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Baseball club hopes game in Cottage Grove will set Guinness record

A marathon baseball game scheduled for August at Park High School in Cottage Grove will serve up the most extra innings the world has ever seen.

At least, that’s the hope of PHD Baseball, a club whose young players will attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Record for the longest consecutive baseball game.

The current world record for the longest baseball game is 62 hours, 32 minutes and 59 seconds.

The game begins at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1 at the ninth-grade baseball field at Park. The 56 players, aged 16-19, hope to play until after midnight on Sunday.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to have something exciting in Cottage Grove and promote baseball,” said Dan Harrison, president of the Cottage Grove Athletic Association and a junior varsity baseball coach at Park. “It’s kind of a cool occurrence.”

Harrison’s son Scottie, 16, played with PHD Baseball last year. When club owners needed a place to play for the record, Harrison approached Cottage Grove administrators about staging the game here.

PHD Baseball, which is based in Arden Hills, tried for the record in 2013 during a game at the Metrodome, which has since been demolished.

Last year’s attempt fell short at about 45 consecutive hours because they had no one left to pitch, said Herb Gibson, director of business operations for the club. The kids were game, but Gibson was concerned about injuries to players, particularly the ones who would be playing baseball in college.

“I didn’t want to put arms at risk,” he said. “We didn’t have enough bodies to go all the way. They had the heart but they wouldn’t have wanted to say ‘no.’”

This year, they’ve beefed up the roster to 28 players on each team. Nine-man shifts will play for two or three hours and get six hours rest. The players can sleep in the nearby Cottage Grove Ice Arena until it’s time for them to take the field again, Gibson said.

The PHD Baseball Club is collaborating with the ALS Association for the event. Proceeds will help fund research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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