Which Major League Baseball player has played the most games?

The two professional baseball leagues in North America, the National League (NL) and the American League (AL) were officially founded in 1876 and 1901, respectively. However, they acted as independent, rival organisations until 1903, when they signed a ‘National Agreement’ and joined forces to form Major League Baseball (MLB).

In the better part of a century and a quarter, the record for the most games played in an MLB career is held by Peter Rose Snr., who, between April 8, 1963 and August 17, 1986, made 3,562 appearances for Cincinnati Reds, Phildelphia Phillies and, briefly, Montreal Expos. Rose was a switch-hitter – that is, he batted right-handed against left-handed pitchers and vice versa – and, throughout his career, fielded variously at second base, left field, right field, third base and first base.

Rose was NL Rookie of the Year in 1963, by which time he had already earned his nickname ‘Charlie Hustle’, after demonstrating the head-first slides that would become his trademark against a New York Yankees team featuring Mickey Mantel and Edward ‘Whitey’ Ford, to name but two, in spring training. As part of the so-called ‘Big Red Machine’, as Cincinnati Reds were known during the seventies, he won consecutive World Series in 1975 and 1976 and, having been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1979, won the ‘Fall Classic’ again in 1980.

By the time he retired, unofficially, as a player on November 11, 1986, Rose also had 4,256 hits to his name, more than anyone else in MLB history. However, the latter part of his career was overshadowed by accusations of gambling, to which he later admitted, leading to a ban from MLB and, hence, ineligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame, in August, 1989.

Post Navigation