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The Hottest Game on Record

Posted by Raphy on May 23, 2011

Within the past few weeks Sean added a weather option to the game finders of  PI. While the games with information are limited (see the very bottom of this page) , it is still interesting to see.  Here are the hottest games in the PIs database. The home teams are listed first.

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str # ERA Temp ▾ WindDir WindSpd Prec Sky
1 1988-08-26 TEX TOR W 5-1 9.0 2 1 1 4 10 0 133 81 2 1.00 109 none night
2 1980-06-27 TEX MIN W 5-0 9.0 4 0 0 0 2 0 1 0.00 109 10
3 1988-08-08 TEX DET L 2-3 9.0 6 3 3 3 3 0 4 3.00 107 none night
4 1980-06-28 TEX MIN W 11-3 9.0 5 3 3 7 3 0 3 3.00 107
5 2007-09-03 LAA OAK W 9-5 9.0 8 5 4 7 9 2 171 97 4 4.00 106 torf 5 cloudy
6 1988-09-04 CAL BOS L 5-6 10.0 10 6 3 7 5 1 182 109 4 2.70 106 torf none sunny
7 1980-07-30 KCR BOS L 1-7 9.0 15 7 7 1 4 0 3 7.00 106 16 night
8 1980-07-16 TEX CHW W 11-3 9.0 11 3 2 3 1 0 2 2.00 106 sunny
9 1952-06-29 SLB DET W 3-2 9.0 5 2 1 1 2 0 2 1.00 106
10 2009-09-21 ARI SFG L 4-5 9.0 8 5 4 6 4 0 176 104 6 4.00 105 ltor 13 sunny
11 1999-07-06 BAL TOR L 3-4 10.0 7 4 4 5 3 2 158 87 4 3.60 105 rtol 5 none overcast
12 1998-06-27 ARI SEA L 4-6 9.0 10 6 5 2 11 2 147 95 2 5.00 105 ltor 6 none night
13 1983-08-25 (1) KCR TEX W 3-1 9.0 6 1 1 1 1 0 2 1.00 105
14 1983-08-17 KCR DET L 4-10 9.0 14 10 10 2 0 2 3 10.00 105
15 1980-07-10 KCR DET W 3-2 9.0 9 2 2 0 5 0 2 2.00 105 night
16 1980-06-29 TEX MIN L 3-5 9.0 15 5 4 3 4 0 3 4.00 105
17 1972-06-25 TEX CHW L 5-10 9.0 10 10 7 8 6 1 5 7.00 105
18 1962-08-12 HOU MLN W 8-5 9.0 11 5 5 7 2 2 4 5.00 105 4 none sunny
19 2007-06-27 ARI LAD W 2-0 9.0 9 0 0 6 7 0 151 87 4 0.00 104 rtol 8 sunny
20 2007-06-26 ARI LAD L 5-6 10.0 12 6 6 5 6 2 158 95 6 5.40 104 fromlf 10 sunny
21 1999-06-15 ARI FLA W 4-3 9.0 12 3 3 2 5 1 127 81 5 3.00 104 ltor 6 none cloudy
22 1998-07-31 TEX CHW L 2-10 9.0 11 10 9 2 9 2 168 104 4 9.00 104 rtol 16 none night
23 1995-07-14 DET CAL L 3-7 9.0 9 7 7 4 3 2 131 83 3 7.00 104 ltor 10 none night
24 1995-07-13 MIL CHW W 8-7 10.0 8 7 7 6 3 1 166 93 5 6.30 104 rtol 16 none night
25 1988-07-26 TEX BOS W 9-8 9.0 13 8 8 2 5 3 153 99 3 8.00 104 9 none night
26 1980-08-22 (1) TEX MIL W 12-6 9.0 14 6 6 1 4 2 4 6.00 104
27 1973-06-21 SDP HOU L 2-12 9.0 14 12 10 3 8 5 4 10.00 104
28 1961-07-23 PHI CHC L 5-11 9.0 12 11 11 5 4 4 5 11.00 104 none cloudy
29 1953-06-20 CHC BRO L 3-5 9.0 10 5 4 3 2 1 151 91 3 4.00 104
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/23/2011.

49 Responses to “The Hottest Game on Record”

  1. Jeff Says:

    This is an interesting list. I clicked on the most recent one just to see what the temperature was. 109F? Aargh!

    Also, I didn't realize that Oddibe "Young Again" McDowell played in over 800 games, and that he came back to the majors for one season in 1994. I thought he was gone completely after 1990.

    Wasn't he the guy who ran through an outfield fence while playing in the minor leagues, and broke his nose?

  2. Raphy Says:

    I'm sorry. I should have mentioned that the meteorological information can be found by scrolling to the side.

