Bottom of the 33rd: Hope and Redemption in Baseball's Longest Game
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Bottom of the 33rd: Hope and Redemption in Baseball's Longest Game

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  759 ratings  ·  165 reviews
On April 18, 1981, a ball game sprang eternal. What began as a modestly attended minor-league game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings became not only the longest ever played in baseball history, but something else entirely. The first pitch was thrown after dusk on Holy Saturday, and for the next eight hours the night seemed to suspend its participant...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Will Byrnes
In the song Take Me Out to the Ballgame there is a particular line that comes into play here. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack. I don’t care if I never get back. That sentiment was put to the test on April 18, 1981, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, when the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings played the longest game in professional baseball history. Given that the song is generally sung in the middle of the 7th inning, or after six and a half innings of play, the fans, had they been of...more
♥Beleza★✰
Baseball is my favorite sport, I am counting the days until it starts again. I’m not kidding, I have a countdown clock on my phone and every morning I look at it and get all excited about how many days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. It therefore should not be surprising that when I was at the library and walking past the non-fiction section my eyes were drawn to the baseball books.

On September 22, 2012 the Yankees played the A’s, that game lasted 14 innings, 5 hours and...more
James
In the 30 years since Rochester's Red Wings and Pawtucket's Red Sox battled into the wee hours of a frigid Easter morning, the fascination with baseball's longest game hasn't waned. If anything, the marathon contest, which featured future Hall of Famers Cal Ripken and Wade Boggs, has ascended to legendary status, staking its claim among the sport's classic duels. What began as a routine Saturday night affair April 18, 1981, spilled into Sunday before eventually wrapping up two months later as a...more
Diane
Major League Baseball just opened up another season, so the perfect book to read this week is Dan Barry's Bottom of the 33rd- Hope, Redemption, and Baseball's Longest Game.

The game took place on April 18, 1981, Holy Saturday, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The Triple A League Pawtucket Red Sox hosted the Rochester Red Wings. The Sox had future superstar Wade Boggs on their team, the Red Wings had the incomparable Cal Ripken Jr. at third base.

But Barry wisely does not put those superstars at the cen...more
Daniel Currie
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Thanx!

It sounds like an interesting premise and it is, but the execution...

It is all about the longest game in organized baseball history. But the game itself was not that interesting. Only a few runs scored. There are some future Hall of Famers in the game, but they didn't play an integral part.

Since there isn't that much of the game to write about (maybe 10% is about the actual game) it has to rely on the people and their backstories. It was obviously...more
Samuel Winchester
On April 18th, 1981, the Rochester Red Wings and Pawtucket Red Sox began what would become the longest game ever played in professional baseball. In a 33 inning epic contest featuring two future Hall of Famers, and many more has-beens, each side would refuse to yield, finishing the game, Dan Barry argues, because they were "duty bound" and "loyal" to it.

It was for similar reasons that I finished this book.

Dan Barry uses the game to tell the fascinating stories of a select few men and boys who ar...more
Co2
Many news reporters love to write about baseball, it has a lot of spaces which they can fill with some creativity. Not something you can do with news stories. Barry lives up to the challenge. He's first a great reporter and next has the story telling abilities to pull this off.

It’s hard for me to describe this book, my fault, not Barry's. The book takes people who have the longest game in the history of professional baseball in common and weaves their stories together. It's a daunting assignment...more
Gerry
A great book about one very, very, long game. I am hesitant to put anything about the story within as it has many twists, turns, and an ending I wasn't quite expecting. In the end this book will make any person reflect and you will be happy that you read the story. If you like baseball or sports in general then you will find that this story will make you laugh outloud along the way. Oddly enough I feel to be a better person because I read this story. The characters are many, the event worthy of...more
Jay
Dan Barry mines the longest baseball game for interesting things to talk about. He is like a color commentator for this game, describing the people in the stands, the ball players, the owner, all their wives and kids, the batboy, and on. He mentions the teams burned old bats to keep warm quite during the game a few times (maybe 5 times -- that's too repetitive). It was a lot like watching an 8 hour game would have been on TV, you start realizing you are hearing the same things over again. This a...more
Matt Simmons
A very, very enjoyable book. The allegory is perhaps too thick--it's a book about redemption, and the game in question takes place from Holy Saturday to Easter Sunday and lasts 33 innings, 33 being the age of Christ--but it seems, in its own odd way, charming. The best sportswriting is always about being a bit too sentimental, a bit too melodramatic; it almost has to be. After all, what we're talking about is essentially a children's game, and we're using this game to illustrate and find out abo...more
Charly
Oct 13, 2011 Charly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone, especially baseball and Red Sox fans.
This was an absolutely wonderful approach to a wonderful story. Barry found a way to really humanize the tale of the longest game and made it about the players in the game and not the game. His approach of stepping aside from the narrative of the game to tell how a given player got to that point in the game and where he would go from there, was wonderful.

