As the Orioles-Nationals game entered the 9th inning yesterday, I looked at the clock at realized it wasn’t quite 9:00 pm. Of course, the game started at 6:05, but it seemed like a pretty fast game. So that got me thinking, are games any faster and have all these changes made a difference?
According to the calendar section of Baseball-Reference.com, today marks the 100th anniversary of the shorted baseball game ever played. According to the website, on August 8, 2020, the Detroit Tigers defeated the New York Yankees 1-0 in a one-hour and thirteen-minute game.
Of course, depending on which websites you believe, that game 100 years ago may only be one of the shortest baseball games in history. There appear to have been a few others:
The Los Angeles Times notes that there was a 51 minute game on September 28, 1919. In that game, the New York Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-1 behind pitcher Jesse Barnes who threw a complete game.
The Baseball Almanac says that in addition to that 1919 game, there was a 55 minute game on September 26, 1926. In that one, the St. Louis Browns beat the New York Yankees, 6-2.
The Baseball Almanac notes that the shortest night game occurred on August 10, 1944, with the Boston Braves beating the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 in a one-hour and 15-minute game. A year earlier, on May 21, 1943, the Chicago White Sox beat the Washington Senators 1-0 in 1 hour and 29 minutes.
So what have the average game times been? Baseball Reference has that, too. So far, the average game length (over nine innings) has been three hours and 5 minutes, which is what it was last year as well. Just a decade ago, the average time was just under three hours at 2 hours and 51 minutes. Fifty years ago, the average game time was only two and a half hours. So, maybe there is something to this longer game time after all… not that it should matter to most baseball fans!
This is what has happened in just the past few days:
On Thursday MLB and MLBPA announced that the initial round of COVID-19 tests resulted in 38 positive tests – 31 players and 7 staff members. Not all players who tested positive were identified; in fact, the Orioles decided that they won’t publicize whether or not there are positive test results.
There have been problems with teams getting testing results in a timely manner and several teams had to cancel workouts yesterday
It’s that time of year when non-baseball fans start asking, “So what do you do in the off-season?” Not only is this question inappropriate because we are only in the beginning of the post season and still have a couple week before the World Series even starts, but if one wants to find baseball, it can always be found. There never really needs to be an off-season for baseball fans.
In response to this annoying question, I generally start babbling about La Liga Mexicana del Pacifico and the Caribbean Series. That’s usually enough to get people’s eyes start to glaze over and begin to regret asking. Mission accomplished.
But those who know anything about baseball, know that baseball can always be found. Not only has the Arizona Fall League been going on since September 18, the Fall Stars Game is happening this Saturday. And the AFL Championship Game will be held on October 26.
Of course, even if we can’t follow the foreign leagues and winter leagues (not for a lack of trying by because of time differences, language differences, and difficulty streaming games), there are always baseball activities and destinations to visit during the off-season.
So, again, to answer the annoying question, “What do you do during the off-season?”, the correct answer is, “What off-season?”
This weekend, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Harvey Haddix’ perfect 12 innings (only to lose the game in the 13th) on May 26, 1959. How many perfect games have there been? As it always is with statistics, it depends on how you count.
MLB’s definition of a perfect game is as follows: “An official perfect game occurs when a pitcher (or pitchers) retires each batter on the opposing team during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings. In a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game.”
This has been done 23 times in Major League Baseball. But those aren’t the only ones:
No. of Perfect Games
First Perfect Game
Most Recent Perfect Game
Major League Baseball
June 12, 1880, by Lee Richmond for the Worcester Ruby Legs
August 15, 2012, by Felix Hernandez for the Seattle Mariners
Minor League Baseball
August 23, 1887, by Charles Bohn for Mansfield of the Ohio State League
September 1, 2017, by Connor Grey of the Kane County Cougars (Midwest League)
Nippon Professional Baseball League
June 28, 1950, by Hideo Fujimoto for the Yomiuri Giants
November 1, 2007, by Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase for the Chunichi Dragons
August 14, 1953, by Ramiro Cuevas for the Nuevo Laredo Owls
August 7, 2005, by Oscar Rivera for the Yucatan Lions
Mexican Pacific League
January 5, 1971, by Vicente Romo for the Ciudad Obregón Yaquis
August 7, 2005, by Joakim Soria for the Ciudad Obregón Yaquis
Cuban Serie Nacional
December 22, 1999, by Maels Rodriguez for Sancti Spiritus
Chinese Professional Baseball League
October 7, 2018, by Ryan Verdugo for the Uni-President Lions
Hoofdklasse Honkbal (Major League Baseball in the Netherlands)
1989 by Craig McGinnis for Haarlem Nicols
April 14, 2019, by Misja Harcksen for Curacao Neptunus
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
1944 by Annabelle Lee for the Minneapolis Millerettes
September 3, 1953, by Jean Faut for the South Bend Blue Sox
MASN, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (our local sports channel), has been showing the 1983 ALCS this week. As we watched game 1 on Sunday, the following thoughts went through my mind, in no particular order:
Harold Baines wearing said ugly White Sox uniform in 1986 (about 6 years before he’d become an Oriole). But you really can’t tell how bad it is from this view. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Ah, the good old days – when the Orioles had real pitching, good pitching. Chris Tillman wasn’t even born yet.
Cal Ripken was and always will be the patron saint of Baltimore. Though shalt not speak ill of Cal. Even in 1983, we knew he was special.
Manny Machado was – and still is – the second coming of Cal. How dare the Orioles trade him last year? This is not a forgivable offense.
Uniforms were really ugly in the ‘80s – especially those of the Chicago White Sox.
O’s fans really haven’t changed much in the last 36 years.
La Serie del Caribe – the Caribbean Series – begins today and runs through Feburary 8! The series will be held in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, rather than in Venezuela as originally planned. (The series will return to Venezuela in 2019.) The teams completing in the 2018 Series are:
The first game will be played at 1 pm local time (2 pm Eastern), with Venezuela matched against Cuba. Last year‘s winner, Criollos de Caguas, play tonight against Mexico at 9 pm. The complete schedule is below.