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Teams with the most players appearing in 150+ games

Posted by Andy on September 29, 2010

By request from BSK, here are the teams with the most players appearing in at least 150 games:

Rk Year Tm
1 2009 Philadelphia Phillies Pedro Feliz / Ryan Howard / Jimmy Rollins / Chase Utley / Shane Victorino / Jayson Werth
2 2006 Seattle Mariners Adrian Beltre / Yuniesky Betancourt / Raul Ibanez / Jose Lopez / Richie Sexson / Ichiro Suzuki
3 2001 Philadelphia Phillies Bobby Abreu / Pat Burrell / Doug Glanville / Travis Lee / Scott Rolen / Jimmy Rollins
4 2000 Anaheim Angels Garret Anderson / Darin Erstad / Troy Glaus / Adam Kennedy / Tim Salmon / Mo Vaughn
5 1990 Chicago White Sox Ivan Calderon / Scott Fletcher / Ozzie Guillen / Lance Johnson / Sammy Sosa / Robin Ventura
6 1989 St. Louis Cardinals Tom Brunansky / Pedro Guerrero / Jose Oquendo / Terry Pendleton / Ozzie Smith / Milt Thompson
7 1984 Boston Red Sox Tony Armas / Wade Boggs / Mike Easler / Dwight Evans / Jackie Gutierrez / Jim Rice
8 1978 Montreal Expos Gary Carter / Dave Cash / Warren Cromartie / Andre Dawson / Chris Speier / Ellis Valentine
9 1977 Boston Red Sox Rick Burleson / Carlton Fisk / Butch Hobson / Jim Rice / George Scott / Carl Yastrzemski
10 1977 Cincinnati Reds Dave Concepcion / Dan Driessen / George Foster / Ken Griffey / Joe Morgan / Pete Rose
11 1974 Cincinnati Reds Johnny Bench / Dave Concepcion / Dan Driessen / Cesar Geronimo / Tony Perez / Pete Rose
12 1970 Cincinnati Reds Johnny Bench / Tommy Helms / Lee May / Tony Perez / Pete Rose / Bobby Tolan
13 1968 Chicago Cubs Ernie Banks / Glenn Beckert / Randy Hundley / Don Kessinger / Ron Santo / Billy Williams
14 1965 Cincinnati Reds Leo Cardenas / Tommy Harper / Deron Johnson / Vada Pinson / Frank Robinson / Pete Rose
15 1904 Boston Americans Jimmy Collins / Hobe Ferris / Buck Freeman / Candy LaChance / Freddy Parent / Chick Stahl
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/29/2010.

These are mostly pretty good teams, plus a few great ones (1970 Reds for example).

36 Responses to “Teams with the most players appearing in 150+ games”

  1. Dan Says:

    The Phils have two 150+ this season, wow.

  2. Andrew Says:

    The '10 Phillies were overdue for a lot of guys on the DL.

  3. sean-o Says:

    this list includes a Jimmy Collins and a Jimmy Rollins. nice.

  4. Dan Says:

    Also, Raul Ibanez appears on the '06 Mariner, but not the '10 Phils. Weird.

  5. David Says:

    Anyone else think it's a little messed up that Johnny Bench managed to play in so many games? Basically, it appears the recipe was to have him catch 130 or so, and then move him into the outfield or first base the rest of the time. That seems like a good idea if your catcher is a good enough hitter, but the only guys I can think of who would have really benefited from that strategy are Piazza and Mauer. Piazza was such a horrible fielder that he would have been a disaster in the outfield, and the Twins seem stubbornly committed to keeping Mauer behind the plate, and they definitely can't play him at first seeing as Morneau is there-- not this year, but normally. Maybe this year would have been a good year to test Mauer at first, now that I think about it...