  3. Raphy Says:

    I've updated the post to make the information easier to see.

  4. John Autin Says:

    Maybe the heat made the grease a little more effective? Ol' Gaylord is the only man on this list with a shutout -- see #2 above.

  5. JWL Says:

    #1 Rodney McCray ran through an outfield fence. Maybe McDowell did it, too. I don't know.

  6. John Autin Says:

    Game #1 on the list was a night game. Ouch.

  7. Jay Says:

    My dad was a STATS reporter for the Milwaukee game on the list and vividly remembers blocks of butter used by the concourse popcorn venders sitting out and melting in the packaging.

  8. Scott Says:

    Reason #122 not to live in Texas

  9. flyingelbowsmash Says:

    I've seen clips with thermometers down on the field that registered over 120 - I think in Texas or KC. Heat coming off the turf would be horrible. I would think a true grass field would be a little cooler.

  10. Steven Page Says:

    Four extra inning games....cruel. I bet the umps were in "hurry up mode" on a lot of these games.

  11. Timmy P Says:

    I remember 1980 being a very hot summer in the midwest. Interesting to see how many times KC shows up on that list, and even Milwaukee shows up. Those dates in 1995 for Milwaukee and Detroit during mid July was the heat wave that killed all those folks in Chicago. Speaking of Texas Hamilton came back with a bang tonight, and they missed him. Even with Beltre and Young playing super, nothing can replace a giant lefty killer bat with power to all fields in the middle of the lineup. Young had another 3 hit game, and he looks like he is going to have about a 220 hit season this year, very productive. I'll bet that 1952 game between the Browns and Tigers that went off at 106 degrees was well attended! Probably had about 150 people there and it the humidity was 90%.

  12. Devon & His 1982 Topps blog Says:

    None of those hold a candle to Busch Stadium when it got artificial turf in 1970. I remember hearing when I was a kid in the 80's that the players complained about the heat and stuff, but never looked it up 'til now -- Players Complain About Heat on Artificial Turf says:

    123 degrees on the surface
    118 degrees at 4ft above the surface
    114 degrees at 6ft above the surface

    ...but the official game time temp, was just 98.

    I remember seeing a Saturday afternoon game in KC, must've been '85 I think, and they showed a temperature gauge on the field that said 120 degrees.

    I was in Veteran's Stadium in July '88 on a sunny Saturday afternoon, sitting a few rows from the dugout, and the heat was unbearable. In fact, it triggered my Mom's epilepsy and she had a seizure.

    So, I'm thinkin' afternoon games played in KC, St Louis, Philly, and possibly Toronto, during the astroturf days or yore, were all worse than anything on this list.... but the official temps weren't showing just how bad it really was.

  13. Devon & His 1982 Topps blog Says:

    typo ... official temp was 90 degrees, not 98.

    Also, I meant "of yore" not "or yore".

    I need sleep. I'm makin' boo boos 😛

  14. Devon & His 1982 Topps blog Says:

    In 1977, the field temp was over 120 for two straight games in the Vet (July 16 & 17) -- Phillies, Cubs Swelter in 120-degree Heat .

    Ok, now I'm off to bed. This subject is too interesting to me.

  15. Devon & His 1982 Topps blog Says:

    One more... Heat Wave Having Big Impact on Sports, says on July 20, 1980 in Busch Stadium, it was 146 degrees on the field!

    Ok, now I think I'm really off to bed. I'd love to know more about this heat business...

  16. Nash Bruce Says:

    I remember, one year, I think that it was '89, Greg Maddux, was pitching against his brother Mike(!) at the Vet. I was 12,13 maybe, but, the heat was so bad, that I spent most of the game, not in the stands (ugh), but wandering the stadium, sneaking peeks at the game here and there.
    It was just too much to handle. (Especially since PHI sucked at the time!)

  17. Anon Says:

    As a Phoenix resident, I assure you the DBacks have played countless games where the outside temp was over 110* so I'm assuming the weather data only includes the outside temp if the roof was left open since the roof is almost always shut when it's over 100* or so. . . . .

  18. Anon Says:

    RE: Dbacks - OK, I pulled a few games and it would appear that only games with the roof open count since many say "InDome" for weather conditions. . . . .

  19. Neil L. Says:

    How about that 1980 series in late June between Texas and Minnesota? You think the Twins were glad to leave town?

  20. kds Says:

    Should those Diamondback games be on this list? Don't they shut the roof when it gets that hot? (I don't think they built a roof because of the great threat of rain in Arizona!)

