Dan Barry: Author and Columnitst for The New York Times


Sept 13, 2012 | 7PM "Hope Diamond" - Dan Barry speaks at Boston College Each summer, Boston College asks its incoming freshmen to read a book whose theme can provide a starting point for reflection and conversation that will later be illuminated through an address by the author at the annual First Year Convocation in September. The book for this year’s class is Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption and Baseball’s Longest Game by Dan Barry.

Oct 23, 2012 | 7PM 2012 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony Award winners and runners-up will be honored at the 2012 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, at CUNY Graduate Center’s Proshansky Auditorium in New York City. Details are forthcoming for this event. Stay tuned.

Recent Work

For Patsy Cline’s Hometown, an Embrace That Took Decades Dec. 24, 2012 - A modest tin-roof house stands as a monument to a dropout turned country singer who gained more recognition from Winchester, Va., after her death at 30 than during her life. Full Story

With the Why Elusive, Two Boys, Two Burials Dec. 18, 2012 - The people of Newtown buried two boys on Monday afternoon, in the first of the many funerals to follow last week's massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The boys were both 6 years old. Full Story

Divining the Weather, With Methods Old and New Dec 10, 2012 - Bill O'Toole works as the seventh prognosticator of J. Gruber's Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack, a line of work that began in 1797 with a star-savvy blacksmith. Full Story

Storm-Tossed Memories Nov 18, 2012 - Hurricane Sandy transformed cherished snapshots into an open-air exhibition of people's lives. Full Story

Back When a Chocolate Puck Tasted, Guiltily, Like America Nov 17, 2012 - Consumers already knew that not everything is good for you, and this was never truer than with a Twinkie, a Sno Ball, or a Ring Ding — the Ding Dong equivalent in the Northeast. Full Story

In a Small Ohio City, an Almost Sacred Day of Civic Purpose Nov 7, 2012 - The jaded might contend that in a presidential election, one vote among tens of millions has no meaning. In Elyria, Ohio, voting is simply what you do. Full Story

Hoops Springs Eternal Nov 5, 2012 - It's basketball season again. The hoop beckons. Do you hearken to its call? Full Story

Evoking 18th-Century Drama, a Tragedy on the Bounty Nov 4, 2012 - A vessel of timber and lore was hammered by the hurricane, and the captain has not been found. Full Story

With a New Menu and a Makeover, a Promise to Keep Going Oct. 18, 2012 - One constant in a struggling city like Elyria, Ohio, is the shared determination to make it through this day and into the next. Full Story

In the Hard Fall of a Favorite Son, a Reminder of a City's Scars Oct. 17, 2012 - Ike Maxwell walks the streets of Elyria, Ohio, as if determined to break through life's defensive line. Often he is shouting. But what is he trying to say? Full Story

After a Childhood Pouring Refills, Reaching Beyond the Past Oct. 16, 2012 - Bridgette Harvan, 21, has worked at her grandmother's diner since she was 9. But as the breakfast regulars reminisce of better days in Elyria, Ohio, she dreams of a brighter future in a rejuvenated town.. Full Story

New Mayor, Big To-Do List Oct. 15, 2012 - Mayor Holly Brinda, a fourth-generation resident of Elyria, Ohio, remains hopeful despite cutbacks that have cost city jobs and reduced city services. Full Story

At the Corner of Hope and Worry Oct. 14, 2012 - A small cafe, in the small city of Elyria, Ohio, is being tested by a tough economy. It is the kind of place where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each hope that his promise of a restored American dream will resonate. Full Story

Bottom of the 33rd


Los Angeles Times

Apr. 3, 2011 - Review by John Thurber. "The odd baseball season of 1981 comes into focus with this gripping tale of the longest game in modern history and those caught in its wake." Full Review

USA Today

Apr. 14, 2011 - Review by Bob Minzesheimer. "It's a great story that goes beyond baseball, about duty and love and second chances — on and off the field." Full Review

Boston Globe

Apr. 15, 2011 - Review by Colin Fleming. "Bottom of the 33rd is replete with character studies and mini-biographies that reveal just how difficult it is to make it to this level of baseball, a level where no player is content to remain." Full Review


