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Mailbag: Has one team ever played a double-header against two different teams?

Posted by Andy on April 28, 2011

Reader Neal W. writes in to ask:

"Has there ever been a doubleheader where the home team played two different teams?"

I don't know the answer--I'm hoping another reader will.

But it does remind me of looking at team schedules as a kid and often being fooled that there was a double-header against two different teams. Back in the days when there still were scheduled double-headers, it wasn't unusual to look at a Sunday on the calendar and see two games scheduled. Occasionally I saw two games where the opponents were different and got surprised. Eventually I realized that the calendars were actually showing two different Sundays for a month that ended on a Sunday or a Monday. They did this to save space rather than print an entire extra week at the bottom that would be mostly empty.

But back to the question at hand--does anybody know?

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2011 at 10:00 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

33 Responses to “Mailbag: Has one team ever played a double-header against two different teams?”

  1. Luke Larson Says:

    St. Louis Cardinals, September 13, 1951

    Game 1: Beat NY Giants 6-4
    Game 2. Lost to Boston Braves 0-2

    This has probably happened other times, but this was the first one that I spotted.

  2. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Reminds me of a game I heard about in which I think the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers all played each other in one game, with one team rotating out every half-inning. Obviously it was an exhibition of some sort. I don't know when it happened or why.

    And the Yankees and Mets have played a doubleheader with one game at each team's home park on at least one occasion.

  3. Can't remember the details but I'm certain this happened in the last 5 years. It was late September and I'm pretty sure the Angels were involved.

  4. The Indians did it a decade ago. I knew I remembered it vaguely, but it wasn't hard to Wikipedia it and find out it was in 2000.

    C'mon, guys- if I can answer it, it's too easy a question for this site.

  5. The Yankees/Dodgers/Giants game was an exhibition game during World War 2 to help raise funds for the war.

  6. Knucklehead Says:

    The Indians played the White Sox and Twins on the same day in September 2000.

  7. Make that Sept 25, 2000. Indians hosted the White Sox and Twins.

  8. John Autin Says:

    New Yorkers remember this unique(?) doubleheader from 2008:

    The Mets & Yanks played a split doubleheader in 2 different parks.
    The Mets won the opener in Shea, 15-6, as Carlos Delgado emerged from a terrible slump with 2 HRs and 9 RBI.
    The Yanks took the nightcap in the Bronx, 9-0, with Sidney Ponson (!) pitching 6 scoreless innings in his Yankee debut, 3 days after being released by Texas.

  9. John Autin Says:

    I forgot to credit Johnny Twisto for the initial mention of that Mets/Yanks doubleheader.

  10. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Only recently, I learned about that doubleheader that the Indians played in 2000. But I had never heard about such a thing happening before. Now I see that it has happened on other occasions.

    Doesn't this happen sometimes in spring training, too? Or am I just confusing it with split squad games, where some of the players stay home and play one team while others take to the road and play another one? With 15 teams each now in Arizona and Florida, somebody's either got to have a bye/off day or play a split squad or intrasquad game each day in each circuit.

    (I don't know how close all of the Arizona teams are to each other, but in Florida, the teams that train on the east/Atlantic coast rarely play those that train on the west/Gulf coast, at least while they're still in Florida. The ones in between, such as any teams that may be in the Orlando/Kissimmee area, may be able to get to either coast. Depending on how many groups of teams there are in the Grapefruit and possibly Cactus League, there may be more groupings of odd numbers of teams that mandate creative scheduling.)

  11. On September 25, 2000, the Cleveland Indians hosted a doubleheader against two different teams. The September 10 game against the Chicago White Sox in Cleveland had been rained out. With no common days off for the remainder of the season and both teams in a post-season race, the teams agreed to play a day game in Cleveland on the same day that the Indians were to host the Minnesota Twins for a night game. The Indians defeated the White Sox 9-2 in the first game while the Twins defeated the Indians 4-3 in the second.

  12. Mets & Yanks, July 8, 2000 or June 28, 2003?
    Sep 7, 1903, Superbas & Giants?

  13. John Autin Says:

    @12, Jeff J -- Well done. Perhaps I forgot those other 2 split-stadium doubleheaders because the Mets were swept each time....

  14. Max Flack and Cliff Heathcote. They were traded for each other between games of a Cards / Cubs double-dip on May 30, 1922.

  15. Also, in the early days when blue laws were prevalent, sometimes teams played double headers in non-blue law states that were close by. The Cleveland Spiders in 1899 used to travel a lot to Louisville to play the Reds and the Colonels on Sundays - and they also went to St. Louis to play the Perfectos on split doubleheaders.

  16. It happened a number of times in 1899:

    June 11- LOU 2 CIN 8 and CLE 1 CIN 10
    June 25- NY 5 STL 3 and CLE 3 STL 1
    July 9- CLE 4 STL 11 and LOU 4 STL 11
    Aug. 6- LOU 6 CIN 9 and STL 2 CIN 4
    Aug. 20- CLE 7 CHI 8 and LOU 5 CHI 0
    Sep. 3- CLE 1 CIN 3 and LOU 7 CIN 6
    Sep. 10- CLE 2 CIN 10 and LOU 7 CIN 8
    Oct. 8- CLE 0 CHI 13 and LOU 3 CHI 7
    Oct. 15- LOU 9 CHI 8 and STL 0 CHI 7

    Cleveland and St. Louis were under common ownership that year. The owners put most of the good players in St. Louis, and turned the Cleveland Spiders into basically a road team after June, hence a W-L of 20-134, and the Spiders were folded in 1900...

