By Max Goodwin
This labor day weekend, a group of 60 players will occupy a Kansas City park for four days and four nights in an attempt to set a world record for the longest baseball game ever played.
The goal is 100 consecutive hours of what they are calling the Endless Game. None of the players can leave the park complex during that time. It’s all organized toward an effort to raise at least $300,000 for charities like Children’s Mercy Hospital, Veteran’s Community Project, and Operation Breakthrough, among others.
Scott Reinardy, a professor at the University of Kansas, was playing in a doubleheader during a tournament. He wondered what the record was for the longest game ever was so he looked it up. It was 83 hours, a game played in Canada. Reinardy mentioned the idea to others in his men’s senior baseball league and they started organizing toward breaking that record.
In the past year, they have contacted the Guinness Book of World Records and raised funds to have Guinness on site to witness the record. They have selected organizations to donate money raised by the event, like Children’s Mercy Hospital, Operation Breakthrough and several others. And they’ve selected the most dedicated players from their men’s senior baseball league to go for the record.
At 8 a.m. on August 31, the first pitch will be thrown out, and the marathon baseball game will begin at Macken Park in North Kansas City. The league they play in plays at parks all over the metro area, but Macken Park was where they found most hospitable, allowing them to use the lights and set up in the park for free.
Local country singers Brooke and Wyatt Waters will be singing the national anthem, and Dani Boatwright, a contestant on the television show Survivor, will be throwing out the first pitch. There will be food trucks and live music at times through out the weekend.
There are 30 players on each team. They will be playing in four-hour shifts to keep the game moving. Their mission is to play the game they love to improve the community through charitable donations.
Bob Miscannon and Dan Hecker, both from the Martin City area, will be playing four hour shifts each day of the endless game and staying at the park. They both play in the men’s senior baseball league a couple times each week.
Just two weeks away from the event, Hecker and Miscannon have made their preparations to spend the weekend at the baseball field.
“You’re not allowed to leave the facility. So, we’re rounding up trailers and campers and whoever’s crazy enough to sleep in a tent,” said Dan Hecker.
Miscannon plans to use his wife’s outback station wagon and set up an air mattress. Friends and family of each player will be bringing any necessities to the park for them.
“We’re getting water together and stuff like that and we’ll have our spouses or significant others bringing us whatever we need throughout the weekend,” Miscannon said.
They are dedicated. Miscannon has been playing in the league since the late 80s when it first started. He’s played every position except catcher over the years. This year, at 69 years old, he’s started pitching.
We’re pretty competitive,” Miscannon said. “We do take it pretty serious.”
In fact, that day, Hecker was headed to have an MRI exam for his shoulder because of an injury playing baseball.
Neither Miscannon or Hecker has ever tried to break a world record before. Hecker got a copy of the 2023 Guinness World Record Book and has been looking it over recently.
“There’s one guy that has the record for standing in rain for nine hours straight,” Hecker said. “Where do you even find a place where it rains for nine hours?”
Next year, Hecker and Miscannon hope to see themselves in the Guinness World Record Book. They aren’t taking it as a foregone conclusion that they will break the record. They are hoping for good weather and know that they will be watched closely to make sure they follow the Guinness requirements.
Anybody interested in donating, volunteering, or buying EndlessGame merchandise can visit EndlessGame.org.