To have been at Mc Coy in the pre-Ben Mondor era, and having purchased this book at the current jewel of a AAA stadium that Mc Coy has become s...more
Chris
I, absolutely, loved this book. Dan Barry should take pride in the way he gives voice to the minor league players, in this game, that dedicated a huge percentage of their young lives to achieving a dream that almost always go unfullfilled.

It was a treat reading a book about my two favorite teams in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Redsox. It was even a sweeter trip down memory lane reading not only about players (the success stories) I grew up watching: Floyd 'Sugar Bear' Rayford...more
Cheryl in CC NV
I'm going to read this first, then register it at bookcrossing.com, then give it to my young adult sons to read & then release. This is a Galley/Uncorrected Proof. It does not have the printed endpapers or the photos promised in the finished edition. :(

It's quite good. Fine for non-sports fans as it's mostly about dreams, disapopointments, obsessions... and somewhat about friendships and anecdotes. Better for baseball fans who can follow the action better.
David Walsh
I prefer to read baseball books during the off-season. The season already has hundreds of stories, played out in the box scores every day.

Barry’s book is a great combination of baseball game and personal vignettes. While relating the inning-by-inning events of the longest professional baseball game ever played, he tells the story of nearly every person at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The game began on a cold April night in 1981, after a delay caused by the usual light tower failure....more
Michael Brockley
Dan Barry's BOTTOM OF THE 33RD is a historical account of the longest professional baseball game, the titanic struggle between the visiting Rochester Red Wings and the host Pawtucket Red Sox during a game that took place on April 18 and 19 and June 23, 1981. Among the participants were Cal Ripken, Jr., Wade Boggs, Rich Gedman, Bruce Hurst and winning pitcher Bob Ojeda. But the interesting tales within the marathon are those of the batboys, the Pawtucket executives, the wife who wouldn't kept her...more
Alisa
Apr 17, 2011 Alisa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: baseball fans
Outstanding book. It is an unrivaled moment in baseball history, the longest game ever played, by an author who captured the essence of the event, the game, the place, and everyone involved in this unique moment in time. Great books transform you into the scene and involves you in such a way that makes you feel like you are there. The author adeptly weaves in the back stories of the people involved in the game - everybody including the spectators, players for both teams, their families, the bat...more
Sher
Oh, what a game! It was fun to listen to the details of this game, played by 3A teams from Rhode Island and New York in 1981. It was very interesting to learn a little bit about the lives of some of the players, some who made it to major league, and more who did not. I grew up with a father and brothers who were crazy about baseball, so I learned a lot about it at an early age. Some people stake their whole life's dreams on making it in professional sports, but when it comes right down to it, it...more
Jim
This book is a wonder! It is an insightful look into professional baseball’s longest game and just about everyone who had some part in it, who they are, what brought them here on this historic night, and what became of them. The game began on a Holy Saturday night and spilled over to Easter morning, appropriate timing because the story though true seems unbelievable.

The game stayed in progress so long that it became equal parts inspiration and desperation, much like some of the player’s careers....more
Laura
I won this book from First Reads. Thanks!

You don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this book. This story was about the longest game in baseball. But it was also the story of all of the people that make a baseball organization tick. I hate to use the term "human interest", but the book was so much more than the game.

I loved the way Dan Barry took you through the game at a meandering pace, much like the game itself. He would begin a segment by describing the current play, and who was involved,...more
Deena
Got this via First Reads (thanks!!) for my husband, whose religion is baseball. I'll post a real review as soon as he reads it.

