— Delmarva Shorebirds (@shorebirds) July 14, 2017
At 1:07 a.m. Friday, six hours and three minutes after the first pitch, low Class A Lexington (Royals) and the Delmarva (Orioles) were still tied, 6-6. Then they went to bed.
The teams will resume the game—the longest in the history of either franchise—at 6:05 p.m. The Legends led 6-5 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but pinch hitter Alejandro Juvier singled, scoring Preston Palmeiro with the tying run. Then they played another 11 innings . . . and counting.
Emmanuel Rivera of Lexington carries a 4-for-8 into the conclusion of the game, in which the teams have combined to throw 587 pitches. Royals prospect Khalil Lee is 1-for-8 with seven strikeouts.
Now—while still 13 innings short of the minor league record for longest game—the game would have been a perfect opportunity for the Legends’ ‘Pajama Party Night’ promotion, which is taking place on July 28.
The theme for Lexington’s home game against Kannapolis (White Sox) later this month encourages fans to bring blankets to the ballpark and dress in pajamas. They are also invited to bring unopened twin sheet sets to donate.
One hundred area middle school students, who will attend the game, will receive mattresses and bed foundations from Tempur Sealy and Sleep Outfitters as part of the community outreach involved in the event.
The promotion is part of minor league baseball’s CommUNITY Initiative, where “fans who attend the game should leave with a positive sense of unity and motivated to take action within their community,” according to MiLB.com.
“It’s a completely sometimes overlooked and unthought of need sometimes,” said Sarah Bosso, the team’s vice president of business development. “Most people think, ‘Oh let’s donate clothes and toiletries and socks and underwear,’ that kind of stuff, but once we started talking about it with some of our other partners, a lot of folks wanted to jump on board and be involved.”
The kids will be able to participate in various in-game activation pieces as well. After the game, the kids will can sit on several beds placed behind home plate after the game to watch fireworks. Those who bring donations will also be able to sit out in the outfield grass for the fireworks.
The idea for the event started with Tempur Sealy’s donation of 30 mattresses and bed foundations for the Legends’ players in April. Tempur Sealy, Sleep Outfitters, North Broadway Auto and the Royals have all teamed with the Legends to help put on the event.