There are certain players who, when you think of a team, immediately stand out in memory. There is so much meaning in wearing the colors of a club on a daily basis, to be remembered forever, even if you have gone through another outfit.
With that in mind, we’ll take a look at the player who has worn the most uniform for each team. With franchises that have relocated, we will take into account whoever has played the most games at the current location.
Blue Jays: Tony Fernandez, SS (1,450)
Second place: Carlos Delgado, 1B (1,423)
The Dominican played with seven teams throughout his career, but in 12 of his 17 years in the majors, he was with the Blue Jays, beating Puerto Rican Delgado by 27 games.
Orioles: Cal Ripken Jr., SS / 3B (3,001)
Second place: Brooks Robinson (2,896)
The streak may have ended at 2,696 games, but Ripken played a total of 3,001 games with Baltimore.
Rays: Evan Longoria, 3B (1,435)
Second place: Carl Crawford (1,235)
Longoria is the only active player on this list, although he left the club four years ago. *
Red Sox: Carl Yastrzemski, OF (3,308)
Second place: Dwight Evans, OF (2,505)
For a team with such a rich history as the Red Sox, it seems hard to believe that anyone has such a huge advantage over second place. Sure, “Yaz” is second in history in games played, behind Pete Rose, and he played for only one team.
Yankees: Derek Jeter, SS (2,747)
Second place: Mickey Mantle, OF (2,401)
There are a lot of big names on the list, obviously. Although Yogi Berra (2,116 as a player) would be the leader, if counted the encounters he spent in uniform after his retirement as a player.
Cleveland: Terry Turner, INF (1,619)
Second place: Nap Lajoie (1,614)
Surprisingly, the leader is a little known player for a team with so much history. Turner played exclusively during the dead ball era, ending his career with eight home runs.
Royals: George Brett, 3B (2,707)
Second place: Frank White, 2B (2,324)
Brett played for two decades with the Royals. Did you know he stole 201 bases in his career?
Tigers: Al Kaline, OF (2,834)
Second place: Ty Cobb (2,806)
Kaline is one of the most underrated players in baseball history … but not so for Tigers fans.
Twins: Harmon Killebrew, 1B / 3B / OF (1,939)
Second place: Joe Mauer, C / 1B (1,858)
Killebrew played a couple of seasons with the Senators, before the club moved to Minnesota, so if you count the total with the franchise, it would be 2,329 games.
White Sox: Luke Appling, SS (2,422)
Second place: Paul Konerko, 1B (2,268)
Appling was the historical leader when he retired, earning the nickname “Old aches and pains.” As for Konerko, it’s easy to forget about his Dodgers debut and that he played parts of two seasons with Los Angeles and Cincinnati! before arriving in Chicago.
Angels: Garret Anderson, OF (2,013)
Second place: Tim Salmon (1,672)
Anderson had injury problems late in his career, but his durability is under-appreciated.
Athletics: Rickey Henderson, OF (1,704)
Second place: Sal Bando, 3B (1,410)
We’re just looking at the Oakland years. If we add those of the group in Kansas City and Philadelphia, the leader would be the Cuban Dagoberto “Bert” Campaneris (1,795).
Astros: Craig Biggio, 2B / C (2,850)
Second place: Jeff Bagwell, 1B (2,150)
You can tell that his move from catching to middle helped him, right? Plus, there’s probably no other franchise with a more obvious “one-two” than this one.
Mariners: Edgar Martínez, 3B / BD (2,055)
Second place: Ichiro Suzuki, OF (1,861)
Ichiro didn’t make his Seattle debut until he was 27, so he would be the clear leader had he not started his career in Japan.
Rangers: Michael Young, SS / 2B (1,823)
Second place: Elvis Andrus, SS (1,652)
Young came very close to winning a World Series … twice. However, his 13 years at Arlington surpassed anyone.
Braves: Chipper Jones, 3B (2,499)
Second place: Dale Murphy, OF (1,926)
If we include the entire history of the Braves, Hank Aaron (3,076 games with the franchise) is the clear leader, but he spent much of his career with the Milwaukee Braves and played “only” 1,270 games in Atlanta.
