four straight scoreless frames, 14-17, before the 1 a.m. suspension. Agosto, born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, was Ready’s 1983-84 Mayagüez teammate and pitched 13 big-league seasons (40-33), 15 minor-league seasons (62-73), and 17 PRWL seasons (54-34) between 1974-75 and 1996-97. He hurled for the 1979 Puerto Rico Boricuas in the short-lived Class-AAA Inter-American League. “Palillo Santiago was our manager,” stated Agosto. “I was 21 and on my way to a solid career.”

When play resumed on May 9, Agosto gave La Russa three more scoreless innings, 18-20. In the visitors’ 18th, he allowed a leadoff double to Ready and a sacrifice bunt to Bill Schroeder. Yount was intentionally walked, and Agosto induced Cecil Cooper to hit into a 1-6-3 double-play, Agosto to Jerry Dybzinski to Marc Hill. Dybzinski earned LIDOM MVP honors with the 1979-80 Licey Tigers. His Licey nickname was “Jandao” due to being bow-legged. Dybzinski was a defensive whiz with a .220 regular season BA for Licey. He went 9-for-21 (.429 BA) in the finals versus EO to help Licey win five games to one series before Licey won the 1980 Caribbean Series in Santo Domingo.

Lachemann summoned Chuck Porter to the mound for the 18th inning. He pitched 7.1 innings, culminating in Baines’s walk-off homer in the 25th. Circling back to Agosto, his two work nights reflected seven innings, five hits allowed, nary a run, one strikeout, and two walks. Ron Reed replaced Agosto in the 21st and gave up a three-run homer to Oglivie after Cooper singled and Simmons walked. Rudy Law reached second to open the home 21st on a two-base error. Fisk singled to right to make it a 6-4 game. Marc Hill singled to left, and pitcher Richard Dotson pinch-ran for Hill. Dave Stegman fanned, but Baines drew a walk to load the bases. Paciorek laced a two-run single to center, scoring Fisk and Dotson. Law grounded out and Dybzinski skied to Rick Manning in center.

Floyd Bannister relieved Reed in the 24th before Seaver pitched the 25th frame. Schroeder singled to open the 25th but Yount hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Cooper skied to left. In the home 25th, Dave Stegman fanned on a foul third strike. Baines promptly drilled his 420-foot walk-off homer to center. La Russa stated: “I think I found myself out at the plate before the ball went over the wall.”  Chuck Porter exclaimed: “I wish it would have gone a little longer.” The White Sox scoreboard operator penciled in “Thanks Harold!” on the center-field scoreboard at 9:12 p.m., 25 hours and 42 minutes after the marathon began, per Tom Flaherty’s May 10, 1984 article in the Milwaukee Journal titled: “Baseball’s Longest Day is Longest for Brewers.” The line score showed Milwaukee’s 6 runs, 20 hits, and 3 errors, and Chicago’s 7 runs, 23 hits, and one miscue. Paid attendance was 14,754.