Summer 2011 - "How do you describe a historical event with such detail that it seems to the reader as a current ongoing event? Dan Barry seeks the help of the key protagonists of the game – both on field and off – and with their help reconstructs with vivid detail (and not a small dose of wit) the event itself and its impact on the town of Pawtucket." Full Review


Sep. 15, 2011 - "In Barry's exquisitely written story of the game and the people that were involved in it, he examines the diminished Rhode Island city and the organization itself, from beloved owner Ben Mondor right down to the batboy." Full Review

Kirkus Reviews

Feb. 15, 2011 - "New York Times columnist Dan Barry (City Lights: Stories About New York, 2007, etc.) delivers an all-angle take on the longest, and surely the strangest, game in baseball history." Full Review

Publishers Review

Mar. 28, 2011 - Review by Michael Coffey. "A Classic Leads the Field. Dan Barry's paean to the longest game ever played." Full Review


Apr. 1, 2011 - Reviewby Mark Hodermarsky. "An astonishing tale that lyrically articulates baseball's inexorable grip on its players and fans, Bottom of the 33rd belongs among the best baseball books ever written." Full Review

Providence Journal

Apr. 6, 2011 - Review by John Monaghan. Barry blasts a homer in Bottom of the 33rd. Full Review

Columbus Dispatch

Apr. 24, 2011 - Review by Nick Chordas. "Above all, Bottom of the 33rd captures that paradoxical notion of sport as a worthy - even noble - endeavor as well as a home for carnival-barker owners and overgrown boys clinging to playground dreams." Full Review

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Apr. 23, 2011 - Review by Curt Brown. "The story of baseball's longest game is a fast read. Whether you're a baseball aficionado or a reader who just enjoys a good yarn, you'll love this book." Full Review

San Antonio Express-News

Apr. 24, 2011 - Review by Steve Bennett. "Every spring, a bumper crop of baseball books is published. Most of them are like fly balls to the warning track: We rise from our seats, eyes tracking the white dot, then sit back down with a groan. One sometimes makes it over the fence." Full Review


Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball's Longest Game

Purchase at:

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Paperback now available at:

  Amazon logo Barnes and Noble Indiebound logo

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: April 12, 2011
ISBN: 9780062068279
ISBN10: 006206827X
Pages: 257 pages

Last hit April 18, 1981

Dave Koza connects on what would prove to be the
game winner.

1981 Pawtucket Red Sox team picture

1981 Pawtucket Red Sox team photo
Courtesy of the Pawtucket Red Sox

Baltimore Orioles Future Stars card 1982

Topps 1982 Baltimore Orioles Future Stars card
Courtesy of Topps Baseball Cards

On April 18, 1981, a ball game sprang eternal. What began as a modestly attended minor-league game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings became not only the longest ever played in baseball history, but something else entirely. The first pitch was thrown after dusk on Holy Saturday, and for the next eight hours the night seemed to suspend its participants between their collective pasts and futures, between their collective sorrows and joys—the ballplayers; the umpires; Pawtucket's ejected manager, peering through a hole in the backstop; the sportswriters and broadcasters; a few stalwart fans shivering in the cold.

With Bottom of the 33rd, celebrated New York Times journalist Dan Barry has written a lyrical meditation on small-town lives, minor-league dreams, and the elements of time and community that conspired one fateful night to produce a baseball game seemingly without end. Bottom of the 33rd captures the sport's essence: the purity of purpose, the crazy adherence to rules, the commitment of both players and fans. This genre-bending book, a reportorial triumph, portrays the myriad lives held in the night's unrelenting grip. Consider, for instance, the team owner determined to revivify a decrepit stadium, built atop a swampy bog, or the batboy approaching manhood, nervous and earnest, or the umpire with a new family and a new home, or the wives watching or waiting up, listening to a radio broadcast slip into giddy exhaustion. Consider the small city of Pawtucket itself, its ghosts and relics, and the players, two destined for the Hall of Fame (Cal Ripken and Wade Boggs), a few to play only briefly or forgettably in the big leagues, and the many stuck in minor-league purgatory, duty bound and loyal to the game.