This Is the Game That Never Ends....

...It just goes on and on my friend.

The longest game in baseball history was Chicago vs. Milwaukee in 1984 at eight hours and 6 minutes.

The longest game by innings was Brooklyn vs. Boston in 1920 at 26 innings, but there's an asterisk because they called it a tie when it got dark. 1920, you know. After that it's a tie: the Chicago/Milwaukee game above was 25 innings, as was St. Louis and THE METS in 1974.

In 1971, a game between Oakland and California went 20 innings without a run before Oakland got a hit. In 1968, a Houston-New York game went 24 innings before seeing a run.

So we didn't bust any records Saturday. Except perhaps in snark. But when Kiddo's godfather decides to show us a good time, he doesn't do it by half measures.

Tom Collins is a reporter, New York native, my former partner and godfather to my son. We don't see enough of him, because he lives a whole four hours away, which is no good excuse for either of us. Long ago we arranged for him to come down for the day and we'd all go to a Cardinals game. He brought a friend along: a fellow newsman who works for a radio station in northern Illinois, also named Tom.

Therefore there was much shop talk, AP-bashing and sharing of war stories. You know what journalists are like when they get together. Poor Kiddo. :)

Then the game started. And who knew we'd be signing our lives away?

The Twitter of Deepening Insanity (a.k.a. This is the Game That Never Ends)

2 p.m.
Tom, Kiddo and I are at Busch Stadium. Glorious day, boy in seventh heaven.

3 p.m.
Tom and Boy have a bet. If Mets win, Boy has to wear Tom's Mets jersey. If Cards win, vice versa.

Yes, we are walking around St. Louis with a man in a Mets jersey. I promised his wife I'd keep him safe.

5 p.m.
Bottom of the fifth and no runs. It's like a hockey game without the fighting. *ducks*

Still no runs!

6 p.m.
Has a game ever gone all nine innings without a run? I wonder what the record is.

Holy foul balls, 'Bat'-man. We're in extra innings!

Two on base and Pujols at bat… They walked him. Wuss!

Bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the tenth…

Holy crap. The fielder leapt into the stands to catch the ball. Into the eleventh we go. Tom is extremely unpopular in our stand.

7 p.m.
This is the game that never ends… it just goes on and on my friend…

Bottom of the freaking eleventh inning. Tom will have to pull the plug soon. Kiddo wants to stay. Score, Cards!

Twelfth-inning trivia: Glenn Close threw one of the opening pitches of the Game That Never Ends.

Tom is now rooting for the Cards if only it gets the game over with.

Stop walking Pujols, you wusses!

Now waiting by the entrance as Tom goes to get car. He will retrieve my purse and leave us - his friend has offered a ride. Win already!

8 p.m.
On to the 14th. I will see you again someday, dear friends…

We are settled in for the long haul. Top of the 15th, baby.

On the east ramp, there are a gazillion kids waiting to run the bases. They've been waiting since the seventh inning.

They've waited through nearly eight innings. It's gonna turn into LORD OF THE FLIES any minute now.

9 p.m.

So close! And yet another inning. We're three away from two games for the price of one.

Left at bat: 8 Mets, 18 Cardinals.

You know that cavalry call that ends in "CHARGE!" We are now yelling "SCORE!" Then Tom2 yelled "FREEDOM!"

For those keeping score at home: bottom of the 16th and no runs.

Runner tagged mere steps from home! 17 innings! Stadium, please reopen the food booths before we eat the kids on the east ramp.

There is one food stand still open. We are flocking to it. We haven't eaten in 11 innings.

10 p.m.
Actual record is 1920, 26 innings.

For actual time played, in 21 minutes we have the record.

We vote they send McGuire in to pinch-hit. We'll finally be free!

I have not suffered lo these many years to watch the Mets win.

(This is when the Mets won.)

Meh. Still… FREEDOM!

It took 6 hours 53 minutes and 20 innings to lose to the Mets. :P

Facts and stats about this strange game. Obviously my colleague - whom I could see in the press box from our seat - had nothing else to do during this War & Peace game.

We made jokes about how many relief pitchers and extra players they put in - speculating that they were now busing them in from the AAA club. (They almost had time to make the drive.)

And that bet? Poor Kiddo. Next time we visit his godfather, he has to wear the Mets jersey.