Baseball’s Greatest Comeback Games, edited by Bill Nowlin

SABR Digital Library: Baseball’s Greatest Comeback Games

Baseball’s Greatest Comeback Games, edited by Bill NowlinAdd a new baseball book to your collection from the SABR Digital Library:

Baseball’s Greatest Comeback Games
Edited by Bill Nowlin
Associate editors Len Levin and Carl Riechers
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-9701-5946-2, $9.99
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-9701-5947-9, $29.95
8.5″ x 11″, 251 pages

What are Major League Baseball’s greatest comeback games? This book set out to collect the stories of those games, but rather than throw together an anecdotally-determined collection of games, SABR decided to see if there was an objective measure, a way to determine which was the greatest comeback game of all time, and to rank the games. Retrosheet’s Tom Ruane created a master list of 630 games and ranked them mathematically in terms of how unlikely the win was, and therefore how great the comeback had been. The games in this volume are presented in rank order, from number 1 through 64.

We also added the greatest postseason comeback games. These seven contests are presented in a separate section devoted to postseason games. And to make sure that every current team in MLB was represented in this volume, we treated the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants as different from the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, and added the greatest comeback by the Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, and several other teams.

In the end, every major-league team is represented in Baseball’s Greatest Comeback Games, but the Phillies lead the list with six comeback wins in the top 64. Tied for second for most comebacks are four American League teams: the Red Sox, Indians, Tigers, and Yankees.

This book was a team effort by 60 members of the Society for American Baseball Research, who researched and wrote about all 80 games presented herein.

Contributors include: Gary Belleville, Charlie Bevis, Nathan Bierma, David Black, Stephen D. Boren, Thomas J. Brown Jr., Dr. John J. Burbridge Jr., Frederick C. Bush, JP Caillault, Ralph Caola, Ken Carrano, Alan Cohen, Rory Costello, Richard Cuicchi, Rich D’Ambrosio, Scott Ferkovich, James Forr, Brian Frank, Adrian Fung, Gregory Funk, Gordon J. Gattie, Nate Gilman, Steven Glassman, Irv Goldfarb, William Grmek, Vince Guerrieri, Michael Hanks, Paul Hofmann, Mike Huber, Ronnie Joyner, Russ Lake, Kevin Larkin, Bob LeMoine, Len Levin, Justin Mattingly, Madison McEntire, Bill Nowlin, Tony S. Oliver, Dennis Pajot, Laura H. Peebles, Matthew Perry, Alan Raylesberg, Carl Riechers, Richard Riis, Tom Ruane, Tom Schott, Peter Seidel, Andrew Sharp, Mark S. Sternman, Andrew Stockmann, Jim Sweetman, Bruce Thompson, Michael Trzinski, Joseph Wancho, Brian Williams, Jim Wohlenhaus, Gregory H. Wolf, Allan Wood, and Jack Zerby.


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About the SABR Digital Library

For more than 40 years, SABR and its members have led the way in publishing the best baseball historical and statistical research. Our publications program is shifting to take advantage of new methods of publishing. Not only will we continue to publish new books like Can He Play? A Look At Baseball Scouts and Their Profession (2011); Sweet ’60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (2013); Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century (2013); Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox (2015); Nuclear Powered Baseball/The Simpsons (2016), Au jeu/Play Ball: The 50 Greatest Games in the History of the Montreal Expos (2016); Cuban Baseball Legends (2016); No-Hitters (2017); Major League Baseball A Mile High: The First Quarter Century of the Colorado Rockies (2018), The Pride of Smoketown: The 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords (2020), and From Rube to Robinson (2021), which showcase the best efforts of SABR’s members, chapters and committees, but new technology makes it possible for us to bring out-of-print titles like Nineteenth Century Stars (2012); The Fenway Project (2013); The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox: Pandemonium on the Field (2017); Go-Go to Glory: The 1959 Chicago White Sox (2019); and Green Cathedrals (2020) back again.

Books will be available in digital formats as well as paperbacks produced by “print on demand” (POD).

SABR members can download all Digital Library e-book editions for free and save 50% on purchase of the paperback editions. If you’re not a member, click here to join SABR.

Stay tuned throughout the year for new (and old!) titles that we’ll be adding to the SABR Digital Library. To learn more about SABR Publications, contact Publications Editor Cecilia Tan at


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Originally published: March 31, 2021. Last Updated: March 30, 2021.