METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE MAY 31, 1964 GAME:
August 10, 2001
Just unbelievable. 2nd game of a doubleheader, and it went 23 innings! I can still hear Lindsey Nelsen saying "this is now the longest game from the standpoint of time in baseball history". I think it ended up being 7 hours and 23 minutes.
I distinctly remember that there was a triple play at some point during the game (can't remember which team did it). Also, Casey Stengel was ejected around the 11th or 12th inning (don't remember what got him ticked off), and the Mets played the game under protest. I also remember either Nelsen or Bob Murphy saying sometime around the 20th inning, "back in the 7th inning, Ralph Kiner went downstairs to get ready for Kiner's Korner, and he's been waiting for the game to end ever since".
Finally, and again I could be wrong about this, I seem to recall that a young rookie pitcher named Gaylord Perry pitched most of the extra innings for the Giants. Wonder what ever happened to him?
Shea Stadium had opened barely a month before, and three weeks after this amazing game, Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game against the Mets at Shea. What a beginning for the ballpark!
August 14, 2001
I can't believe no one else commented about this one! It was 23 innings and the second game of a doubleheader! Willie Mays played shortstop for a couple of innings. Frank Thomas actually sat down in the outfield. And Del Crandall won the game for the Giants in the top of the 23rd.
November 27, 2001
My dad and I tried to attend this doubleheader but did not reserve seats. When we got to the Stadium, they general admission was sold out so we went back home to Jersey City. I got home just in time to see the Mets tie the second game. Some Met hit a long drive and Willie Mays jumped high at the wall to try and catch it. But, when he came down, he held his glove open to say "I don't have it" and it went as a home run. After that, the game went on and on and on....
September 3, 2003
This was game two of a Sunday double-header. The first game started at 1pm on a May afternoon and the second game almost ended in June! The triple play was started by Mets shortstop Roy McMillan (who'd only come over from the Reds three weeks earlier). I was nine then and was getting ready for bed by the time of the triple play (it was Sunday night and I had school the next day) but my father let me stay up late so he could brag about 'our boy Roy'.
The Mets had been down, by a score of three to six, in the ninth and Joe Christopher hit a three run homer to tie it. Gaylord Perry (who did pitch in extra innings) admitted later that this was the first game he ever used a spitter. I'd LOVE to see a box score of this game. Hard to believe the Mets' relief corps could have held that Giant's lineup scoreless for thrirteen extra innings.
Thanks, Mike, for recalling the detail about Ralph Kiner being stuck on the "Kiner's Korner" set for hours and hours. They kept talking about it all season!!
February 12, 2004
I was at the game with my sister. I was 14 at the time. she was 15. The game was jogged into my memory when Mike and Mike on ESPN radio had a feature about people's recolletion of their greatest sports moments. Let me tell you. Shea Stadium had run out of food, drinks, you name it. I remember the game going on forever. But I can't remember how we got home that night. I think it still is the longest game in time in baseball history.
March 17, 2004
A long day’s journey into night. It was moment, carved into the recesses of my memory, that went so far ahead of expectations to be the stuff of myth. The game itself was unreal. It launched the Hall of Fame career of Gaylord Perry, saw Willie Mays play shortstop, featured Orlando Cepeda, produced a triple play (for the Mets), and lasted 23 innings! My brother and I sat in the cheap seats of the upper deck, row V I believe, behind us were the gulls. The Mets trailed this game until the ninth.
I had school and my brother Carlos had work so we left. After all these were the Mets, a comeback seemed remote but traffic from a full house was a sure thing. We were in the parking lot when the roar of the crowd told us something special had happened.
I kept the radio tuned in from that point on, through Queens, over the Whitestone bridge, and ultimately to my bedroom where I could be found with the transistor radio on under my pillow. A special thanks to Bob Murphy whose word picture of this game was perfect.
June 19, 2004
I was 14 at the time, and went to the game with my father. I remember that there weas no food left and everyone was hungry. instead of chanting "Let's Go Met's", we were chanting "Let's Go Home". I made my dad stay till the very end!
June 9, 2004
I was the starting pitcher for the Mets. Casey pinch hit for me (Rod Kanehl) in the early innings. Larry Bearnarth and I walked around the inside of the stadium for 15 or so innings - seeing what the view was from every seat. I finished up by going to the TV room and watching the game with Ralph Kiner. The next day we had an exibition game in Williamsport against the AA team. Nobody wanted to go but we went anyway.
blue and orange
February 7, 2005
The things I remember about this day was that Eddie Kranepool was just called up to play in the double header after playing a double header in Buffalo the day before. In the second game, Willie Mays played ss, the Mets turned a triple play started by Roy McMillan, and my dad promised my mom to take her out to dinner after the second game. He did take her out-------for an early breakfast.