  21. The Legendary Frank King Says:

    So shouldn't games which were played inside a dome be pulled from this list? Like all the DBacks home games since they were likely played at about 72* I just want to see TEX make it on some of these lists a few more times. 😉

    In the past couple years I've been to some games in Arlington where the temp was above 100* when the game ENDED. What home field advantage?

  22. JohnBoy Says:

    In August of 2001, I attended a game at the late not-so-great Veterans Stadium. It was over 100 degrees and the turf was so hot Omar Daal's cleats melted. Evidently, his arm did as well, losing the game.

  23. Yetijuice Says:

    Where is the All-Star Game played on July 11th, 1967 in Anaheim? My Dad and I sat high in the upper deck near the right field foul pole baking in the sun. I am sure that it was at least 104 degrees F for the 4:15 p.m. first pitch.

  24. Yetijuice Says:

    Yes, I was also at the September 3rd, 2007 Oakland Athletics @ Los Angeles Angels game. That game started at 6:05 p.m. and I sat in the shade. It may have been a degree or two warmer than the start of the 1967 All-Star Game but I was much cooler.

  25. Bip Says:

    I know this isn't relevant to the topic, but I didn't know where else to post it: What if pitching WAR factored in a starter's spot in the rotation? I get that it would be hard because after opening day, the rotations are no longer aligned, but it seems like an interesting thing to consider. Now that I think about it, it wouldn't make sense to factor it into an individual player's WAR because it's not like there's a difference between a replacement #1 starter and a replacement #5 starter, but at the same time, Cole Hamels in the #4 spot is more valuable than Cole Hamels in the #1 spot, assuming that each of the other spots is filled by the average pitcher in that spot.

  26. Rolf Says:

    Rough, would most likely lose 3-5 pounds playing nine innings in those temp's

  27. Mets Maven Says:

    The summer of '88 was brutal in NYC as well as Texas. My wife was pregnant with our first child. We had seats in the last row in the upper deck at Shea Stadium. The temperature was 90+. I didn't think she was going to make it up the stairs. Women who weren't even pregnant were having babies up there, it was so hot!

  28. Dave Says:

    Why does it say night and not things like "cloudy" or "overcast"?
    Can't we have cloudy conditions at night?

  29. jiffy Says:

    Chiming in to say the summer of '88 was miserable even in Wisconsin. I was a young kid but pretty much was stuck inside that summer.

  30. statboy Says:

    I noticed that some games had 87 mph winds. I'm guessing that's an error. 🙂

  31. therood Says:

    Jim Sundberg caught the four hottest games on record and also caught #16 and #26 on the list, although he had game #8 off.

    He apparently didn't get enough of the heat in 1980 and came back for more in 1988.

  32. therood Says:

    Sundberg also caught the 8th inning of the #13 game.

  33. LJF Says:

    @ 30 - It could be, but I was at a game in Denver in 1993, sitting in the next to the top row at the old Mile High Stadium (Ryne Sandberg got career hit #2000). Anyway, the wind was monstrous before the game with gusts in the area recorded at 97 mph. The poor grounds keeper was trying to stripe the field and he couldn't get the third base line complete, because the wind was blowing the chalk from his striping machine before it could hit the ground. Someone in the booth caught on and displayed his effort on the big screen. It was a perfect image of frustration - this guy with his hands on his hips staring down at the machine like it was doing this to him on purpose. It took my mind off the fact that it felt like the stands were about to be blown into Kansas.

  34. Neil L. Says:

    @31 @32
    Nice catch, Therood, on Jim Sundberg.

    Should the phrase "hot-weather catcher be" coined for him?

  35. therood Says:

    @ 34

    Seems like a good title for Sundberg. I would guess that's just part of catching in Texas; he was (un)lucky enough to be there during a couple of extraordinarily hot summers.

    I also missed that he caught game #25. That's 8 complete games caught of the hottest 29, plus an inning as a sub.

    He's one cool guy, I suppose. [Eh? Eh?]

  36. John Says:

    My parents kept the Boston Globe of my birthday, and it had the story of this game, so sweltering that Red Sox starter Rick Wise lost 8 pounds that day, according to the Globe's game story.

    So I checked... but alas! A mere 102.

    (For the record, my father was following my 9-months-pregnant mother around the house with a window fan.)

  37. Tmckelv Says:

    @19 Neil,

    I bet the 1980 Twins hold the record (guess) for playing in games with the biggest temperature differential (max temp minus min temp) as I know the temperature could dip pretty low in their old Metropolitan stadium.

  38. oneblankspace Says:

    This is part of the reason the Rangers never scheduled day games at home, except for opening day and the last day of the season. Then ESPN made them play their Sunday games in the afternoon....