  17. buckweaver Says:

    Not the same thing, but there have also been three recorded tripleheaders in major league history:

    Reds beat the Pirates 13-4 and 7-3 before losing 6-0 in 6 innings at Forbes Field on October 2, 1920, the final day of the season.

    The other two were 9/1/1890 (NL-Brooklyn vs. Pittsburgh) and 9/7/1896 (NL-Baltimore vs. Louisville).

  18. John Autin Says:

    @15, Milhouse -- er, Smed -- What is the basis for this statement? "The Cleveland Spiders in 1899 used to travel a lot to Louisville to play the Reds and the Colonels on Sundays."

    The schedule listed on B-R shows only one "side trip" to Louisville (Sunday, May 21). There is also one such trip to Cincinnati (Sunday, June 11) and one to St. Louis (Sunday, June 25).

    I do sort of wonder if the listed schedule is entirely accurate. For instance, it shows them playing in Cleveland on Saturday, June 24; playing Sunday in St. Louis, about 500 miles away, and then playing back in Cleveland on Monday. Was it even possible in 1899 to make a 500-mile train trip in less than 24 hours?

    The most salient fact about the 1899 Spiders, of course, is that they were a "dead team walking" -- their roster having been gutted by mass transfer to the owner's other team, the fans stopped coming out; and from July 3 to the end of the season, the Spiders played 85 of their last 93 games on the road.

  19. I also see a weird incident Sep 14, 1971, Senators/Indians

  20. Joel Youngblood is, I believe, the only player to play for different teams (Mets and Expos) in two games in two cities on the same day (Aug 4, 1982). He picked up a hit in each game, both times against future HOF pitchers (Jenkins and Carlton). I remember watching the Expos game on TV.

  21. John Autin Says:

    @19, Jeff J -- Wow -- a 20-inning nightcap!
    (Is that what you meant by "a weird incident"?)

    The game took 6:15 in front of 2,639 fans. Each side used 9 pitchers. The 18 pitchers who each faced at least 1 batter was a record for the game-searchable era that lasted until 2006.

  22. @21

    It is one of several incidents that are claimed to have started in one park & ended in another. Maybe a suspended game finished later?

  23. "Has one team ever played a double-header against two different teams?"

    No, because a double-header is when you play the SAME team twice. So, in order to play a double-header against two different teams, one team would have to play four games.


  24. @21, @22.

    Not clear from the box that the game was suspended, but it seems likely. It appears this DH was a twi-nighther as the first game is recorded under Weather as "Night". So, adding nine hours to (perhaps) a 6:00 pm start would mean finishing around 3:00am. And, I seem to recall the AL had a 1:00am curfew for many years.

    Also, the visiting Senators had to travel after the game (albeit only to Detroit) for a game the next day, so they may have had to suspend for that reason, even if not for a curfew.

    Good thing this was in September with the expanded rosters. Both teams certainly made good use of their available players.

  25. @24 "Good thing this was in September with the expanded rosters. Both teams certainly made good use of their available players."

    The Apr 28, 2008 O's/Chisox game wasn't.

  26. @25.

    Nor the May 31, 1964 Giants/Mets DH (23 innings in the second game).

  27. @25.

    This brings to mind the 1992 Dodgers and the LA race riots that spring. The riots forced cancellation of an entire Dodgers/Expos series. Those games were made up in July the next time the Expos were in LA, with 3 consecutive double-headers in 3 days. I recall that the NL granted a special roster expansion just for that series, so the teams could bring up a few more arms.

  28. Bonus points for the triple-headers in pre-lights stadiums. Although, games were a lot faster then without pitching changes, dragging the infield, etc.

  29. @21, @22, @24-

    It was the completion of a game started on Sep. 14 in Cleveland...

  30. Lukehart80 Says:

    Not only did Cleveland have to play that doubleheader against two different teams, they had to play back-to-back doubleheaders in Boston a few days before, with a three game trip to Kansas City after that:

    Wednesday: doubleheader in Boston
    Thursday: doubleheader in Boston
    Friday: at Kansas City
    Saturday: at Kansas City
    Sunday: at Kansas City
    Monday: home for doubleheader against Chicago and Minnesota

    All of this was in the midst of finishing the season with 23 games in 20 days, not a single day off. That is a ROUGH stretch of baseball. The Tribe went 14-9 in that stretch and finished one game out of the wildcard.

  31. I seem to remember that at some during my childhood (late 70's/early 80's), the Giants and Braves finished three games in one day, with a suspended game being finished prior to a scheduled doubeheader.

    Probably just a faulty memory, though... :)

  32. Stu Baron Says:

    @8 John Autin: You had the results right, but not the ballparks. The Mets won the afternoon game, 15-6, at Yankee Stadium, and the Yankees won the nightcap, 9-0, at Shea.

  33. John Autin Says:

    @32, Stu Baron -- Thanks for the correction.

    There's a funny story behind my mistake, which shows how hard it is to correct an erroneous memory even when the truth is proven to us. I had remembered that doubleheader being played in the order I wrote, i.e., wrong. But before writing that post, I looked up the box scores and found that my memory had it backwards. I was so confounded by the discovery that I even went to another source to confirm. So, now I was quite aware of the right order of the parks -- yet I still wrote it wrong, the way I originally remembered it!