  6. Paul Says:

    Just an idea for a future article for one of BR's talented staff... naming your Silver Slugger team for the 2010 season, and maybe a discussion of the some of the biggest snubs and weakest hitting winners since the award's inception. Much like the major awards, I'm curious as to how the sabermetric movement has/will factor into the Silver Slugger awards votes. I think one of the more encouraging signs of these awards is that, at the very least, it is slightly less of a reputation-based honour like the Gold Gloves have become of the years. Just an idea!

  7. vinnie Says:

    Let me throw this one out to everyone. How many teams other than the 31 Yankees and 53 Dodgers had six or more players who scored over 100 runs?

  8. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Appropriate that a list like this -- one on which over a quarter of the teams are Cincinnati Reds squads -- appears the day after Cincy FINALLY figured out how to see a playoff game without having to buy a ticket?

  9. DavidRF Says:

    Only the 1904 Boston team from the 154-team era. They played a few ties that year, but still very impressive to have six 150+ guys in a lineup during shorter seasons.

    For similar durability in the 154-game era, the number to check would be ~143.

  10. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I didn't know anyone paid attention to Silver Sluggers...but no reason we can't choose 'em anyway.

    Vinnie, a few teams matched that in the famously high-scoring 1894 (2nd season after the mound was pushed back to 60'6"). '94 Boston had seven players do it. They scored over 9 runs per game. HOFer Hugh Duffy scored 160 runs in 125 games.

  11. Johnny Twisto Says:

    1894 is the year Billy Hamilton set the record with 198 runs scored (for Philly, who were within 5 runs of also having 7 guys reach 100).

  12. bdunc8 Says:

    The 1982 California Angels are the only team to have their whole starting lineup play 138+ games.

  13. drew weaver Says:

    Great thread! How about most consecutive years, most players -- same team? Detroit Tigers 1964-1973 10 years had nine players! Brown, Northrup, Freehan, Lolich, McAuliffe, Stanley, Kaline, Cash, Horton were all Tigers for that ten year stretch.... I don't think any team is close!

  14. Tony Says:

    Pete Rose on the "great" 1970 Reds reminds me of a question I had come up with. I noticed on your list of most rings that, of the 55 players who have 5 rings, only 4 of them won no rings with the Yankees (Eddie Collins, Jack Barry, Stuffy McInnis, Dal Maxvill). All four won three with the A's. I mentioned this to a friend, who asked, "What about Pete Rose?" Of course, he only won three, but he also lost three, and all were in the National League. What is the record for most World Series appearances on the NL side, or, more broadly, for a player who never made a WS appearance for the Yankees or the Athletics?

  15. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Answering #14 {which was, ironically, Pete Rose's jersey number}

    If I remember correctly, Frankie Frisch managed about fifty WS games between the Cards and the Giants

  16. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    What is the record for most World Series appearances on the NL side, or, more broadly, for a player who never made a WS appearance for the Yankees or the Athletics?

    I'm not sure of the answer to your question, but you'll probably want to start your research with Frank Frisch and his eight World Series appearances for NL teams (four each for the Giants and Cardinals).

  17. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    I meant, managed to appear in 50 games...but then, he DID also manage in about half of them, too

  18. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    In some cultures, I would now owe Mr. Clingenpeel a Coke.

  19. John Autin Says:

    I'm not sure how much meaning can be found in this type of thing, for at least 3 reasons:
    -- Results are skewed towards teams in the 162-game era and especially AL teams in the DH era (Andy's list above includes just 1 pre-expansion team);
    -- Games played does not always reflect playing time (see Del Unser, below); and
    -- It tells us nothing about a team's pitching.

    If we pro rate the 150-game requirement to 143 games for the pre-expansion teams (as noted by DavidRF @9 above), there's a new team at the top: The 1953 Cardinals had 7 such players. That club finished 3rd at 83-71, 22 games behind the Dodgers. This search also brings in 15 more teams with 6 such players, doubling the original total.

