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The time the Yankees and Tigers played a 22 inning game

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The Yankees and Tigers decided to play two that day...and then played a little more.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Yankees got off to the perfect start on June 24, 1962. In the top of the first they batted around and scored six runs against the Tigers in Detroit. Roger Maris got a hit, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra both drove home runs, and Clete Boyer delivered the big blow with a three-run home run. A six-run lead after one inning isn't game over, but it's pretty tough to cough up. But on this day, it was just the beginning of a very long day at the ballpark.

Bob Turley was the starting pitcher for the Yankees that day. He walked the first two hitters he faced, and then allowed a three-run home run Purnal Goldy. He got Rocky Colavito to pop up, but then Norm Cash walked. With their lead now halved and still in danger, Ralph Houk pulled Turley. With a six-run lead to work with, Bob Turley got just one out. Jim Coates came in and cleaned up the mess, ending a very long first inning.

The Yankees tacked on another run in the second, but that lead wasn't destined to last either. Coates allowed three runs in the bottom of the third, and would be taken out after the inning was over. The Yankees put in Bill Stafford and he held that lead for a while, but eventually gave up a run in the sixth.

Through six innings, each team had scored seven runs. That's a fairly high-scoring game. Despite the offenses' early potency, the game would remain tied for a while and would go into extra innings. And then it would go more extra innings. And then a few more innings. And then even more innings. The Yankees finally took a lead when Jack Reed hit a two-run home run a few hours later...in the 22nd inning.

Two offenses that combined to put up 14 runs in six innings followed the fireworks up with no scoring during the next 15. Two separate Yankees, Tex Clevenger and Jim Bouton, threw outings as long as a starter would make, and neither of them started. Terry Fox threw eight innings for the Tigers, and was the sixth pitcher used by Detroit that day. And then he didn't even finish the game.

Five Yankees got 11 plate appearances in this game. Berra got three hits in the game, yet according to Win Percentage Added, he did more to hurt the Yankees' chances of winning than help them. Reed, who hit the go ahead home run, got four at bats, and didn't appear in the game until the 13th inning.

At the time, the game was the longest in MLB history, clocking in at seven hours. Today, it stands at sixth all-time. It's still the longest game in Yankees' history. The game started at 1:30 PM, which means that people who stayed for the whole game would have arrived in the afternoon, and then left after 8:30, with their day effectively gone.

The 1962 Yankees went on to win the World Series. That series against the Giants went the full seven games. This game against the Tigers itself lasted about as long as 1/3rd of the World Series. Baseball can be very silly sometimes.

Sources

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET196206240.shtml

http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/