Other Connections Between 25-Inning Marathon Players and Winter Ball

  • Milwaukee’s Bobby Clark hit 10 homers with 38 RBIs for 1980-81 Bayamón. His homers tied Arecibo’s Candy Maldonado for second; his RBIs tied Santurce’s Willie Mays Aikens and Caguas’s Cal Ripken Jr. behind Mayagüez’s Rusty Torres (41). Clark’s .294 BA was fourth-best, trailing Bayamón’s Dickie Thon (.329), Santurce’s Rudy Law (.311), and Ponce’s Rickey Henderson (.298). Art Howe managed Clark with first-place Bayamón (39-21). Fourth-place Caguas (29-31) won the playoffs under Ray Miller.
  • White Sox outfielder Rudy Law scored 34 runs for Santurce, 1980-81, fifth-best, behind Thon (46), Mayagüez’s Jim Dwyer (44), Bayamón’s Luis Aguayo (40), and Rusty Torres (39). Law’s 24 steals trailed Rickey Henderson’s 44, in the 60-game season.
  • Milwaukee’s Dion James scored 44 for 1983-84 Mayagüez, tying Ready and Santurce’s Steve Lubratich for third, behind Santurce’s Jerry Willard (51) and Crabbers’ John Shelby (46). James, in 1985-86, was traded from Mayagüez to San Juan, for outfielder Paul O’Neill.
  • White Sox second baseman Julio Cruz stole 18 bases for the 1978-79 Santurce Crabbers, second to PRWL MVP José “Cheo” Cruz’s 21 with Caguas.
  • Brewers’ infielder Edgardo Romero played shortstop for Lachemann’s 1977-78 Mayagüez Indios.
  • White Sox outfielder-1B Tom Paciorek starred for the 1973-76 Licey Tigers, managed by Tom Lasorda. Paciorek had a .269/.333/.384 slash line, and .717 regular season OPS. In the LIDOM post-season, he went 14-for-37, with a .378/.415/.514 slash line, and .929 OPS. Paciorek outhit Licey teammates Bill Buckner, Steve Garvey, and Steve Yeager in the 1973-74 finals, and played in the February 1974 Caribbean Series.
  • Brewers’ shortstop/third baseman Willie Lozado enjoyed a long career with Mayagüez. His only big-league season was with 1984 Milwaukee.
  • Other 1984 Brewers who pitched in the PRWL were: Chuck Porter, 1985-86 Ponce for Art Howe; Jaime Cocanower, 1980-81 Santurce for Cookie Rojas and 1986-87 Santurce for Kevin Kennedy; Mike Caldwell, 1973-74 Ponce for player-manager Pat Corrales; knuckleballer Tom Candiotti, 1983-84 Mayagüez for Frank Verdi and 1985-86 Ponce; ex-Mississippi State ace Jack Lazorko, 1986-87 Caguas for Tim Foli and 1990-91 Santurce for Mako Oliveras; and, Paul Hartzell, 8-2, 2.92 ERA with 1976-77 Santurce for Jack McKeon. Hartzell was Ready’s September 1984 road roommate.
  • Ready was voted 1986 Caribbean Series MVP: 14-for-30, .467 BA.


The longest big-league game, lengthwise, was a 26-inning affair on May 1, 1920—the first day of 1920 Daylight Savings Time—between the Brooklyn Robins and Boston Braves. Brooklyn’s Leon Cadore and Boston’s Joe Oeschger pitched the entire three-hour-and-fifty-minute game. It started at 3 p.m. and was called off due to darkness at 6:50 p.m. It ended in a 1-1 tie. Cadore, a World War I combat veteran, barnstormed in Puerto Rico after the Great War, with Henry Zimmerman of the New York Giants, and Adolfo Luque of the Cincinnati Reds, among others, according to historian Eduardo Valero.

Yogi Berra, New York Mets skipper when they played a 25-inning game versus St. Louis, on September 11, 1974, was ejected in the 20th inning, at 1:30 a.m. The seven-hour-and-four-minute contest ended at 3:13 a.m. with a 4-3 Cardinals win. Fifty players appeared in it and 180 baseballs were used. Paid attendance was 13,460. Berra was involved, as a catcher, in the longest game in New York Yankees history—a seven-hour, 22-inning contest at Detroit, June 24, 1962. Jack Reed, from Silver City, Mississippi, hit a two-run homer in the 22nd frame off a Phil Regan slider, for the 9-7 win. Berra, via mail in 2010, responded to a few author’s questions, including: “How did you feel after catching this 22-inning game?” Berra’s response: “Tired. I was supposed to have dinner with my cousin in Detroit…was late.”

La Russa—who managed Ready with 1992 Oakland—called him the “quintessential pro.” It was Ready’s greatest thrill in baseball.

Special thanks to Randy Ready. Thanks to Juan Agosto, Yogi Berra, Miguel Dupouy Gómez, Jerry Hairston Sr., Paul Hartzell, Rene Lachemann, and Tony La Russa. Jorge Colón Delgado edited and did photo placements.

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