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MLB’s 200,000th Game

Posted by Sean Forman on July 19, 2011

Yes it is an arbitrary round number, but I like the fact that major league baseball will play its 200,000th game this year. To honor that milestone, I've added a countdown widget to the right hand column of the site's front page.

As of today, we are at 199,072 games played. I've provided a year-by-year summary of the games played totaled below. In case anyone disputes our number, please ask them for a similar list.

If you recognize the National Association as a major league (and many do), the 200,000th game was played on July 4th, 2011 by the Reds and Cardinals (if you go by start times).


Here is our year-by-year list of games played.


+-----------+-------+-------------+
| year_game | games | cumul_games |
+-----------+-------+-------------+
|      1876 |   260 |         260 | 
|      1877 |   180 |         440 | 
|      1878 |   184 |         624 | 
|      1879 |   321 |         945 | 
|      1880 |   340 |        1285 | 
|      1881 |   336 |        1621 | 
|      1882 |   572 |        2193 | 
|      1883 |   785 |        2978 | 
|      1884 |  1544 |        4522 | 
|      1885 |   891 |        5413 | 
|      1886 |  1052 |        6465 | 
|      1887 |  1057 |        7522 | 
|      1888 |  1091 |        8613 | 
|      1889 |  1090 |        9703 | 
|      1890 |  1608 |       11311 | 
|      1891 |  1109 |       12420 | 
|      1892 |   921 |       13341 | 
|      1893 |   785 |       14126 | 
|      1894 |   799 |       14925 | 
|      1895 |   799 |       15724 | 
|      1896 |   792 |       16516 | 
|      1897 |   811 |       17327 | 
|      1898 |   921 |       18248 | 
|      1899 |   923 |       19171 | 
|      1900 |   569 |       19740 | 
|      1901 |  1110 |       20850 | 
|      1902 |  1117 |       21967 | 
|      1903 |  1114 |       23081 | 
|      1904 |  1249 |       24330 | 
|      1905 |  1237 |       25567 | 
|      1906 |  1228 |       26795 | 
|      1907 |  1233 |       28028 | 
|      1908 |  1244 |       29272 | 
|      1909 |  1241 |       30513 | 
|      1910 |  1249 |       31762 | 
|      1911 |  1237 |       32999 | 
|      1912 |  1232 |       34231 | 
|      1913 |  1234 |       35465 | 
|      1914 |  1880 |       37345 | 
|      1915 |  1864 |       39209 | 
|      1916 |  1247 |       40456 | 
|      1917 |  1247 |       41703 | 
|      1918 |  1016 |       42719 | 
|      1919 |  1118 |       43837 | 
|      1920 |  1234 |       45071 | 
|      1921 |  1229 |       46300 | 
|      1922 |  1238 |       47538 | 
|      1923 |  1233 |       48771 | 
|      1924 |  1231 |       50002 | 
|      1925 |  1228 |       51230 | 
|      1926 |  1234 |       52464 | 
|      1927 |  1236 |       53700 | 
|      1928 |  1231 |       54931 | 
|      1929 |  1229 |       56160 | 
|      1930 |  1234 |       57394 | 
|      1931 |  1236 |       58630 | 
|      1932 |  1233 |       59863 | 
|      1933 |  1226 |       61089 | 
|      1934 |  1223 |       62312 | 
|      1935 |  1228 |       63540 | 
|      1936 |  1238 |       64778 | 
|      1937 |  1239 |       66017 | 
|      1938 |  1223 |       67240 | 
|      1939 |  1231 |       68471 | 
|      1940 |  1236 |       69707 | 
|      1941 |  1244 |       70951 | 
|      1942 |  1224 |       72175 | 
|      1943 |  1238 |       73413 | 
|      1944 |  1242 |       74655 | 
|      1945 |  1230 |       75885 | 
|      1946 |  1242 |       77127 | 
|      1947 |  1243 |       78370 | 
|      1948 |  1237 |       79607 | 
|      1949 |  1240 |       80847 | 
|      1950 |  1238 |       82085 | 
|      1951 |  1239 |       83324 | 
|      1952 |  1239 |       84563 | 
|      1953 |  1240 |       85803 | 
|      1954 |  1237 |       87040 | 
|      1955 |  1234 |       88274 | 
|      1956 |  1239 |       89513 | 
|      1957 |  1235 |       90748 | 
|      1958 |  1235 |       91983 | 
|      1959 |  1238 |       93221 | 
|      1960 |  1236 |       94457 | 
|      1961 |  1430 |       95887 | 
|      1962 |  1621 |       97508 | 
|      1963 |  1619 |       99127 | 
|      1964 |  1626 |      100753 | 
|      1965 |  1623 |      102376 | 
|      1966 |  1615 |      103991 | 
|      1967 |  1620 |      105611 | 
|      1968 |  1625 |      107236 | 
|      1969 |  1946 |      109182 | 
|      1970 |  1944 |      111126 | 
|      1971 |  1938 |      113064 | 
|      1972 |  1859 |      114923 | 
|      1973 |  1943 |      116866 | 
|      1974 |  1945 |      118811 | 
|      1975 |  1934 |      120745 | 
|      1976 |  1939 |      122684 | 
|      1977 |  2103 |      124787 | 
|      1978 |  2102 |      126889 | 
|      1979 |  2099 |      128988 | 
|      1980 |  2105 |      131093 | 
|      1981 |  1394 |      132487 | 
|      1982 |  2107 |      134594 | 
|      1983 |  2109 |      136703 | 
|      1984 |  2105 |      138808 | 
|      1985 |  2103 |      140911 | 
|      1986 |  2103 |      143014 | 
|      1987 |  2105 |      145119 | 
|      1988 |  2100 |      147219 | 
|      1989 |  2106 |      149325 | 
|      1990 |  2105 |      151430 | 
|      1991 |  2104 |      153534 | 
|      1992 |  2106 |      155640 | 
|      1993 |  2269 |      157909 | 
|      1994 |  1600 |      159509 | 
|      1995 |  2017 |      161526 | 
|      1996 |  2267 |      163793 | 
|      1997 |  2266 |      166059 | 
|      1998 |  2432 |      168491 | 
|      1999 |  2428 |      170919 | 
|      2000 |  2429 |      173348 | 
|      2001 |  2429 |      175777 | 
|      2002 |  2426 |      178203 | 
|      2003 |  2430 |      180633 | 
|      2004 |  2428 |      183061 | 
|      2005 |  2431 |      185492 | 
|      2006 |  2429 |      187921 | 
|      2007 |  2431 |      190352 | 
|      2008 |  2428 |      192780 | 
|      2009 |  2430 |      195210 | 
|      2010 |  2430 |      197640 | 
|      2011 |  1432 |      199072 | 
+-----------+-------+-------------+

