This record-setting game is a story of managerial excess as 27 Kansas City Royals saw action while being defeated by the California Angels 11-4. It remains the mark for the most players used by one team in a nine-inning game. At the time, 27 also represented the most players used by one team in a game of any length although the extra-inning standard has since been exceeded (see September 19, 1972).
The pilot of this scorers’ nigsource.htmare was Joe Gordon, who had returned to the major-league managerial ranks after a seven-year hiatus. Joe had previously managed in Cleveland (1958-1960), Detroit (1960), and Kansas City (1961) with dubious success, then became a scout and hitting instructor for the Los Angeles (AL) franchise. With the major-league expansion of 1969, Joe received yet another managerial opportunity.
There were few Californians who witnessed this historic event as many of the 6,009 paying faithful began leaving after the fourth inning of the slow moving contest. The Angels’ attendance had averaged just over 10,000 per game, but with the season waning and the cellar only a few games in the distance, there was little to cheer for. The visiting Royals as well were struggling to avoid breathing last place air.
California starter Andy Messersmith faced a cavalcade of 20 different batters in this game which may be another record, although nothing of its kind is contained in contemporary tomes. Of those 20, 18 stepped to the plate more than a dozen times during the season, but only Lou Piniella hit over .275, and none of the Royals hit more than 14 home runs. California was even more impotent as no Angel hit over .270 nor hit more than 13 round trippers. California bats also succumbed to a pitiful .230 team batting average.
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From Baseball Records Registry by Joseph J. Dittmar.
Copyright © 1997 by Joseph J. Dittmar. Reprinted with permission.