Meet the man who has spent 53 years searching for baseball’s longest games

Phil Lowry remembers the exact date his obse sion with long ballgames began.August 9, 1963, when my father took me to a Houston Coltsvs. Pirates doubleheader. Long rain delays, extra innings in both games, it ended at 2:30 in the morning. I was grateful to my dad that he allowed us to stay that long, he recalled.ThatHouston vs. Pittsburgh doubleheader at Forbes Fieldpiqued Lowry’steenage curiosity. When and where were the longest games in baseball history? I got started at age 14, keeping track of games that went 20 or more innings, he said.MORE:Una sisted triple play by outfielderLowry is now 67 but hasthe same youthful pa sion for marathon” games.The retired Army captain has scanned newspaper archives, studied box scores and made inquiring phone calls around the globe, all to compile his ongoing databaseof 871 Here,,,,,,,,,,,,, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here. Here,,,,,,,,,,,,, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here. baseball games that lasted 20 innings or more. His files aresorted by attendance, date, innings, location andteams.There haven’t been any Little League games, but there has been a Pony League game, international games, lots in Cuba, lots in Mexico, lots in Japan, lots of minor league games, lots of college games, lots of high school games, he said.He found a high school game in Japan that endured50 innings, documented a 20-inning Cla s D marathonin Kentucky where the umpire askedfans if the game should continue (they unanimously voted”yes”) anddiscovered a 23-inning contestthat took place on an Air Force base in 1923.Lowry’s research Chase Utley Jersey led to an update of the official NCAA record book. The NCAA listed its longest game ever as 22 innings until Lowry called the a sociation 15 years ago sharing the details of a 23-inning game at Southwestern Louisianain 1971. Similar investigations led to changes in the NAIA and National Federation of State High School A sociationsofficial record books.MORE: SN’s MLB scoreboardI’ve invested thousands of hours over 53 years and it became an interest of mine, no one else in the world was keeping track of these things. And by keeping track of these things I made a contribution to baseball history, Lowry said.When a New York-Penn League matchupbetween the Auburn Logan Forsythe Jersey Doubledays and Batavia Muckdogs wassuspended after 20innings on July 7, 2005, the teams agreed to finish the game a month later. Lowrydrove from his home in Minnesota to upstate New York to witne s the conclusion. I can now say I’ve seen a marathon game, he said.The results of his explorationare available onlineandin his book,”Baseball’s Longest Games: A Comprehensive Worldwide Record Book.”Marathon games have a special place in my heart because if you love baseball, 20 innings is better than just nine, Lowry said.Tim Hagerty is the broadcaster for the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, and is on Twitter at @MinorsTeamNames. He is also the author of”Root for the Home Team: Minor League Baseball’s Most Off-the-Wall Team Names.”

Autore: gomitolodoro

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