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Baseball’s 200,000th Game Fast Approaching

Posted by Sean Forman on June 15, 2011

Major League Baseball & MLB Encyclopedia - Baseball-Reference.com

We have historical totals for major league baseball on our leagues directory and I noticed that we are fast approaching the 200,000th game in major league history.

There is probably some room for interpretation on when exactly it will occur.  How do you count forfeits, suspended games etc. And I'm including the National Association in my total, but the fact remains that some time between July 1 and the end of the season MLB will have played 200,000 games, no matter how you count it.

UPDATE:

I'm using NA, UA, AA, PL and FL in my calculations. If you use all of those we are 266 away. using what I have of the schedule, it appears we'll hit 200k on July 4th. Assuming there are less that 5 rainouts between now and then. The second question is when do we mark a game as completed? The 5th? The end of the game?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 at 8:46 am and is filed under Announcements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

23 Responses to “Baseball’s 200,000th Game Fast Approaching”

  1. Well that's pretty cool, but vague. So, when might the 200,000th (official) game be?

  2. we are fast approaching the 200,000th game

    ...and that's just one season for one team!

  3. Let me guess....the 200,000th game will be played at Yankee Stadium?

  4. 200,000? Man, that's alotta peanuts, cracker-jacks...and beer.

  5. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    Sean,

    Is MLB officially aware of this? Do they plan on making a big deal about it, as they did for the one millionth run? Does this computation include the Union Association of 1884, whose status as even being a major league at all (most notably by Bill James) has long been in doubt? I know that you include it here.

    I recall that there was quite the hubub about that one-millionth run scored (credited to Bob Watson). It was May 4th, 1975, against the Giants at Candlestick,on a Milt May HR. According to Wikipedia, Watson won $10,000 and one million Tootsie Rolls (!) provided by the event's sponsor.

    Turns out Watson actually scored _a lot_ more than run number 1,000,000, as they only included the American and National Leagues, and not the AA or the Federal League or other major leagues.

  6. i personally count the NA but not the UA, AA, PL, or FL when i do my stuff. i would consider the 200,000th game to be the # from the NA, NL, and AL.

    a lot of the 1800s players that people complain about not being in the HOF, if you look they did most of their stuff not in the NL but in the UA, AA, or PL. and most of the time their best seasons are in the non-NL leagues. meanwhile the 1800s players in the hall, did their stuff in the NL. really explains a lot of the vet committee "snubs." i personally agree with them and honestly, i don't think the NNL and NAL stars should be in the hall either.

  7. see my update

  8. MLB recognizes all these leagues EXCEPT the NA. Communication with MLB should probably elide the NA games.

    Bill James makes a strong case that whatever one thinks of the NA, the UA should not be included, either, but "officially" they are.

  9. Since a lot of games start at the same time I would use the 5th inning as the time that the game would become official will vary from game to game. Makes life easier in case there are giveaways attached again. Otherwise an early inning rainout wipes the game from existence.

  10. @3 (Jeff): Sadly for MLB, the Yankees will be in Cleveland watching for midges on Independence Day. If no rainouts, and using start times on 4 July, #200,000 would be the 5th-to-last game of the day, which would be either KCR @ CWS or COL @ ATL (both 7:10 starts).

  11. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @6/ jason Says: "... a lot of the 1800s players that people complain about not being in the HOF, if you look they did most of their stuff not in the NL but in the UA, AA, or PL. and most of the time their best seasons are in the non-NL leagues..."

    How do you figure this? None of the best players whose careers were mostly in American Association, such as:
    Tip O'Neill
    Pete Browning
    Harry Stovey
    Arlie Latham
    Bob Caruthers
    Tony Mullane

    are in the HOF, or even have received much support. Billy Hamilton and Hugh Duffy had a few good years in the AA, but established almost all of their HOF credentials in the NL.

    The Union Association and Players League only existed for one year, so it wouldn't do much to boost a HOF candidate's credentials. The Players League actually consisted of a majority of the best players in MLB in 1890, so I wouldn't consider it a negative to play in that league.

    Also, how can you count the National Association (1871-75), which was very poorly organized and on a lower level than the NL, and not count all the other leagues? If anything, I'd discard the NA (and the UA).

    From the above list, I'd consider Caruthers and Browning as creditable HOF candidates.

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  13. "When do we mark a game as completed?"

    For me, I mark a game as completed- whether a suspension or a protest- when the final decision is rendered. I know MLB sees it as the date that the game was started- does that make me a contrarian? Or is it much ado about nothing?

    Methinks I need a life...

  14. You really can't count the NA and UA. The Pacific Coast league of the '30s and probably the International league of today would have stronger claims to being major leagues.

  15. Sean, based on @8's note that MLB does not recognize NA, but it does the other ones, when will the 200,000th game be reached. If MLB doesn't recognize NA, then is should be eliminated from the calculation.

  16. Johnny Twisto Says:

    How do you differentiate the IL of today from the PCL of today?

  17. Didn't Tim Wakefield get the win in game #1?

  18. @17 I think that was actually Jamie Moyer

  19. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @17/18 - It was Jack Quinn; no, it was actually Bobby Matthews. Courtesy of Retrosheet:

    Retrosheet is proud to present the details of the first Major League game ever played, a National Association contest between the Cleveland Forest Cities and Ft. Wayne Kekiongas on May 4, 1871.
    .............................. ................................. ..........................
    Cleveland 000 000 000 -- 0
    Ft. Wayne 010 010 000 -- 2

    Ft. Wayne IP H R ER BB SO
    Mathews B (W) 9.0 4 0 0 1 6

  20. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    If my calculations are correct, the 100,000th game occurred right after World War II -- which means that, more than likely, I was either at that game {we were all regular attendees of Redlegs games in my family}, or at least heard the results over the radio.

    Contrary to popular opinion {at least those held by my kids}, I was NOT there for that first one. I am setting as a goal being here for Number 300,000 -- which should occur sometime in 2034, according to my calculations. I should be 103 then, so -- God willing -- at least I will be able to watch it on television {or whatever people watch things on by that point}.

    I also wonder if Jamie Moyer will be retired yet...

  21. John Autin Says:

    On a tangent ... Of you folks who have really looked at the Federal League, how many consider it a major league? I know there were a lot of major-league veterans who jumped over, and even some who weren't washed up yet. But there was an awful lot of chaff in that league.

    Also, does anyone have a line on the decision process that led to MLB officially recognizing FL stats, and when that happened? Thanks.

  22. [...] have been playing  baseball for a long time.  Baseball Reference’s Sean Forman digs in deep and figures out just how [...]

  23. @16:

    Only because the franchises seem stronger - higher attendance, more teams are owned by individual owners rather than their big league clubs, less frequent relocation.