A doubleheader is two games back to back in one day. This phrase often describes a sporting event, such as a baseball, football, or even a basketball game, that happens in two parts and the teams are split into two groups, with the two halves of the game happening back to back. The concept of a doubleheader is very old, it started in 1878. Although baseball is the most recognized sport, this concept is used in other sports such as football, basketball and golf.
What Does a Doubleheader Game Mean in Baseball?
A doubleheader in baseball is when the same two teams play two games each other on the same day. Traditionally, doubleheaders would be two nine inning games. But starting in 2021, they will be seven innings.
Why Were there only seven innings in an MLB Doubleheader in 2021?
Since doubleheaders are common and since interleague play is a thing, seven-inning doubleheaders are a thing. The Doubleheader Baseball Classic is run yearly and features Major and Minor League teams. The teams from the four major North American sports all play in these events.
This change forces teams to play an extra game at neutral site in order to play doubleheaders.
What is the Longest Doubleheader Game in Baseball History?
The longest doubleheader game in baseball as of 2020 took place in 1965 with the Giants and Cardinals. There were 32 innings played, which is crazy because the first game was a traditional nine inning game, and the second game was a seven-inning game. The two games added up to a total of eight hours and thirty-two minutes of baseball.
What Teams Have Played the Most Doubleheader Games as of 2021?
Why are there Doubleheaders in Baseball?
The second rule is that if the top of the second inning goes into extra innings, the bottom of the fourth inning can’t start until the conclusion of the Top of the second event via 30-minutes after the last pitch. To help speed up extra-inning games in 2021, MLB now adds a runner at third base to promote runs.
The same team can’t play a doubleheader. The only exception to this rule is when the same team is hosting two games in the same day. In this case, the home team is only allowed to play the teams that are on the road the next day.
What is The Home-and-Home Doubleheader?
The New York Yankees and New York Mets are the two most popular teams with the most doubleheaders. A team does this when both teams play one home game on the same day. The Yankees and Mets have done doubleheaders a few times since the Major League Baseball interleague play started in June 1997.
Doubleheaders are played with both teams on the field at the same time. That makes for what’s called a “home-and-home” doubleheader. The two stadiums are only 10 miles apart, which allows for a home-and-home doubleheader with both teams on the field. This home-and-home schedule can include any number of games between the two teams.
History of Double Header Baseball
Back in the day, you would find plenty of doubleheader baseball games during the regular season between teams. Usually, the home team would host or play the second game. Back in the early days, the original doubleheader consisted of playing two games at the same venue in front of the same fans.
Why are There Less Doubleheaders in Today’s Age?
Another factor is MLB continues to be one of the most expensive sports to play. Most MLB teams have to pay more than $1 million for player contracts a baseball game. If a team wants to book a doubleheader, then MLB teams must pay for two player contracts. So a baseball team must pay for $1,200,000 for two player contracts. If a baseball team is only going to pay $1,000,000 and they only plan to have one of these doubleheaders, then they are losing $200,000.
The concept of traditional doubleheaders is not used in Major League Baseball anymore. In MLB, teams take great care in creating and arranging their schedule. If a game is canceled due to rain and the weather turns unfavorable, teams usually move that game to a day in the future. If that day is not a day with a game, then they will play only three games. If that day is a day with a game, then they will play four games. If that day is even a day that there is no game, then they will play three games. The teams usually do not schedule doubleheaders during the playoffs.
Major League Baseball has become more fan-friendly and safer in other aspects since the steroid era ended and COVID-19 emerged.