September 18, 2006
This was my first game ever at Shea. I was eight years old and my dad and I took the train from NJ to watch the games. The World's Fair was right across the street from Shea. When we got there (we didn't have tickets), we couldn't get any reserved seating. Just as we were about to leave and go to the fair, a window opened up with standing room only tickets, so we bought two. We went all the way up to the top deck (we weren't familiar with where standing room was), and we were lucky to find a couple of unoccupied seats across an aisle from each other. The first game was a fairly routine 5-3 game (didn't Orlando Cepeda steal home?), but the second game was a beaut. I can still see Joe Christopher tying it up at 6 in the bottom of the 7th with a 3-run homer. After that however, we decided to head home to NJ, since I had school the next day. After about an hour and a half ride home, I asked my mom, "Who won the second game?". "They're still playing; it's in the 16th inning!" was her reply. It was later I found out that the Mets had turned a triple play, and that it was the longest game by time in Major League history at that time.
September 18, 2006
I was only 5 when this game was played. My father told me we were on a trip from Sacramento (yes I'm a Giants fan) to Monterey in California. We listened to that game the whole way in the car and my mom was so sick of baseball after that. I only wish I could have remembered it better but I do remember a long car trip with baseball on the radio for the entire ride. My dad talked about that game for years. WOW! what a game 23 innings, 7+ hours, and how about Gaylord Perry pitching a 10 inning relief shutout.
The big H
November 5, 2006
I was 8 years old. It was my first time to the then "beautiful new Shea Stadium". I remember the airplanes flying by very close as well as the World's Fair helicopters. This was part of a double header where in the first game Juan Marichal beat the Mets as usual.
By the third inning of the second game the Mets were losing 6 to zip. Then the Mets actually battled back. Joe Christopher hit a three run homer that was just out of the reach of Willie Mays, to tie it all up! I was sitting pretty way up so it was easy to see that.
It was about the 11th inning and we moved down a deck or two, to watch but then my parents said we had to go. It was getting cold and that sweater that seemed like way too much when the double header started, now did not seem like enough. We got to the car and onto the parkway when I let out my scream of the day when the Mets I heard on the car radio, the call of the Mets pulling a triple play in the 14th inning.
When we got home to the "burbs" the game was still going on. I was put to bed but tried to listen anyway. So this day where the first pitch was thrown at 1:05PM ended around 11:30PM with the last pitch.
May 22, 2008
I heard a rather funny story about this game. It didn't have as much to do with what happened in it as it did with the television side of things.
The game lasted so long that it was still going on when the TV show "What's My Line?" came on at 10:30. Host John Daly said on the air that he had been watching the game and talked about how incredible it was. Daly always had a few opening comments to start his show before bringing out his first guest. But his choice of words here turned out to be taboo.
After Daly mentioned the Mets and Giants, those in the NYC viewing area switched channels to what John had been watching. Instead of tuning in to a panel of celebrities try to guess people's lines of work, the "What's My Line" viewers became instant baseball fans. The innocent comments from the host himself dropped the ratings of his own show!
As it turned out, the show was over before the game ended. There were probably a lot more people (at least in the New York area) who knew that the Mets lost in 23 innings than the fact that Liberace was the mystery guest who sat next to John Daly that night.
September 29, 2009
This was my first time at Shea Stadium and I was 9 years old. My dad, an old NY Giants fan took me to see this doubleheader and I remember going to the bathroom about the 12th inning of the second game and hearing a lot of noise. Then when I got back to my seat I asked what happened and I was told that Orlando Cepeda just hit into a triple play and I missed it because I went to the bathroom.
May 20, 2010
I remember watching the whole doubleheader on tv. We had an old Crosley TV in my grandmother's bedroom and I watched it there. I even ate dinner up there because I didn't want to miss the end of the game. About 10:30 my grandmother went to bed but let me stay up and continue watching. That's the only time I've ever seen a triple play. I still have the rocking chair I watched it in and that game is one reason I kept it.
July 13, 2010
I was 11 1/2 when I attended this doubleheader with 2 other fellas my age from my block. We lived out in Coney Island and one of the mothers drove us out to 74th St in Queens where we rode the 7 train the rest of the way with the pick up spot to be there also after the 2nd game. Things were a bit safer then and parents a bit more trustworthy.
We got out there pretty early and were able to get Upper Deck seats, they ended up being in the last section all the way down the right field line 3 rows from the top of the stadium. Seemed like a mile away from the plate, and actually felt closer to the planes that buzzed right over our heads heading into LaGuardia.
We came with a few sandwiches each and a few plums and grapes. They were all quickly devoured by the 3rd or 4th inning or so.
By the 7th inning of the first game we were getting kinda antsy sitting up in the stratosphere so we decided to walk down a few levels and look around at the views from the better areas.
By the end of the first game we were wandering around the concourse behind home plate and we spent some time watching the ushers and how they patrolled the sections and seated the people. When the second game started we were still on the concourse around home plate and watched the first few innings from there really happy for the view. We were watching some of the empty seats as people went to the refreshment stands and when the third inning ended we took a chance, and as the ushers weren't looking we headed down the main aisle towards home plate looking like we belonged, just 3 freckled face kids heading back to our seats.
We kept slowly walking closer to the front but not seeing any empty seats, then about 20 rows or so from the front rail we saw 4 men in suits getting up from their seats down close to the rail. We moved a bit faster and passed them at about the 8th row, they were going up towards the back and us heading to their seats. We then heard a voice -- it was an usher seated in the second row popping up looking at us as were just about to sit in the vacated box. We were sure we were caught and would be headed back to the concourse, but just then the usher looked past us and acknowledged what must have been a signal from one of the departing men giving us the ok to sit there and the usher turning back to his post to sit down.
