SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 — When baseball’s schedule opens in the spring, the final day of the regular season sits as a blank slate, its significance largely dependent on the days and weeks that precede it. For some players and fans, the season finale arrives as a prelude to the postseason. For others, it may start the time when they, like Rogers Hornsby years ago, just “stare out the window and wait for spring.” It can be “Fan Appreciation Day”; it can be the day a franchise leaves its fans forever.
Major League Baseball’s 2022 regular season wraps up on Wednesday, October 5. Whether it was “Game 162,” “Game 154,” or some other number, the final day of scheduled games has had a rich and colorful history, with everything from clubs battling for a playoff spot to meaningless contests treated as farce, leaving behind thrill-of-victory/agony-of-defeat stories and bizarre box score lines alike.
This week, SABR’s Baseball Games Project celebrates baseball’s season finales by remembering a group of games in which batting crowns were decided, legends were hailed or farewelled, strange-but-true records were set, forgettable campaigns finally ended, and history’s first-ever high-five was given.
Click on a link below to read these new articles on season finales from the SABR Games Project:
- October 5, 1907: Boston Americans finish season with sixth tie game of the year, by Bill Nowlin
- September 28, 1930: Dizzy Dean makes debut and dazzles in season finale for World Series-bound Cardinals, by Larry DeFillipo
- September 30, 1934: 58-year-old Charley O’Leary becomes oldest AL/NL player credited with a hit, by Gary Belleville
- October 3, 1943: John Dagenhard records only major-league win; Casey Stengel manages final game for Boston Braves, by Jeff Allan Howard
- October 1, 1967: Roberto Clemente ‘manages’ Pirates in season finale and wins fourth NL batting crown, by Gregory H. Wolf
- October 1, 1970: Alex Johnson snatches AL batting crown from Carl Yastrzemski as Angels hand White Sox their 106th loss, by Thomas E. Merrick
- October 2, 1977: Dusty Baker hits 30th homer, receives first-ever high-five from Glenn Burke in Dodgers’ loss to Astros, by John Fredland
- October 6, 1985: Season-ending defeat leaves Giants with first 100-loss campaign in franchise history, by Tom Schott
- August 31, 1997: Loss ends Expos’ affiliation with West Palm Beach after almost 30 years, by Kurt Blumenau
- October 3, 2012: A forgettable end to a forgettable season: Red Sox lose big to Yankees, by Donna L. Halper
Visit SABR.org/gamesproject to find more stories from the SABR Games Project.
— John Fredland
Originally published: September 30, 2022. Last Updated: September 30, 2022.