And, finally, my husband has written his review of this book:
The story is told that John Kruk, a major league baseball first baseman and outfielder of the 80s and 90s, was having dinner in a restaurant and afterwards, as one could in those days, he lit a cigarette. A woman patron of the restaurant had recognized Kruk and went over to him to lecture him about the bad exam...more
Laura
I felt cold reading this book. Cold, lonely, and tired. Dan Barry does an excellent job of evoking the feeling of professional baseball's longest game, on a Easter eve in 1981. He places the reader there at McCoy stadium, watching a game unfold and then go on forever, one scoreless inning after another, briefly explaining how such a thing could happen.

Like it must have been for the fans who stayed in the stands, Barry wanders, and takes the reader with him. The 33-inning game brings up thoughts...more
Jonathan
Chaos. That’s the word that comes to mind when thinking of Bottom of the 33rd. That’s not to imply that the game, or this book, are chaotic in nature, it’s more an observation of the random chaotic events that conspire to make things happen. Part of my love of baseball is borne of my love for seeing so many different influences and factors come together in one place. Baseball is a beautiful illustration of the Buddhist chains of causality. A player might end up in Arizona rather than Seattle bec...more
Tom Gase
A really good book about a baseball game.that.just.wouldn't. end.

The author Dan Barry, takes the reader into what life was like in Pawtucket back in 1981 in a never-ending game. Due to some glitches in the rule book, this game started 30 years ago on the night before Easter and ended....on Easter. As the sun was rising. The scorebook looks like an earthquake seismograph. It was freezing for the players as they were burning bats and firewood in the duguout to stay warm. 33 innings is almost the...more
Kyle Tait
Truly one of the most remarkable baseball books I've ever come across. Through endless research, Dan Barry managed to piece together brick-by-brick the story of that historic Rochester-Pawtucket 33-inning game that happened nearly 33 years ago.

Interwoven through each pitch, each out, each inning are stories of a revitalized triple-A franchise, a beautiful city that so heavily relies on its baseball, and individuals long forgotten by baseball and American history.

Barry subtracts three decades of...more
Elizabeth S
This was a difficult book to rate. Seldom have I felt such a need for half stars, or maybe a different set of stars for various parts. The storytelling on the individual vignettes was superb. I'm not surprised to see that the author writes for a newspaper. Each story is drama, words are carefully chosen, each word seems to have maximum impact. I feel emotionally involved with all the characters, even the people who only get a paragraph of story.

Now for the downsides. Writing a book about a game...more
Amber
This book recounts the longest professional baseball game in history, a 33-inning contest between the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings in the early 1980s. For a baseball fan, this is an enjoyable read, recounting an interesting and (at least to me) relatively unknown portion of the game's history. It was interesting as well to me how many of the game's principals' names I recognized based on their children or relatives--Bourjos, Grilli, Valle--in addition to, of course, Cal Ripken Jr. a...more
Jennifer
Aug 12, 2011 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Baseball fans
*This review is based on a copy of the book I won through Goodreads FirstReads Giveaways.*

On Saturday, April 18th, 1981 a minor league baseball game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings began, and apparently refused to end. The two teams played on for over eight hours--and 32 innings--into early Sunday morning, before the game was halted and set to resume for one final inning some two months later.

This book is the story of that game, but it is also so much more. It's the sto...more
Wingedbeaver
Is there such thing as too much baseball? At its heart, this is the question “Bottom Of The 33rd” tries to address. When do we get too much of a good thing? When do years of trying to turn playing a kid’s game into a career become too long? At what point does waiting for a break through, whither that break through is a base hit or a single run or a major league call up or the publicity your minor league team desperately needs become tedious. Dan Barry does a beautiful job framing this theme wit...more
Kristine
Baseball.

Yes, BOTTOM OF THE 33RD: HOPE, REDEMPTION, AND BASEBALL'S LONGEST GAME by Dan Barry contains quite a lot about baseball. But it's a sports book that stretches the genre.

It's a book about more than baseball. The author reveals emotional before-and-after stories from the vantage point of one game begun on April 18, 1981 between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings.

Barry aims to acquaint us not only with the game and the baseball players, but also with the wives, bat boys, r...more
Jamie Bradway
This is my favorite book so far this year, which is surprising only because most of the people I've told about it think it sounds a bit like torture.

I love minor league ball, for starters, but don't know if I'd have been one of the dozens that actually sat through 32 innings of a game on Easter morning. I don't think I'd have made it through reading much of a play by play of such an event, either. Luckily, this Bottom of the 33rd is not that. In fact, some of the innings are summed up in a succi...more
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