Q: Who holds the record for the single longest relief outing in major league history?

Answer after the jump…

Zip Zapel holds the record for longest relief appearance in Major League history. Zapel tossed 18 1/3 innings in relief for the Cubs on June 17, 1915, against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

14 Responses to “Trivia Time: Some Serious Relief”

  1. Nick Kapur says:

    Paul, thanks for doing this post. I have very similar feelings to you about Mike Piazza.

    Given that he probably didn’t take performance enhancing drugs, he was just about the greatest pure hitter I ever saw. The man seemed to basically only ever hit laser-beam line drives. And he really had to in order to put up those averages, given how slow he was.

    It is downright scary to consider the kinds of numbers he might of put up if he had broken in as, say, a first baseman, instead of a catcher. And given the numbers he put up having spent his entire career in extreme pitchers’ parks like Dodger Stadium (back when it still played like a crazy pitcher’s park), Shea, and Petco, you also have to wonder what his career totals might have looked like if he’d played in hitters’ parks.

    I also agree with you about his clutch-ness. On a Dodgers team where Eric Karros was the next best hitter, Piazza always seemed to be getting the big hit that would put the Dodgers ahead 3-2. I felt like I could count on it, every time.

    From the article you linked to, it certainly sounds like Piazza wants to go into the Hall as a Met, what with his singling out the Mets as his happiest time in the Majors, and calling Mets fans the greatest fans in the world. Piazza also did spend one more season with the Mets than with the Dodgers, and also took the Mets to a World Series appearance.

    But in my mind, he definitely should go in as a Dodger. His first few years with the Mets were still great, but the Mets years also encompassed all of his decline years. It was as a Dodger that he established himself as the greatest hitting catcher in the history of ever.

    During his hitting peak as a Dodger from 1996 to 1997, Piazza had an average OPS-plus per season of 174. In 1997, his last full year as a Dodger, Piazza put up an insane 185 OPS-plus. As a catcher. In Dodger Stadium. I always felt that the trade the following year took a bit of a toll on him, as his numbers immediately fell off a bit after the trade and he was never quite the same. Of course that may have just been natural decline, but I still felt like something was lost.

    He also had a some pretty great moments as a Dodger, such as hitting a homer out of Dodger Stadium (the first to do it since Willie Stargell in the 70s), and hitting a line drive homer over the back of the left-field bullpen wall (which I actually saw in person).

    Anyway, I’m rambling on, but the point is that he was a ridiculously awesome hitter, and no matter what hat he wears I’ll be celebrating along with you Paul when he goes into the Hall on the first ballot.

  2. “Now, the only thing left for me to do at this moment is to have an argument with Nick about whether or not Piazza’s going to Cooperstown wearing a Mets hat or a Dodgers hat.”

    You have to start with his stats as a Dodger vs Met.
    I’ll get you started:
    Homerun = LA-209 NY-220
    RBI= LA-674 NY-655

  3. Paul Moro says:

    Nick, you probably know this already, but it’s not up to Piazza to decide what hat he wears into Cooperstown. Which, of course, is fascist.

    Anyhow, I think it’s hard not to recognize that Piazza had his best years as a Dodger. I mean, come on. That 1997 season was downright ridiculous. A 185 OPS-plus for a catcher? Are you kidding?

    I’d *like* to think that what hat he wears won’t matter for me either – as long as he gets in first-ballot. But I can’t make any promises that I won’t flip out if/when the Hall makes him wear a Dodger hat.

    And Doug, we also need to take into account the fact that Piazza played 726 games as a Dodger while he played 972 games as a Met. This still works the discussion in both directions – do you cite that fact as proof that he was more a Met than a Dodger? Or does that unequivocally prove that he was much more productive as a Dodger?

  4. Sarah Green says:

    That jerk Wade Boggs ruined it for everyone by selling his HOF plaque to the highest bidder.

  5. Paul Moro says:

    Sarah, I don’t think the whole Boggs situation is a big deal. But then again, I’m also the guy who has no problems with PED users and Pete Rose being enshrined in the Hall either. I guess I don’t particularly like the sense of elitism. I don’t think it’s the Hall’s place to make calls on morality. What makes them so pious?

  6. Sarah Green says:

    I hope this is just more of the legendary Moro deadpan humor.

  7. Paul Moro says:

    … Yes… Yes it is… Please don’t hurt me…

  8. “That jerk Wade Boggs ruined it for everyone by selling his HOF plaque to the highest bidder.”

    There was another player before Boggs. I forget his name, but I heard it last night on XM radio MLB live show.

    But they did say between Boggs and the other guy, it is a huge reason why Copperstown picks now.

  9. I have a feeling it’s not right, but I’m gonna go with Ernie Shore, for the perfect game he pitched in relief of Babe Ruth in what, 1917?

  10. Nick Kapur says:

    Nope, not Ernie Shore, but that is actually a great guess!

  11. Nick E. P. says:

    Lindy McDaniel

  12. 1915, Zip Zabel, 18.1 innings

  13. Nick Kapur says:

    Ben L. is mostly correct, except for a slight misspelling of “Zip Zapel”

  14. Nick Kapur says:

    Wonderful name, isn’t it?

    Zip Zapel!!!

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