top of page

Mets and Giants Set Longevity Record

June 1, 1964 - Shea Stadium, with 57,037 sitting in at the start, was the scene yesterday of the longest day in the long history of major league baseball as the Giants swept a doubleheader from the Mets, 5-3, in nine innings and, 8-6, in 23 innings.

The nightcap, in which the Mets executed a triple play, consumed more hours and minutes, 7:23, than any other single game played in the annals of the national pastime — by 23 minutes. It was the longest doubleheader — 32 innings and 9:52 of playing time — in the history of the game. The only game that went more innings than the nightcap was a 26-inning, 1-1 tie between the Dodgers and Braves in 1920.

Play started at 1:05 p.m. with the largest crowd ever to witness a home game of the Mets in attendance, and play ended at 11:25 p.m., after the Giants had scored twice in the 23rd of the second game, and the Mets had gone out, 1-2-3, on the lefthanded serves of the Giants’ sixth pitcher and 20th player of the game, Bob Hendley. Gaylord Perry was the winner, on 10 innings of scoreless relief work. Galen Cisco became the loser when he gave the two runs in the 23rd after a scoreless 8⅔ in relief.

After Juan Marichal had posted his eighth victory in 2:29 over Alvin Jackson, the Mets fell behind, 6-1, in the nightcap. But a three-run homer by Joe Christopher tied it in the seventh frame, and from that point began a tense tug of war that featured sensational fielding by both shortstops, Roy McMillan for the home forces and Jim Davenport for the victors.

Tempers grew short in the 15th, and San Francisco manager Alvin Dark played the history-making game under protest from that point on. A triple by Davenport and a pinch double by catcher Del Crandall, 34-year-old ex-Brave, won the game for the Giants and completed the sweep that gave them a split in the four-game series.

After pitching 10 of the finest innings of his career in the endless nightcap, Gaylord Perry said, “I could have gone a little longer, but I’m glad I didn’t have to pitch that last inning.”

When Mel Harder, the Mets’ pitching coach, told Galen Cisco to go into the game in the 15th, he said Galen would work two innings.

“That was some two innings,” Cisco said. He pitched nine.

Casey Stengel, walking past Cisco’s locker, told the young righthander: “Take it easy. I’ve decided to let you loaf Tuesday.”

Mays, exhausted and looking it, said he almost caught Christopher’s homer in the sixth that tied the score and forced the long overtime. Mays leaped high at the fence, trying for the clout. “I never really thought I could get it,” Mays said, “but it went off the heel of my glove.”

The longest game caused a postponement of Billy Graham’s “Hour of Decision,” a regular 11 p.m. Sunday feature on WHN radio. The promotion director of WHN, John Newman, said: “We’re giving Billy Graham a raincheck.”

Charles Williams, an usher, had been working for 14 hours when he said: “I love the overtime. I got eight kids.”

And to cap the list of longests, mosts, and firsts, Lindsey Nelson announced the following on WOR-TV after the 22nd inning: “This is the longest game ever televised in living color.”

Support this project at


bottom of page