As we settled into those box seats 3 rows from the rail, it was about a year later when I saw a picture in the Post of M. Donald Grant, the chairman of the group that owned the Mets and recognized him as one of the men who left those box seats next to the Mets dugout that Sunday Memorial day afternoon.
We spent the next 20 innings sitting there cheering for the Mets until our throats were hoarse pleading for a run as the evening headed towards midnight. Well we didn't score but saw Major Leaguers up close and personal, screamed our heads off, and yes we met the angry Mom back at the subway stop in Queens about midnight for the ride back to Coney Island with perma grins plastered to our faces.
That day/night was one of my most memorable Met moments of my then young life, and ranks pretty high up there to this day as an almost 58-year-old adult and lifelong Met fan. Thanks for letting me share this story with you.
August 14, 2011
An amazing thing about the 23-inning game between the Giants and the Mets is that Tom Haller, three-time All-Star catcher for the Giants and Dodgers, caught ALL 23 innings.
Tom was my brother-in-law (he passed on 11/26/2004 at age 67) and was a great, kind man. He was a gentle Giant. I am very interested in finding photos or audio clip of the game and especially of Tom Haller catching, hitting, or running during the game. He was 4-10 for the game.
Michael Alexander firstname.lastname@example.org
January 15, 2012
Just went to Rangers Fan Fest this weekend and while eating breakfast at the hotel met Gaylord Perry. I told him that I was originally from New York and grew up as a Mets fan. He went on to tell the story about this 23-inning game. He mentioned that he was a relief pitcher and the last in line to get called into the game (no one else was available after him). He said that after pitching 10 scoreless innings with barely any time to warm up it made a long-lasting impression on his manager. He said that 5 days later he got his first start because of that game and never pitched in relief ever again. It was fun listening to him tell the story. I talked to him later on at Fan Fest and got an autographed baseball (my first from a Hall of Famer.). Spitball or not, he was one of the greatest pitchers in baseball. Saw his WS ring from 2010. I now live in Texas, but after finding out he only appeared in 2 post season games I'm happy the Giants gave him a ring (even though it was against the Rangers). I recall hearing about this 23-inning game and now it has more meaning after meeting the pitcher who got the win.
May 15, 2013
I went with my two brothers. I was 14, my younger brother was 9 and my older brother 21. I remember the triple play and Willie Mays playing shortstop. We kept begging my brother to stay one more inning and ended up staying for the whole game. It was a great memory.
May 30, 2013
We would have all been 13-14 years old and I took the train from Freeport to Flushing Meadows with my friends, the twins Neil and Brian. There may have been another friend or two, but I'm not sure. Anyway it was a Sunday and we had school the next day but we stayed till the bitter end.
A great memory from a day so long ago.
February 11, 2014
When the Giants got the men on in the 14th with nobody out and Cepeda coming up, I figured that was the end of matters and the Giants were going to get four or five runs, so I decided to go to the bathroom. In the almost 50 years since, I have NEVER even come CLOSE to seeing a triple play in several HUNDRED games. When I heard what was left of the crowd cheering, I knew I had missed something big. Of course, there was no instant replay in those days, so I got a verbal description from someone who had had plenty of beers before they ran out.
May 24, 2014
I was at this double-header as an almost-13-year old. My first time at Shea Stadium. Several friends and I took the LIRR from Freeport to Woodside/Shea; they all left in the early extra innings--before the triple play--but I stayed to the bitter end. Two losses. As the Stadium slowly emptied I moved further down each inning. I remember chatting with Joe Christopher (#24) at the corner of the Mets dugout an inning or two before the game ended. Somehow made my way home on the LIRR and when I fell asleep on my desk in 7th grade English the next day, my teacher (a Mets fan) knew why and let me sleep through class.
September 25, 2015
I went to game with the Mardis brothers. There was a triple play on Willie Mays. I missed it because I was reaching down for a drink. The game was so long I had to leave, I was afraid of getting home too late. When I got home my Dad was still watching the game and asked why didn't I stay and watch. LOL
May 24, 2015
I think this was the second game my father took me to at the brand new stadium. I was seven years old. We took a special direct bus from Brooklyn. Left the stadium after the 21st inning...but all we could do was sit on the bus and listen on the radio until the final passengers boarded when the game ended.
I'm fairly certain the account of the first game of the doubleheader taking 2 hours 29 minutes to complete is inaccurate. I think that game, although 9 innings, took more than 3 hours to complete.
Great memory. Triple play (MacMillen to Kranepool), Mays plays shortstop.
September 25, 2015
For those who want to hear the missed triple play off the bat of Orlando Cepeda. This highlight can be heard on the Miracle Mets CD. Lindsey made a great call of that play. Meanwhile on WCBS TV What's My line Host Wally Bruner took a few extra seconds to come out for his opening introductions on his show due to the fact he was watching the Mets game in the green room.