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 at 3:11 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.

35 Responses to “MLB’s 200,000th Game”

  1. It's hard not to jump back to my Bill James NBJHBA, and debate the Federal League as a major league. If one were to agree with me, the 200,000th game wouldn't come until next season. By the way, Sean, does this count postseason? I'm thinking it doesn't, so that could tweak some things, too...

  2. If I interpret the 1st League page correctly, you are not counting the NA, (I think that is reasonable), but are counting the UA, which is common but ridiculous. James, in the NBJHBA, had a lot to say about the UA not being a major league, he was not so critical of including the Federal League.

  3. Thing is it doesn't matter what we think or what James thinks. It's what MLB thinks, and as far as I know they consider it all to be a major league except the National Association

  4. Well using this list and MLB's remaining schedule. The 200,000th Game will be the 5th game played on Saturday September 24th barring rainouts that are postponed until after the 24th. There are 4 afternoon games so the first evening game to start will have this distinction. There are 4 games that start at 7:05 CDT. Baltimore at Detroit, Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, Colorado at Houston, and Minnesota at Cleveland.

  5. John Autin Says:

    I can't help thinking of the passage in Joe Posnanski's fine book about the 1975 Reds, The Machine, about the promotion surrounding MLB's 1,000,000th run. As he tells it, Davey Concepcion should have been credited with that "feat", but due to a technical glitch, the news from Cincinnati to New York was slightly delayed, and thus Bob Watson got the credit and the 10,000 Tootsie Rolls.

    Not long after that, many errors were discovered in the MacMillan encyclopedia, and of course neither Watson nor Concepcion was really the 1,000,000th run.

    It would be funny if some kind of controversy arose about the 200,000th game -- e.g., a suspended game that started before #200,000 and was completed chronologically later, but officially on the day it started.

  6. How did we get to 2432 games in 1998? The normal number is 2430. According to the standings pages, the Royals and Mariners only played 161, while the Cubs and Giants played 163 thanks to the one-game playoff.

    For some reason, Toronto, Chicago (A), Pittsburgh, and St. Louis are credited with 163 games in the "Team and League Standard Batting" table. Why is that?

  7. @6
    I think the issue is tie games. Here's the TOR-CHW game from that year:
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHA/CHA199804260.shtml

    These games don't count in the standings, but all the individual batting/pitching stats count.

  8. @2

    You're right, Kds. I was mis-remembering my NBJHBA. I guess I was projecting my own feelings about the Federal League a bit. But you're definitely right about the UA. Either that, or Fred Dunlap was a Bondsian player for one year - well, he was a Bondsian player, but in a Little League.