Marlins: Luis Castillo, 2B (1,128)
Second place: Jeff Conine, OF (1,014)
I, like you, thought that the answer would be Conine. But he stayed to 114 games. Castillo leads the Marlins in games played, at-bats, visits to the plate, runs scored, hits, triples, stolen bases and sacrifice touches.
Mets: Ed Kranepool, 1B (1,853)
Second place: David Wright, 3B (1,585)
It’s still Ed! Wright’s injuries kept him from being the leader here. But because Kranepool spent so much time on the bench, Wright has far more plate appearances with the Mets than Kranepool (6,872 to 5,997)… not to mention he also has far more hits, home runs, RBIs and runs, among many other categories.
Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman, 3B / 1B (1,799)
Second place: Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond (927)
We’re not necessarily counting Zimmerman as an “active” player because he could retire, but the first draft pick in Nationals history honorably represented the franchise for nearly two decades.
Phillies: Mike Schmidt, 3B (2,404)
Second place: Jimmy Rollins (2,090)
Believe it or not, Rollins had more official at-bats than Schmidt with the Phillies (8,628 to 8,352), which can be attributed to the fact that Rollins was primarily leadoff hitter and traded fewer walks than Schmidt.
Brewers: Robin Yount, SS / OF (2,856)
Second place: Paul Molitor, 3B (1,856)
We will all think of Yount forever every time we see the Milwaukee logo. I bet they didn’t know he played exactly 1,000 more games in Milwaukee than Molitor.
Cardinals: Stan Musial, 1B / OF (3,026)
Second place: Lou Brock, OF (2,289)
The Man left a legacy and an example that the franchise continues to strive to follow today.
Cubs: Ernie Banks, SS / 1B (2,528)
Second place: Cap Anson, 1B (2,277)
Mr. Cub played three different decades at Wrigley Field and, as you know, never made the World Series or played a single postseason game. He is the all-time leader in games played without reaching the playoffs and it seems like he is one of those brands that will never be broken.
Pirates: Roberto Clemente, OF and Honus Wagner, SS (2,433)
Second place: Willie Stargell, 1B (2,360)
That the Puerto Rican legend and Wagner have exactly the same number of games with the Pirates is one of those perfect statistics.
Reds: Pete Rose, 1B / 3B / OF (2,722)
Second place: David Concepción, SS (2,488)
Rose remains at the top of this list, despite all the time she spent with the Phillies (and a bit with the Expos).
D-backs: Luis González, OF (1,194)
Second place: Paul Goldschmidt (1,092)
Gonzalez donned the D-backs uniform for 1,194 games, but it is safe to say that he will be remembered for one: Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, which he decided with that golden hit.
Dodgers: Bill Russell, SS (2,181)
Second place: Willie Davis, OF (1,952)
Russell is not the name you would have thought, is it? The shortstop / outfielder spent 18 years with the Dodgers and played four World Series. Of course, here we are focusing only on the years in Los Angeles. If we count the franchise time in Brooklyn (before 1958), Zack Wheat (2,322 commitments) is No. 1.
Giants: Willie McCovey, 1B (2,256)
Second place: Willie Mays, OF (2,095)
Those totals only include years in San Francisco. If we added Mays’ seven seasons with the New York Giants (1951-1957), he would pass number one with 2,857 games, while Mell Ott – who only played in New York – would be number two with 2,730. McCovey, for his part, only played for the Giants in San Francisco (and also spent time in Oakland and San Diego).
Parents: Tony Gwynn, OF (2,440)
Second place: Garry Templeton, SS (1,286)
That Gwynn has nearly twice as many games played as the number two on this list says a lot about the time he spent in San Diego and his identity with this club.
Rockies: Todd Helton, 1B (2,247)
Second place: Charlie Blackmon, OF (1,269)
Helton’s argument for the Hall of Fame sounds like a referendum on how voters treat Colorado and Coors Field. How many players will have to leave the Rockies and continue to hit well elsewhere (Matt Holliday and DJ LeMahieu, to name two) for people to properly recognize that great sluggers like Helton are not simply a product of Coors? ?
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Leader of each team in games played