Your Rain Delay Companion

Nationals Giants Rain Delay 8 23 2014

© The Baseball Bloggess

Three things you should know about rain:

1. One billion tons of rain falls on the earth every minute. One billion.  (Fortunately, an equal amount evaporates somewhere else, so things even out and the earth doesn’t explode like a water balloon.)

2. Falling rain can reach speeds of up to 22 miles per hour. (So can Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton.)

3. I don’t know when your game’s rain delay is going to end.

In October 2012, I sat through a cold, 2-hour-41-minute rain delay in Baltimore. The Orioles were playing the Yankees in the playoffs – it marked the O’s first post-season appearance in 15 years.

Fun Fact: Rain Delays don't last forever. Fun Fact #2: Rally Towels are very absorbent.

© The Baseball Bloggess

Rally Towels. Very Absorbent.

After all the rain delaying, it was nearly midnight when the two teams, knotted at 2, entered the 9th. And then, Orioles closer Jim Johnson gave up five runs. Five.

Including this one …

Embed from Getty Images


The Orioles lose 7-2 and go on to lose the division series. It still hurts.

I wrote about that night here: How To Enjoy Your Next Rain Delay. 

Ever since, this blog gets a spike in visitors whenever rain stops a big game. Earlier this month, the Orioles’ three-hour double-delay during their home opener on April 4, and the Washington Nationals’ 85-minute delay during their home opener on April 7, led to a downpour of impatient wet fans turning to the googler to tell them when the stoppages would finally stop.

Over the past few years, all kinds of questions and queries have led people to my rain delay post.  I’m going to go ahead and clear those questions up now.

Here are a few of the real online searches that have led people to my rain delay expertise since 2012:

How long are rain delays in baseball?

Until it stops raining or until the game is called. In 1990, during a Rangers-White Sox game in Chicago, a rain delay went on for 7 hours and 23 minutes before the game was postponed. So, get comfy, you could be waiting awhile.

Do people walk to baseball when it rains?

Yes, I suppose they do.

What to do while waiting for a rain delay in your car.

Why are you waiting for a rain delay in your car? Most people are hoping for a rain delay to end, not waiting for one. But as long as you’re in your car, I suggest changing all the presets on your radio and seeing how far back you can tilt the seats. Also, if it is raining, I recommend not opening the sun roof, or maybe just going home.

How long will they delay a baseball game?

As long as it is raining or until they decide to call the game.

If the game hasn’t started yet, the call is made by the home team. If the game is in progress (or it’s the second game of a double header), the call is the umps. Unless it’s a post-season game, in which case, the league officials or commissioner will decide.

There will be no vote and no one cares how cold and wet you are.

How long will rain delay a baseball game?

Most likely, until it stops raining or until the game is called. If the game is official (4-1/2 innings played, with the home team leading, or 5 or more innings played and the game is not tied) then they might just end the game and be done with it. Otherwise, if it’s not official, they could postpone the game and start over on another day, or they could suspend the game and pick it up where it left off. Or, you could just wait around some more, because it’s bound to stop raining eventually.

over the railing

© The Baseball Bloggess

College teams often don’t have the wiggle room to postpone games. Sometimes they’ll play through rain (and sleet) to get the game in. Like this game between the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech in 2014.

How long does a rain delay before they call the game?

Didn’t I just answer this? It can be awhile. If it’s a playoff or other important game, you probably ain’t going nowhere ‘til it stops raining and this game gets done.

How long do rain delays go on before they call the game?

Sometimes a very long time.

How long will a baseball game be delayed?


No one really knows, but go ahead and ask the usher anyway. I’m sure they’ll appreciate that. In fact, why not ask them every 10 minutes? I’m sure no one else has.

Rain delay drinking game.

Oh, what fun!  I don’t know of any rain delay drinking games, so I’ve made one up for you.

Embed from Getty Images

The Baseball Bloggess’ Official Rain Delay Drinking Game

Take a drink whenever:

  • Someone asks “How long do you think this rain delay is going to last?”
  • Someone asks “How long before they call the game?”
  • Someone checks the weather app on their phone
  • Someone starts talking about a longer rain delay they sat through
  • Someone mocks the people who ran for cover
  • Someone mocks the people who are still sitting in the rain
  • Someone asks if you know any rain delay drinking games

That should do. (But, sip mindfully. If your rain delay goes on too long, they could run out of beer.)

Rain delay drinking.

Rain delay drinking should be encouraged. After all, what could be better than sitting next to a sputtering, obnoxious drunk at a ballgame? Why, a sputtering, obnoxious, wet drunk, of course.

Thinking games that baseball players play in rain delay.

This one perplexed me. But, I like it. I think that the “thinking games” that baseball players play in a rain delay have something to do with thinking about how dry and comfortable it is in their clubhouse, and maybe, just maybe, thinking about having another sandwich.

Fun games to play with your baseball teammates during a rain delay.

This is my favorite, because I like to think that somewhere in that dry and comfy clubhouse, Orioles slugger Chris Davis wanted something fun that he and his teammates could do during that Opening Day rain delay and he said, “Hang on guys, let me check my phone and see what I can find.”

The Clemson and Davidson college baseball teams have some fun rain delay game suggestions, too:


While waiting for your rain delay to end, you can read about lots of other rain delays and bad baseball weather on the always excellent Rainout Blog.

rainout blog

It might be raining for awhile, so find a dry spot and kill some time. Here’s a rainy day playlist to keep you company.

Or, may I suggest …


Or, if it’s getting late and you’re getting tired of being cold and wet, and you’re just a few minutes away from chucking it all in and going home, take one more spin with me, won’t you? …


Wet enough for you?


17 thoughts on “Your Rain Delay Companion

  1. Pingback: How To Enjoy Your Next Rain Delay | The Baseball Bloggess

  2. Love this! You sounded like Marshawn Lynch answering the question with same phrase each time. “Until the rain stops or the game is called” or some variation of it is now etched in the brain lol.

    And now, time for some Missy Elliott…

  3. Loved this! Never knew there were so many songs about rain. And those clever Clemson guys — do you have a special place in your heart for them for including curling in the sports they mimicked?

    • Except maybe for that time in the 1990s … remember the rumors that the Orioles cancelled a game on account of a “lighting problem”, when in fact Cal Ripken was unable to play and the O’s wanted to keep his streak alive? That was a myth, but I bet there are some times when, strategically, someone is hoping for a little rain to wash out a game — to give their team a rest or whatever.

      A couple weeks ago, the University of Virginia postponed a Tuesday game 24 hours in advance on account of a forecast of “inclement weather”. Of course, the weather never came and it was a beautiful day. They had worn their bullpen out that weekend, so maybe their arms needed some rest. That’s the conspiracy theorist in me … but, more likely, it was in consideration of the other team having to travel for one game that might have been washed out.

      Anyway, I’m packing the umbrella and rain gear today — it’s soggy down here in Virginia, too. But, maybe we’ll both get some games in! :)

  4. Another fun read!
    FYI Snow outs run the same as rain outs. And, no minimum accumulation needed! We just had a snow/ rain out with the Pirates. With an added its just too cold! Low to mid 30s! Food services must have been low on hot choc supplies!

  5. Pingback: Rainy Day Review: “The Iowa Baseball Confederacy” | The Baseball Bloggess

  6. Pingback: “No Baseball Beyond This Point” | The Baseball Bloggess

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