What is a Doubleheader in Baseball?

In person or on TV, catching a nine-inning baseball game can be magical for some. The game of baseball brings a sense of calm and nostalgia to some fans. So you might be wondering if there are double games between two teams during a season? My friend, that is a doubleheader, and the post below will explain what it means in greater detail. Have fun!

What Does a Doubleheader Game Mean in Baseball?

In baseball, a doubleheader is when the same two teams play two games at the same time. In 2021, doubleheaders will consist of seven nine-inning games instead of two.

Why Were there only seven innings in an MLB Doubleheader in 2021?

As a result of COVID-19 impacting the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the MLB players association and the league changed the rules to protect players via doubleheaders. With the pandemic, two 7-inning games were introduced to limit unnecessary time on the field. In the past, doubleheader games were traditionally two nine-inning games, but now they are reduced to two.

College and Minor League Baseball also have seven-inning games via doubleheaders.

Doubleheaders will replace the normal nine-inning games in baseball starting in 2022.

What is the Longest Doubleheader Game in Baseball History?

As of 2021, the longest doubleheader in baseball took place in 1964 between the Giants and the Mets. 32 innings were played, which is crazy since the first game was a nine-inning affair. In total, nine hours and fifty-two minutes of baseball were played in game two.

What Teams Have Played the Most Doubleheader Games as of 2021?

  • The Boston Red Sox (41 points)
  • (40) New York Mets
  • Orioles (37) of Baltimore
  • There are 35 New York Yankees
  • There are 34 Philadelphia Phillies
  • 33rd place Chicago White Sox
  • There are 33 Detroit Tigers

Why are there Doubleheaders in Baseball?

Major League Baseball now uses doubleheaders for rained-out or canceled regular-season games. COVID-19 caused 45 games to be postponed, according to USA Today. To allow the season to finish on time, 12% of the canceled games were played as doubleheaders due to COVID-19.

Doubleheader Rules

In 2020 and 2021, seven-inning doubleheaders will be the new rule, but there are also other rules. The first rule is that if the first game goes into extra innings, the second game cannot begin until 30 minutes after the first game ends. Adding a runner at second base to extra-inning games in 2021 will help speed up the game.

There is also a rule that only the same two teams can play against each other in the doubleheader. As an example, the St. Louis Cardinals cannot play game one against the Colorado Rockies and game two against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It is necessary to play both games against the same opponent.

As a final note, all players are eligible to play both games in the doubleheader, but most teams mix and match their lineups. During game one, some organizations might rest a player before game two, while other teams might sit one player to start game two. In game two, the starting pitcher from game one will not play.

What is The Home-and-Home Doubleheader?

Both teams play one home game at their respective venues on the same day in a home-and-home doubleheader. The first game will be played at one ballpark, while the second game will be at the park of the visiting team. Since interleague play began, the New York Yankees and New York Mets have played doubleheaders a few times. 

The Yankees play in the Bronx and the Mets play in Queens, so there is not much distance between the two parks. This type of doubleheader gives players and fans an exciting twist. This home-and-home event can be held at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, which are only 10 miles apart. During the home-and-home doubleheader in 2020, the Yankees were the away team at Yankee Stadium. 

History of Double Header Baseball

When I was growing up, there were plenty of doubleheader baseball games between teams during the regular season.

A doubleheader originally consisted of the same two teams playing two games at the same venue in front of the same crowd. The idea behind twin-bill doubleheaders was to attract fans, especially when the home team faced a poor opponent.

Why are There Less Doubleheaders in Today’s Age?

Money is the main reason why there aren’t as many doubleheaders during the regular season. In 2019, baseball generated 10 billion dollars, according to Statista. Statista shows that baseball’s value keeps growing every season if you click on that link.

During spring training, the regular season, and the playoff postseason, MLB continues to use the one game at a time method to maximize profits.


There are no longer any traditional doubleheader games in Major League Baseball. In the past, teams would use doubleheaders to attract fans to the stands, but today, baseball makes too much money to not spread out the season. As a backup, the doubleheader will be played if a game is canceled due to rain or COVID-19.

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