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Old 04-10-2014, 08:14 AM
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Baseball: Playing the bottom of the 9th with home team leading

When was the last time (if ever) an official Major League Baseball (or one of its affiliated minor leagues or NCAA) game played through the bottom of the 9th inning to the third out when the home team either leading at the middle of the 9th or scoring the winning run before the third out?
Old 04-10-2014, 08:40 AM
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By definition, if the home team leads in the middle of the 9th, the bottom of the 9th isn't played.
Old 04-10-2014, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by etv78 View Post
By definition, if the home team leads in the middle of the 9th, the bottom of the 9th isn't played.
That's why he said "if ever".
Old 04-10-2014, 09:28 AM
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Why the eyeroll? His question was worded as if he believed at team would bat even if they already led.
Old 04-10-2014, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by etv78 View Post
Why the eyeroll? His question was worded as if he believed at team would bat even if they already led.
No, he is asking if there was ever a time in the history of baseball when that rule wasn't yet in effect.

I suspect not, as cricket has a similar rule and baseball inherited a lot from cricket. The game is over when a team has the lead and the other team is out of chances.
Old 04-10-2014, 09:49 AM
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No, it wasn't. Like I said, that's why he said "if ever". Maybe a commissioner made a one-time ruling for some reason or another. Maybe the rules were different. Frankly, I don't know - googling "bottom of the ninth" brings up a shit-ton of links for a video game.
Old 04-10-2014, 10:01 AM
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Yes, in the early days of baseball--I'm talking, like, the Civil War era--the team batting last (in those days, the home team had a choice, and would usually but not always choose to bat last) would bat even if they were ahead. It was considered unsporting not to play out the last inning, or for either side to give it less than their best effort.

I have a book that discusses this in more detail, including when and why it was changed, but you'll have to wait until I get home for me to post it--unless someone else beats me to it.
Old 04-10-2014, 10:11 AM
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And to technically find an answer to the OP's question, there have been plenty of games played where they played the bottom of the 9th with the home team ahead - because until 1950, the home team could opt to bat first. So with the home team ahead going into the bottom of the 9th, the away team would be up to bat. (I just can't find any. The internet points me to a June 29, 1897 game between Chicago and Louisville (a game with the largest run total for one team in history), but I'm guessing there are more recent examples).

Last edited by Munch; 04-10-2014 at 10:12 AM.
Old 04-10-2014, 10:19 AM
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The Pine Tar game between the Royals and Yankees in 1983 officially ended with the home team leading in the middle of the 9th but that conclusion was overturned by the league president on appeal, so they had to re-end the 9th inning with a proper third out and play the bottom of the 9th a month later.

Probably not what you were looking for, but as close a you'll likely find.
Old 04-10-2014, 10:50 AM
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I remember the pine tar incident, but I didn't recall that aspect of it. Thanks. So the practice of ending the game when the home team (or the last-batting team) is ahead after the mid 9th has been in effect since before 1876 then? Before 1869, when openly professional baseball began?
Old 04-10-2014, 12:28 PM
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Amazon search to the rescue: The rule was changed between the seasons of 1879 and 1880. The book is A Game of Inches: The Stories Behind the Innovations that Shaped Baseball by Peter Morris.

The discussion is a little more than I can easily retype here, but anyone interested can go to Amazon "look inside", search for "ahead" and "ninth", and be taken to the discussion in Section 1.25 on Page 30.
Old 04-10-2014, 12:42 PM
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Excellent!
Old 04-10-2014, 12:52 PM
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Oh nooooo....I don't have time to read a book, with it being baseball season. But that book looks AWESOME!!! Good rec, Freddy The Pig
Old 04-10-2014, 01:02 PM
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Got it (arguably).

On Sunday, June 27, 2010, the Phillies beat the Blue Jays 11-2 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and all 3 outs were played in the bottom of the 9th.

Back story: The weekend series was originally scheduled to be played in Toronto, but was moved to Philly because of security concerns for a G-20 Summit. The Blue Jays played in their home whites, the Phillies batted first, and the DH was used (I believe that's the last time a DH was used in a NL ballpark.)

Last edited by Mr. Greenjeans; 04-10-2014 at 01:05 PM.
Old 04-10-2014, 01:09 PM
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Additional comment from this article about the Friday night game in that series:

Quote:
The Blue Jays wore their home uniforms, used the designated hitter and hit last, but they clearly were not the home team. The teams played in front of a sold-out ballpark, filled with mostly Phillies fans.
Old 04-10-2014, 01:10 PM
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Was that also the last time the Jays played before a home sellout crowd?
Old 04-10-2014, 01:14 PM
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Noticed a bad link in my post #14. Try this one for the box score from that game.
Old 04-10-2014, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Was that also the last time the Jays played before a home sellout crowd?
/nitpick -While I appreciate the joke, it wasn't a sellout that in Philly that day either.

Also, to be fair, the Blue Jays play in the cavernous Rogers Centre that seats ~51,500, so even an average MLB crowd of ~30,500 would seem sparse.
Even a capacity crowd of ~43,600 from Citizens Bank Park would look empty in that park.

FTR the last time the Jays had a sell-out was last Friday April 4, 2014
Old 04-10-2014, 09:31 PM
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I've got one better--the Mariners beat the Marlins in 10 innings 2-1, in a game played in Seattle in June 2011. The bottom of the 10th was played. I should remember--I was there!
Old 04-11-2014, 04:56 PM
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The OP also posited an "official Major League Baseball game" in his query. So it's a judgment call as to whether the "June 29, 1897 game between Chicago and Louisville" would qualify. Yes, the records from games originating roughly from 1875 forward are included in the Baseball Encyclopedia, but you also often hear the "modern era" of baseball spoken of.

Thus, Wikipedia notes: "The 1901 season was the first season that the American League (AL) was classified as a 'major league.'" So my understanding is that the modern era would begin here, with both the American League and National League in place. The first World Series between them was played in 1903.
Old 04-11-2014, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DChord568 View Post
The OP also posited an "official Major League Baseball game" in his query. So it's a judgment call as to whether the "June 29, 1897 game between Chicago and Louisville" would qualify.
No, it isn't. Modern era and Major League are not the same thing. The modern era begins in 1901. Major League baseball begins either in 1871, with the founding of the National Association, or 1876, with the founding of the National League. The 1876-1900 National League and the American Association are universally considered to be major leagues, and the Union Association and Players' League are often added as well.
Old 04-12-2014, 12:27 PM
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I stand corrected. Thank you.
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