  9. In a blog several weeks ago, comment was made about the Braves approaching the 20,000 game mark as a franchise since 1876. Or, ~10% of all MLB games to date.

    If memory serves, I think the calculated date of their 20,000th game is right about now, in their series in Colorado.

  10. July 4th?!? Oh what a great PR moment that could've been for MLB. I mean... the great American past-time, played it's 200,000th game on July 4th!

    I forget... when do you count a game as official? Obviously there were lots of games on 7/4/2011, so... after the 5th? After the 3rd out of the final inning?

  11. 200,000 games, 135 years of National League baseball and still 90 feet (30 paces in Cartwright's rules) between the bases is still the appropriate standard. ...The pitcher's "box" distance-to-the-plate didn't standardize until the 1890s and the "mound" feature didn't sprout until the early 1900s.

  12. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    I have a hazy memory maybe someone can help me with or also remembers.
    My father, who taught me to obsess over this game, told me years ago, that in the 60's or 70's (this is the hazy part) someone figured out that the millionth(?) run was going to be scored some time that particular week.
    Well after some tabulations by who knows, maybe a young Bill James, it was announced at several stadiums that they MLB was at 999,999, and the next run was to be the millionth. This was before multiple TVs and Jumbo-trons, so I think the announcers at each park were trying to keep the crowds and players informed. So everyone was holding their breath waiting for a homer or any kind of offense, then BAM! Two plays (one a homer) and the other a regular scoring opportunity, happened simultaneously, but the Homer Guy (who might [in my dad's story] of been Chamblis) is enjoying his trot around the bases, thinking he will be the millionth, when the announcer starts to yell of the other play, sending a lax, semi-hotdogging Chamblis(?) scrambling pell mell around the bases to become the 1 millionth run.
    Is there any truth to that story? Or was it one of my dad's many, very fun, tall tales?

  13. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Just googled "BASEBALL'S MILLIONTH RUN" and came up with this:
    http://baseballminutia.com/blog/2009/04/29/remembering-when-baseball-scored-the-one-millionth-run/

    Its not quite the same as my dad's story, or perhaps the way I remember it, but it sounded like a heck of a lot of fun.

    I was born in '75, but does anyone remember that moment?
    Any good stories (better and more accurate than my dad's) out there?
    Any one fortunate enough to have been at the game?
    Please tell.

  14. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Duke, it's before my time, but I'd say there's definitely some fictional elements to that story.

  15. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    JT
    I know my dad was a BSer, but do you mean the second google generated story as well?

  16. JayKibler Says:

    @9 Doug,
    Actually, the Braves' 20,000th game was played against the Giants on August 7th of last year. Over the years, the franchise has had 153 ties, so that's why their W-L total still hasn't reached 20,000. They reach .500 for the first time since 1923 at 9982-9982 on June 11th against the Astros in Houston, got their 10,000th win last Friday at home against the Nationals, and barring rainouts will play their 20,000th *decision* on Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati. Also, they currently have 9,994 losses, so 6 more losses from now, they will lose their 10,000th game. As a lifelong TBS watcher, I'm hoping that one will come later than sooner!

    Yes, as an "alleviate the boredom project", I pulled all of their opponents and scores of each game into an Excel spreadsheet and have been updating it as they go along.

  17. "Officials from the Hall of Fame stopped the game, dug up home plate, asked for May’s bat and Watson’s shoes and even managed to retrieve the ball from the stands."

    They couldn't wait until the game was over to dig up home plate??

  18. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Duke, I just read that link now. OK, I guess I'll buy that various players were being yelled at to get around the bases quicker. I just doubt that anyone knew in real time that a particular runner was a second and a half behind, or whatever. It seems like a story fabricated in the aftermath as part of the promotion. Maybe I'm wrong.

  19. @11...what's amazing to me about the 90 feet is, throughout the years, the distance is just right, somehow.

  20. @17 - "Officials from the Hall of Fame stopped the game, dug up home plate, asked for May’s bat and Watson’s shoes and even managed to retrieve the ball from the stands."

    I find that statement hard to believe. The HOF didn't know where or when the 1,000,000 run would score - did they really send reps to every game in every stadium that weekend?

    I think this is just someones recollections - other errors in the article - Watson was not forced to second on the walk, he stole second prior to Cruz being walked, and John Lowenstein was an Indian playing against the Orioles.

  21. John Autin Says:

    Duke @12 / JT @18 --
    As I mentioned @5, Joe Posnanski has a long passage about the 1,000,000th run in his book The Machine.

