American Sporting Public's Longest Drought Without a Game From the Big 4 Has Ended

Tracy Ringolsby

With the Yankees playing the Nationals on Thursday afternoon, it brought to an end the longest stetch without a game being played in one of the four primary North American sports since 1916-17, according to Stats, Inc.

It had been 133 consecutive days without a game being played by a team in MLB, the NFL, NBA and NHL.

In 1916-17 there was a 180-day drought from the end of the 1916 World Series and the 1917 season opener. The NBA, NFL and NHL did not exist back then.

In terms of Major League Baseball, the Yankee-Nationals game ended a string of 297 days without a regular-season game and 266 days without a regular-season or post-season game. They are the longest droughts since the first major league game was played in 1876.

The previous record was 256 days when the players went on strike in August of 1994 and a settlement was not reached until April of 1995.

All statistics are supplied by Stats, Inc.

-- Based on the 60-game schedules, the Texas Rangers are slated for the most travel in 2020, a total of 14,708 miles. In 2019, the fewest miles traveled by any team in the regular season was 24,531 (Detroit Tigers). The Milwaukee Brewers are scheduled for only 4,039 travel miles this season – less than the equivalent of one cross-country round trip.

-- With the Blue Jays not permitted to play home games in Toronto, the entire regular season is slated to take place in the United States; this would be the first year since 1968 in which no MLB games are played in Canada. One season ago, there were games played in five different countries (US, Canada, England, Japan, Mexico).

-- Extra-inning games in 2020 will see each half-inning begin with a runner on second base. In 2019 regular-season play, in innings in which the leadoff hitter reached second with no outs, his team scored an average of 1.17 runs in that inning, scoring at least once in 61.4 percent of those frames.

-- All MLB games in 2020 will have a designated hitter, marking the first time the DH will be used in National League parks in the regular season – with the exception of a relocated 2010 Phillies-Blue Jays series in Philadelphia in which the Jays were designated as the home team. In the 2019 regular season, games with a designated hitter saw an average of 9.87 runs scored (both teams combined), compared to 9.45 in games without the DH.

-- The best record by any team in a single-season 60-game span in MLB history (ignoring ties) is 52-8 by the 1884 St. Louis Maroons, 1906 Cubs and 1912 New York Giants. In the last 100 years, the best such mark is 51-9 by the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers.

-- Since 2000, 22 players have hit at least .400 over a span of 60 team games within a single season (minimum 180 plate appearances), topped by the .460 mark by Seattle’s Ichiro over 60 games in the 2004 campaign. The most home runs by any player in a single-season 60-game span is 35 by Barry Bonds in 2001, his record-setting 73-homer season.

-- Through July 21, a total of 15 players have opted not to play in the 2020 season. None of those players was a 2019 All-Star, but seven have been All-Stars at some point in their careers, with a total of 23 selections. 

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