Metro-East News

After 74 hours, these veterans say they’ve played the longest nonstop baseball game ever

Military veterans from around the country, vying to break a world record, played baseball nonstop for more than 74 hours in an effort to raise money for a veterans advocacy organization.

The marathon game between two teams of 28 players came to a close around 10:20 a.m. Memorial Day after 74 hours, 26 minutes and 52 seconds. It started at 7:40 a.m. Friday at GCS Ballpark, home of minor league team the Gateway Grizzlies. They aimed to surpass their own 2015 record of 70 hours, nine minutes and 24 seconds.

The blue team beat the gray team in the 292nd inning 396-255.

Players didn’t stop despite a thunderstorm Saturday evening that brought lightning, strong winds and rains.

Participants managed to raise more than $100,000 for The Mission Continues, a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to adjust to life back home and serve their communities in new ways.

The participants must now submit evidence to Guinness World Records. Evidence includes complete video footage, witness statements, timekeeper statements and log books. Participants must submit their evidence within one year of their attempt. After Guinness World Records receives the evidence, the review process could take up to twelve weeks.

A crowd gathered to watch the final hours of the game Monday morning, including 86-year-old Korean War veteran Dwight Johnson. His son, David Johnson, played in the marathon game. Johnson, who served in the Marine Corps from 1952 to 1953, threw out the first pitch of the game Friday.

“I think the game has gone well,” Johnson said, though he added he’s sure his son is “very tired.”

After the blue team made a double-play to end the three-day game, sore players ambled slowly out onto the field for hugs and high fives.

When asked about losing the game, gray team player Mike Shoemaker said, “We did win,” by raising funds for a cause both teams care about.

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