The real adventure began after the game.
Sunday night/Monday morning’s epic game against the Cubs was the least of the Yankees’ worries, it turns out. As Billy Witz lays out in impeccable detail for The New York Times, the Yankees were very nearly stuck in Chicago for the night.
The Yankees needed to be in Cincinnati for Monday night’s game against the Reds but Sunday’s 18-inning marathon threw a major wrench in their travel plans. The team had a charter flight waiting at O’Hare airport but FAA guidelines on pilot rest required that it take off by 3:22 a.m., just over two hours after the final out was recorded.
“There was no Plan B,” traveling secretary Ben Tuliebitz told the Times.
If the plane wasn’t in the air on time, there was no other pilot in Chicago eligible to fly it. To make matters worse, making the five-hour bus ride to Cincinnati was out of the question. The trip is over 300 miles and the CBA prohibits bus trips of more than 200 miles.
But the Yanks did make it to the airport by the skin of their teeth, with 14 minutes to spare. They got to their Cincinnati hotel—one time zone farther east—in time to fall asleep as the sun was rising.
The Yankees showed no ill effects of their all-nighter on Monday, though. They topped the first-place Reds 10–4 behind a good performance from starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who left Chicago before Sunday’s game.