    If you have an Amazon account, you can read at least some of that passage online; it starts on page 99:
    http://www.amazon.com/reader/0061582565?_encoding=UTF8&query=millionth#reader_0061582565

    Anyway, according to JoePos, there really was a whole command center set up in NYC with conference calls linking to all the stadiums where a game was going on. But Cincinnati got cut off from the conference call a little while before Davey Concepcion hit a HR that probably would have been recognized as the millionth run if not for the telephone problem.

  22. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    John Autin

    Nice find. I'll get the book, but in the mean time, any idea how they tabulated a million?
    Did they count pre-1901 games. Was the AA (not alcoholics anonymous) included.
    Regardless, I'm going to remember my dad's story. Apocryphal? Yes. Fun-as-heck? Yeah-huh.
    Also I think I'll start a Dave Concepcion bio, titled; DROPPED CALL - How an operator in Ohio ruined my life.

  23. @3, you're correct. We can debate all we want what league is a major league, but it's Major League Baseball who determines which leagues are major and which ones are not. UA is, so it's counted, and NA is not, so it's not counted. I'm guessing that's how Sean has drawn up his countdown list

  24. @12, Duke, yeah that sounds highly fictionalized. That doesn't mean your father doesn't think it's true because it might have been told to him.

    I was alive and watching baseball back in the 1970s, and I've never heard Chambliss being the 1-millionth run, or being "cheated" out of the 1-millionth run because he was semi-hotdogging it around the bases. For one thing, there was no hotdog in Chambliss. Second, once he hit the HR, that would have counted as the one-millionth, even before he trotted around the bases. As you may remember, Chambliss hit the game-winning HR in the 5th game of the AL Championship Series against the Royals, and once the fans streamed out on the field, he ran for his life and never touched home plate, yet the umpires ruled it a HR. Chambliss supposedly did return to the field hours later to touch home plate (which I think actually wasn't even there) just to make sure the HR couldn't be challenged, but the umpire chief said it really wasn't necessary.

    I wonder who has Chambliss's HR ball, or the one Aaron Boone hit in 2003? I'd have to imagine both would be worth a good amount of money if auctioned off. Perhaps both got lost.

  25. i think the NA should be counted. it was the best league available. on the other hand, the UA, AA, and FL were not, therefore they should not count. i can understand if they only want to recognize the extant NL and AL though.

  26. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    I remember this was a big deal when it happened, there was advance publicity (it wasn't something they only made a big deal about afterward), and yes, MLB had people at each game to monitor the scoring when they were getting close to the millionth run. I also recall the stories about the dispute over whether it was Watson or Concepcion. MLB could try to promote the 200,000th game likewise, and that would be fun to watch as, on the day before the anticipated game, several home teams announce that they've moved their games to earlier start times, trying to beat each other to the honor, and they all end up starting their games at 12:01AM in the Eastern time zone, as home teams west of that hope and pray for rain-outs. This forces The Commissioner to declare it a tie. . . . .

  27. "For one thing, there was no hotdog in Chambliss. Second, once he hit the HR, that would have counted as the one-millionth, even before he trotted around the bases."

    @24, Unless they decided to make an exception (and why would they?), the batter's run doesn't count until he touches ALL the bases.

  28. Dukeofflatbush Says:
  29. JayKibler Says:

    OK, so after doing some calculating, it appears as though MLB was only looking at the NL and AL for the 1,000,000th run scored promotion.

    Using the most recent data from BR for only the NL and AL, the date the millionth run scored was actually two days earlier on Friday, May 2, 1975. The 46th run scored that day was #1,000,000.

    If they were to use all of the leagues except the NA (which are the leagues MLB recognizes today), then the 1,000,000th run would have been the 60th run scored on April 16, 1970.

    And, if you include the NA, the 1,000,000th run would have been the 23rd run scored on September 16, 1968.

    Just so you know...

  30. JayKibler Says:

    @25, if we are only counting the best league available, then we should disregard the last 110 years of AL ball, too... :-)

  31. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Jay, if you're not going to figure out which were the 23rd, 46th and 60th runs scored on those particular dates, and then arrange for the players in question to receive retroactive gifts of Tootsie Rolls, it's really half-assed work.

  32. JayKibler Says:

    Guilty as charged! Interestingly enough, you sound amazingly like my wife...

  33. @4 Stephen, if your calculations are correct, I really hope it's the Cincy-Pitt game, considering that both of those teams have been around since the 1880s (and Cincy fielding the first all-pro team)

  34. Well, it might be arbitrary too, but I like the idea of recognizing the National Association just for the fact it makes the arbitrary number the 4th of July, which is appropriate for the National Pastime.

    :)

  35. Jaykibler.

    " if we are only counting the best league available, then we should disregard the last 110 years of AL ball, too... "

    OK. I actually did laugh out loud at that. Great line.