There are 162 games in a Major League Baseball season.
The number of baseball games in season has changed over the history of the sport, though, and there are still instances where fewer or more than 162 games are played in a baseball season.
Here are some facts you should know …
How many baseball games are in a season?
Each team plays 162 games in an MLB season.
How many baseball games were in a season in 1876?
In the first year of the National League, each team played 70 games (ten against each of seven opponents)?
How many baseball games were in a season in 1901?
In the first year of the American League, each team played 140 games (20 against each of seven opponents in their own league). The National League had adopted a 140-game schedule in 1900
How many baseball games were in a season in 1904?
In 1904, both leagues expanded to a 154-game schedule, in which each team played each of seven intraleague opponents 22 times.
How many baseball games were in a season in 1919?
During the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1919, the MLB schedule was reduced to 140 games for each team (20 against each of seven opposing teams from the same league).
How many baseball games were in a season in 1920?
Baseball returned to a 154-game schedule the year after the peak of the Spanish Flu pandemic.
How many baseball games were in a season in 1927?
When Babe Ruth set the single-season home run record of 60 for the New York Yankees in 1927, each MLB team played 154 games.
How many baseball games were in a season in 1930?
When Hack Wilson set the single-season RBI record of 190 for the Chicago Cubs in 1930, each MLB team played 154 games.
How many baseball games were in a season in 1961?
MLB expanded the schedule to 162 games in 1961. The longer schedule came about as baseball expanded from 16 to 18 teams (that would expand to 20 in 1962).
The expanded schedule led to controversy when Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hit his 61st home run of the season on the last day of the season to break Babe Ruth’s record.
Since Maris had the benefit of more games played, many suggested his new record was tainted and should be marked with an asterisk.
As it turned out, Maris’s last home run came in the Yankees’ 163rd game of the season, not the 162nd.
How can a team play more than 162 games in a season?
Before wild cards and expanded playoffs, if two teams finished the season tied for the division lead, they would play a one-game tiebreaker, and that 163rd game would count in the standings.
How can a player play in more games than his team does?
A player can be credited with more than 162 games (or however many games his team plays) if he is traded during the season and plays more than 162 games combined between the teams.
A player may also be credited with playing in more than 162 games if he plays in all of his teams games and if one or more of those is only partially played, ending before it becomes official (generally after 4 1/2 or five innings). In that case, all player statistics — including games played — count, but team statistics do not.
How many baseball games were played in 2020?
During the Coronavirus pandemic, each MLB team played 60 games, beginning in late July.
When are fewer than 162 games played in a season?
During seasons interrupted by a player strike or owner lockout, some part of the season is often truncated, and the games cancelled. This often leads to fewer than 162 games being played.
Notable seasons affected by strikes include 1972, 1981, 1994, and 1995.
When does a team play fewer than a full schedule?
When a team accrues games that need to be made up due to a tie, rainout, or other reason, those games are sometimes cancelled outright at the end of the season of adding them back to the schedule would not affect the outcome of the standings.
In some strike years, too — 1994 for instance — teams do not all play the same number of games, depending on the nature of the strike (e.g., is it season-ending) and how many games the teams have played when the strike begins.
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