One of the craziest games in baseball history happened 35 years ago.
The Braves hosted the rival New York Mets on July 4, 1985, at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The game evolved into a 19-inning marathon that ended early morning July 5.
New York eventually won 16-13 after a draining endurance test complete with rain delays and one of the most improbable home runs ever. The about two hours’ worth of rain delays included one hour and 24 minutes that pushed Rick Mahler’s first pitch back until 9:04 p.m. ET and left the outfield littered with deep, ball-stopping puddles, and then 41 more minutes of rain in the bottom of the third inning that chased eventual Cy Young Award winner Dwight Gooden.
The teams went to extra innings tied 8-8. Each team scored two runs in the 13th and the score remained 10-10 until the 18th when the Mets went ahead.
The Braves were down to their final out in the bottom of the inning when Rick Camp stepped to the batters box. The veteran Atlanta reliever, who had a then career batting average of .060, had to bat for himself because the Braves ran out of pinch hitters. Camp went down 0-2 in the count but somehow he crushed a homer over the left-field fence. The shot kept the Braves alive and woke up the remaining 3:30 a.m. crowd.
Atlanta wound up losing in 19 innings which ended at 3:55 a.m. Some 43 players took the field in the contest. Despite the early morning hours, the Braves still had a postgame fireworks show which had some residents calling the police because they thought Atlanta was under attack.
The historic home run in the 18th inning led the game to be called the “Rick Camp game.”