On May 8, 1984, at 7:30pm, the longest game in major-league history began. Over the course of two days and 25 grueling innings, the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox duked it out for a record eight hours and six minutes. Both teams came within inches of victory on a few occasions, but their opponent always matched them blow-by-blow. Going into the eighth tied 1-1, Robin Yount and Ted Simmons scored for the Brew Crew. An aging Rollie Fingers could not hold the lead though, as right fielder Charlie Moore‘s error opened the door for the Sox to tie it. Chicago then loaded the bases with one out in the 13th, but Marc Hill struck out and Dave Stegman fouled out to end the threat.
Because MLB rules prohibit an inning from starting after 12:59am, the game was called after the 17th and resumed the next day. Most returning fans thought the game would end quickly that next day, but instead it dragged on for another eight innings. Carlton Fisk ended an early ChiSox rally when he struck out with the bases juiced in the 18th. His failure in the clutch looked to be a crucial play, as Milwaukee tallied three runs in the 21st on Ben Oglivie’s upper-deck home run. However, the resilient Sox refused to lose. Rudy Law reached on an error, Fisk redeemed himself by singling Law home, Marc Hill singled, Harold Baines walked, and Tom Paciorek singled home the tying runs. And so, the marathon continued.
In the 23rd, it was Milwaukee’s turn to avoid a bullet. Chicago’s Dave Stegman, who had been on first, stumbled as he tried to hold up at third after Paciorek’s single was bobbled, then quickly recovered, by outfielder Rick Manning. As he lost his balance, Stegman brushed up against third base coach Jim Leyland. Since contact between coach and runner is prohibited, Stegman was called out. The next batter singled, but was later stranded. The Beer Men weren’t so lucky two frames later when Baines mercifully ended the affair by jacking one over the center-field fence for a 7-6 win.
Tom Seaver, making his first relief appearance in eight years, got the win. He then pitched 8.1 innings in Chicago’s regularly scheduled game that night, earning his second win of the day. Chuck Porter took the loss. Though it will still go down in the annals, it turned out that this game meant absolutely nothing to either team. Milwaukee and Chicago combined to finish 59 ½ games out of first place.