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Editor's note: Twice a week during this sports hiatus, we'll answer questions that Bay Area sports fans long have debated in "Ever Wonder?"  This installment: What's the backstory behind the '"Greatest Game Ever Pitched?"

It was an outing that couldn’t even be comprehended during today’s game. With more than 50 years gone by, it’s still a feat that people are shocked by.

On July 2, 1963, future Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal had a game that will forever stand out on Baseball-Reference when he pitched a 16-inning shutout with the Giants against the Milwaukee Braves. 

On the other side of the field was Warren Spahn, who himself threw a tedious 15 1/3 scoreless innings before Willie Mays hit a home run to win it all at Candlestick Park.

But it should have been over in the ninth. Willie McCovey hit ball with home run distance down the right-field line in which the umpire claimed was foul, as baseball historian David Feldman explained, but McCovey didn’t believe so.

But sure enough, the game continued and it went down in history as “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched.”

That’s quite the honor. 

Marichal finished giving up just eight hits, walking four and striking out 10 … with 227 pitches. 

Check the clip atop the page for the entire history of the event.

 

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