July 4, 1985 Rick Camp Game
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 R H E
New York Mets 1 0 0 4 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 5 16 28 2
Atlanta Braves 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 13 18 3
DateJuly 4, 1985
VenueAtlanta–Fulton County Stadium
CityAtlanta, Georgia
TelevisionWTBS (ATL)
TV announcersErnie Johnson and John Sterling[1]
Ralph Kiner, Steve Zabriskie and Tim McCarver
RadioWSB (ATL)
Radio announcersPete Van Wieren and Skip Caray
Bob Murphy and Gary Thorne

On July 4, 1985,[2][3][4] the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 16–13 in a 19-inning Major League Baseball contest[5] that featured Keith Hernandez hitting for the cycle,[6] Mets manager Davey Johnson being ejected, and the Braves coming back to tie the game twice in extra innings, most notably in the bottom of the 18th.

The game was especially highlighted[7] by relief pitcher Rick Camp,[8][9][10][11] a career .060 hitter at the time with no home runs[12] batting only because the Braves had no position players left, shockingly hitting a solo home run on a 0–2 pitch in the 18th off of Tom Gorman[13] to re-tie[14] the game at 11–11.[15] As a result, it has become known simply as the Rick Camp game.[16]


Following a 90 minute rain delay,[17][18] the game was finally set to begin around 9:00 p.m. EDT. Both teams scored a run in the first. In the top of the first, Gary Carter drove in Keith Hernandez with a single. The Braves countered with Claudell Washington leading the frame off with a triple, then scoring on a Rafael Ramírez groundout.

Mets starter Dwight Gooden continued to struggle by walking three of the next four batters to load the bases with two outs. He ultimately managed to escape the jam by forcing a Rick Cerone groundout to end the Atlanta threat.

After 2+13 innings, the rain came down again for another 41 minutes, consequently bouncing Gooden from the game.[19] Mets manager Davey Johnson proceeded to play the game under protest after he wasn't allowed to make a double-switch when Gooden left the game. Crew chief Terry Tata ruled that Mets reliever Roger McDowell had officially entered the game when he came onto the field to inspect the mound after the delay.[20] The Braves then took a 3–1 lead in the third after the rain delay.

Braves manager Eddie Haas stuck with his starter Rick Mahler following the second delay. In the top of the fourth, Mets rallied for four runs to take a 5–3 lead, thanks in part to a Wally Backman RBI single into center field off Braves reliever Jeff Dedmon. In the bottom of the fourth, Terry Leach came in to relieve Roger McDowell, who had been pinch-hit for by Clint Hurdle in the top of the frame, and only allowed one run on four hits over the next four innings.

In the top of the sixth, Keith Hernandez singled, one of the two hits he needed to complete the cycle, but umpire Terry Tata incorrectly ruled that his line drive to center had been caught by Dale Murphy. Eventually Hernandez would homer in the eighth and single in the 12th to complete the cycle.

In the bottom of the eighth, with the Mets leading 7–5,[21] Dale Murphy hit a bases-clearing double off Jesse Orosco to give the Braves the 8–7 lead. The Mets answered with a run in the ninth with consecutive singles from Howard Johnson, Danny Heep, and Lenny Dykstra against Bruce Sutter.

The score would remain tied until the 13th, when Howard Johnson hit a two-run homer off of Terry Forster to put the Mets ahead 10–8. The Braves' Terry Harper tied it again with a home run in the bottom of the inning. In the top of 17th, with the score tied at 10, both Davey Johnson and Darryl Strawberry got ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

The Mets however grabbed an 11–10 lead in the 18th on a Lenny Dykstra sacrifice fly.[22] In the bottom of the 18th, Braves pitcher Rick Camp was batting against Tom Gorman and proceeded to hit the 0–2 pitch for a home run over the left field wall.[23]

Gary Carter led off the 19th with a single and after a sacrifice, pinch-hitter Rusty Staub was walked intentionally.[24] Ray Knight, who had left the bases full three times already, came through with an RBI double to make it 12–11. The Mets would tack on four more runs in the 19th to go up 16–11.

The Mets then called in Ron Darling,[25] the seventh Mets pitcher,[26] to close it out. Darling would allow two unearned runs before finally recording the final out, a strikeout of Camp.[27]

Once the game was over, even though the date/time was July 5, 3:55 a.m.,[28] the Braves' stadium crew shot off the scheduled Fourth of July post-game fireworks[29][30] for the fans who endured to the end. As one final bizarre extra, calls from local residents came in to the emergency services 911 center given they were not aware these were planned fireworks. This was the second latest[31][32][33] any major league game has ever ended. Eight years later, the record was topped by a doubleheader between the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies in July 1993, which saw the second game (July 3) end at 4:40 a.m. It also occurred after rain had delayed the start of the first game (July 2) that saw it end past 1 a.m. Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium also had a scheduled fireworks display that night but postponed it.[34] Coincidentally, the second game also featured a notable hit by a relief pitcher, as Mitch Williams' walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth inning off of Trevor Hoffman won the game for the Phillies, 6-5. It was one of just three total hits in Williams' career, and the final plate appearance of his career as well.

In total, there were 46 hits, 22 walks, 37 runners left on base, five errors, and two ejections.[35][36][37][38] The time of the game was 6 hours, 10 minutes, not counting the rain delays, which tacked on more than two hours.


Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 R H E
New York Mets (41–35) 1 0 0 4 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 5 16 28 2
Atlanta Braves (34–42) 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 13 18 3
WP: Tom Gorman (4–3)   LP: Rick Camp (2–4)
Home runs:
NYM: Keith Hernandez (1)
Howard Johnson (2)
ATL: Terry Harper (2)
Rick Camp (1)

See also


  1. ^ Ho, Rodney (July 5, 2019). "John Sterling, former Braves/Hawks announcer, ends 5,060 game streak doing Yankees games". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  2. ^ "On This Date in Sports July 4, 1985: Stranger Things in Atlanta". Barstool Sports. July 3, 2019.
  3. ^ Foster, Jason (July 2, 2015). "July 4, 1985: 19 things you might not remember about epic Mets-Braves game". Sporting News.
  4. ^ Sarkar, Barnana (March 4, 2019). "'Stranger Things': Season 3 might just revisit the legendary Mets vs Braves game of July 4, 1985". MEAWW.
  5. ^ Newell, Sam (July 4, 2016). "That Time the Mets and Braves Played the Craziest Baseball Game Ever". Vice.
  6. ^ Boyle, Tim (2019-07-04). "Mets History: Keith Hernandez hits for the cycle in 19-inning game". Rising Apple.
  7. ^ "MLB 18-Inning Fireworks Night Evokes Memories of July 4–5, 1985". steemit.com. July 4, 2020.
  8. ^ Corcoran, Cliff (April 26, 1993). "Remembering the Rick Camp Game". Sports Illustrated.
  9. ^ "Braves "Rick Camp game" happened on this day 35 years ago". WSB-TV.
  10. ^ Keiser, Tom (July 7, 2016). "Throwback Thursday: "The Rick Camp Game," A Sloppy, Silly, Fireworks-Aided 19-Inning Classic". Vice.
  11. ^ "July 4, 1985: No End in Sight". MetsRewind. 2020-07-04.
  12. ^ "Retrosheet".
  13. ^ Simon, Mark (July 2, 2010). "Remembering the wackiest game ever". ESPN.
  14. ^ "Rick Camp, Atlanta Braves pitcher, dies at 59". The Washington Post. Associated Press. April 27, 2013.
  15. ^ Kelly, Marie Claire (July 3, 2015). "Remembering the Legendary 'Rick Camp' Atlanta Braves Game". WABE.
  16. ^ Corcoran, Cliff (April 26, 2013). "Remembering the Rick Camp Game".
  17. ^ Wright, Brian (2018). "July 4, 1985: Fireworks and rain: Mets, Braves engage in a holiday epic". SABR.
  18. ^ Martino, Andy (July 2, 1985). "Memory of legendary 1985 Mets vs. Braves 4th of July game lives on 30 years later". New York Daily News.
  19. ^ Albanese, Laura (July 4, 2020). "Chaotic 19-inning Mets-Braves game in 1985 'was a Twilight Zone episode'". Newsday.
  20. ^ Landers, Chris (July 4, 2018). "The Mets and Braves celebrated July 4 by playing one of the craziest games in MLB history". MLB Advanced Media.
  21. ^ "Mets Vs. Braves July 4–5, 1985 – Atlanta Fulton County Stadium". Parallel Narratives. 12 March 2011.
  22. ^ Langs, Sarah (July 1, 2020). "30 pitchers who really raked, one for every team". MLB.
  23. ^ Willis, Kris (July 4, 2020). "This Day in Braves History: Rick Camp's improbable July 4th home run". talkingchop.com.
  24. ^ Maiorana, Sal (July 4, 2020). "Fourth of July became fifth of July on a memorable 1985 night for Mets, Braves". Sal Maiorana.
  25. ^ Albanese, Laura (July 4, 2020). "Ron Darling, Howard Johnson make peace with baseball rule changes". Newsday.
  26. ^ "This Date in Baseball". The News & Observer. July 3, 2020.
  27. ^ Rogust, Scott (July 4, 2020). "Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the Certifiably Insane Braves-Mets July 4 Marathon". 12up.com.
  28. ^ "At 3:55 a.m., Mets Top Braves, 16–13, in 19th Inning". Los Angeles Times. July 5, 1985.
  29. ^ Tucker, Tom (May 14, 2020). "Braves' 'nuttiest' night: A home run by Rick Camp and 4 a.m. fireworks". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  30. ^ Gutekunst, John (July 3, 2019). "From the Dugout: Fireworks in the wee hours fitting end to bizarre game". Parker Pioneer.
  31. ^ Gustafson, Ken (August 6, 2018). "Remembering one of the longest games in baseball history". Americus Times-Recorder.
  32. ^ Aiken, Ron (July 4, 2001). "Longest game in major league history might be the strangest JULY 4, 1985: 19-inning contest between Braves, Mets lasted until 3:53 a.m." Go Up State.
  33. ^ Carpenter, Alan (2015-07-01). "30th Anniversary of the Atlanta Braves' Longest Day". TOMAHAWK TAKE.
  34. ^ "From 1993: 'Let's play two': Phillies flirt with daybreak". 4 July 1993.
  35. ^ Gardner, Sam (July 2, 2015). "Thirty years ago in Atlanta, a baseball marathon led to fireworks going off at 4 a.m." Fox Sports.
  36. ^ Kelly, Mary Claire (July 3, 2015). "Remembering the Legendary 'Rick Camp' Atlanta Braves Game". WABE.
  37. ^ Britton, Tim (June 9, 2020). "'The greatest game ever played': The night the Mets and Braves broke baseball". The Atlantic.
  38. ^ Martinez, Michael (July 6, 1985). "29 RUNS, 46 HITS, 19 INNINGS, 7 HOURS, 1 GAME". The New York Times.