    Also, the Cardinals do not schedule home day games, except on Sunday, between Memorial Day and Labor Day (3:30 or so on the 4th of July, if they have it). St Louis City is often hotter than St Louis County. (Again, Fox makes them play some on Saturday afternoon)

  39. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    I haven't had time to read through all the posts, so forgive me if I'm touching on territory already covered.
    The ballpark design seems irrelevant, in considering whether indoor games should be on this list. Whether playing in a closed-dome or outdoor-sunshine environment, heat is heat. What matters is the humidity: so what if it's an indoors 106 where at least the "air conditioning" can control the humidity, or the "dry heat" of an outdoors 106 at Arizona?
    Plus, we must include the indoors games because the operation of the air conditioning plant uses electricity, which is powered by a huge generator somewhere, which probably burns coal, all of which contributes to "global warming" if I'm hearing Al Gore right, which results in more 106-degree games at Arizona.
    So obviously the way to reduce global warming is to tear down all those domed stadiums that use air conditioning and electricity, and things will eventually cool down in Arizona to a nice, comfortable 104.

  40. Nelson Says:

    You're omitting the 1966 All-Star game in St. Louis. Reports vary, but 105 and 106 are cited as the game time air temperature, and I remember Joe Garagiola saying it was over 130 on the surface. My most vivid memory of the game is Juan Marichal taking the mound in the 6th inning and finding something funny with his catcher, Joe Torre. Rare to see a pitcher smiling almost continuously for a full inning while he's on the mound.

  41. Nelson Says:

    I also attended what has to be the hottest game ever played at normally-frigid Candlestick Park. September 8, 1984, 103 degrees. You couldn't sit in the sun, it was so sweltering hot.

  42. Jeff Says:


    St. Louis can certainly be a scorcher in the summertime. I remember reading a story about the 1934 St. Louis (Gashouse Gang) team, when there was a heat wave in STL. One day it was over 100 degrees, so some of the players lit a small campfire next to the playing field, wrapped blankets around themselves Indian-style, and sat in a circle around the fire. All this just to amuse the fans.

    I guess they'd get fined or thrown in jail for that nowadays.

  43. The Hottest Game on Record » Stathead » Blog Archive Says:

    [...] The Hottest Game on Record: At B-R, Raphy found the hottest game temperatures in our database. [...]

  44. John McKinstra Says:

    1988 was the summer of the big drought in the Midwest. Kansas City, Texas, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cincinnatti, Cleveleand, Detroit all suffered drought like conditions throughout the summer. Reference this Time magazine cover from the 4th of July 1988,16641,19880704,00.html

  45. Neil L. Says:

    @ multiple
    I can't believe all the eyeballs on games in-person represented in this thread. Reminds me of why this is my primary baseball site.

    I have to wonder why so many St. Louis games are so hot? It can't be merely a climatogical consequence. It has to be something to do with stadium design does it not?

    Concrete, even under a layer of artificial turf, will radiate heat to the air under the bombardment of continual sunlight. So the ground level temperature compared to the upper level stadium air temperature will always be different at a a turf stadium.

    The other factor in stadium temperature is the penetration of breezes to dissipate all the radiated heat. That is where upper deck construction and the nature of light standards comes into play.

    Wow, this thread has a lot of traction.

  46. John Autin Says:

    I am reminded of the old story -- possibly apocryphal -- about the Cardinals playing a homestand during a heat wave. The manager grew so tired of the players moaning that he threatened a $100 fine for the next player who complained about the heat. The next day as they took the field, one player instinctively blurted out, "Boy, is it hot!" -- but spotting the manager, he quickly added, "-- just the way I like it!"

  47. Jeff Says:

    On the flip side comes <a href=""Orioles at A's 7/23/94 where it was apparently a sunny 6°! Luckily it was a sunny day, otherwise it would have been cold. Now, I have lived 15 miles from Oakland all my life, and it's hard for me to fathom it ever being 6° at 1:05 in late July. Hmmm...

  48. Jeff Says:

    *Note to self, finish html tags before posting thxplx

    On the flip side comes Orioles at A's 7/23/94 where it was apparently a sunny 6°! Luckily it was a sunny day, otherwise it would have been cold. Now, I have lived 15 miles from Oakland all my life, and it's hard for me to fathom it ever being 6° at 1:05 in late July. Hmmm...

  49. Devon & His 1982 Topps blog Says:

    Here's three pre-astroturf hotties that would top all the games we have records for (that are listed above)...

    The NY Times reported that the Aug 7, 1918 Reds @ Giants game "was 110 degrees".

    Also the NY Times... the Giants @ Reds doubleheader (gm1, gm2) of September 14, 1939 was played in 110 degree heat again! (pay-to-read article, but this title page says it was 110)

    ...I didn't expect to see any 110's in a pre-artificial surface park, especially in northern places.