“One-game playoff” or “tie-breaker?” The nomenclature here can get a little confusing, so let’s clear things up before we get into the best examples in baseball history. However, because either term is basically an instance of the regular season failing us (How DARE you, regular season?), the device can be a little convoluted.
All one-game playoffs are tie-breakers, but not all tie-breakers are one-game playoffs. In the unlikely event of several teams getting all jammed up upon completion of game 162, it’s possible that one single game wouldn’t set things straight, and there would need to be a sort of mini-season to set things straight. Also, before 1969, a three-game series was used to usher in the NL champs, while the AL used a single game.
Now that I’ve clouded the issue even further, let’s get going to study the best regular-season extensions in baseball history.