It was baseball's signature game of 1996, the one that best exemplified the heavy-hitting, high-scoring insanity that defined the major leagues this year. On June 30 at Coors Field, the Colorado Rockies outslugged the Los Angeles Dodgers 16-15, scoring twice in their last at bat to end the longest nine-inning game (four hours, 20 minutes) in National League history. "I've never seen a game like it," said Colorado reliever Steve Reed, "not even in tee-ball."
Here's how that game mirrored the 1996 season:
The Rockies and the Dodgers combined for 38 hits, including six doubles, one triple and 10 home runs. In 1996 there were 504 more homers than in any other season in baseball history.
L.A.'s Eric Karros and Raul Mondesi each hit two home runs. A major league record 159 players had at least one multihomer game in 1996.
Thirteen players got two or more hits in the Dodgers-Rockies game, led by Colorado outfielder Dante Bichette, who had five. Batters had 35 five-hit games this year, highest in the 46 years that this statistic has been available.
Runs were scored in 14 of the 18 half-innings that day at Coors, tying a major league mark, and the Rockies scored in every inning but the first. Colorado was one of six teams to score at least 900 runs in 1996. The last club to score that many before this year was the '53 Brooklyn Dodgers.
This game marked the second time in the 96-year history of the Dodgers that they scored 15 runs and lost the game. Their defeat was one of 33 this season in which the loser scored 10 runs or more.
"This year all the hitters looked like they were using bats the size of that club Fred Flintstone had," said Pittsburgh Pirates coach Rich Donnelly. "Every game was 10-9."
But when the score of the Dodgers-Rockies game was 10-9, there were still four innings to play.