    Just for fun, I searched for teams with the most players with 130+ games (80% of a 162-game schedule), and found 11 teams with 9 such players. Of those 11:
    -- All were in the expansion era, and 10 were AL teams.
    -- 8 teams had winning records, 3 had losing records (2005 Blue Jays, 2004 Indians, 1978 Expos);
    -- Average W% was .540, or 87.5 wins in a 162-game schedule;
    -- No team won more than 96 games;
    -- Just 1 team won a pennant, the 2007 WS champion Red Sox;
    -- 3 won division titles (2007 BoSox, 2005 Yankees, 1982 Angels);
    -- 6 teams had 90-96 wins (the 3 division winners, plus the 2006 White Sox, 2005 Indians and 1963 Twins, all of whom missed the playoffs).

    (How could the '78 Expos make this list? Del Unser played exactly 130 games, but got just 206 PAs; he was used mostly as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement.)

  20. John Autin Says:

    @13 Drew Weaver --
    Drat, I was saving that Tigers tidbit for a post on my imaginary future blog!
    That 1964-73 Tigers squad had remarkable continuity, which made them a perfect team for a youngster like me to follow. (Alas, my fandom started in '69....)

  21. BobLy Says:

    Just for the fun of it I wanted to see which players had the most 150+ seasons, this is what I came up with(I think that I used the correct parameters):
    17 - Pete Rose
    15 - Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Cal Ripken
    14 - Hank Aaron, Brooks Robinson
    13 - Willie Mays, Billy Williams
    12 - Lou Gehrig, Rusty Staub(yes, Le Grande Orange)

  22. BSK Says:

    Thanks for indulging my curiosity, Andy!

  23. David in Toledo Says:

    With respect to David's note about Johnny Bench, I was surprised to see (at least) five teams on the list with a catcher included. Most did start (at leaast) 150 games at the catcher position. Instead, with the 1978 Expos, Gary Carter started 147 games behind the plate. 1977 Red Sox, Fisk, 149. 1970 and 1974 Reds, Bench 130 and 129.

    Then Randy Hundley, who in 1968 was in 160 games at catcher, 156 of them as the starter. What I-Rod is to careers at catcher, Hundley was to one season.

    David, Sparky Anderson's use of Bench probably didn't hurt the Reds at all; Bench was pretty mobile at 3rd and the outfield. Yogi Berra and Elston Howard are two other catchers who undoubtedly benefited from "rest" by going to the outfield/1b part-time. Or consider the use of Victor Martinez today. . . . I imagine some team will find a way to make Mauer primarily a non-catcher. Otherwise (unless he's another Carlton Fisk), a lot of Mauer's potential value as a hitter will be lost to bench time and the effects of too many innings spent in a crouch.

  24. drew weaver Says:

    How about 150 or more games -- fewest at bats? Sorry to toss this stuff out there -- and not have the answer!

  25. Tony Says:

    @24 -
    I could pay $2 (or $36) to find out. Whoever it is only had 362 AB. The fewest PA was 394, but I of course don't know if it's the same person.

  26. Gerry Says:

    Jim Eisenreich, 1993 Phillies, 153 games, 362 at-bats, 394 plate appearances.

  27. David Says:

    To David in Toledo (#23):

    Right after I posted, I noticed how many other catchers there were. I was just surprised. I mean, NOBODY uses catchers that way anymore, but it could probably be a good roster solution considering that most teams carry 12-13 pitchers. Getting more use out of a catcher seems like a good idea. But also, it's just incredible the workloads that some of these guys took on. No one outside of Jason Kendall does anything close to that year after year, and that's why it surprised me.

    Frankly, I mentioned Mauer because my wife is a Twins fan, and I have a vested rooting interest in them. I thought this actually might be a good strategic solution to a) get him more at bats and b) allow him to not have to catch so many games. I mean, the guy has a great bat, and it would be a shame to see him either peter out early, or just play in only 120 games rather than all of them. Just a thought. I just think that it's unusual to have a catcher with that good of a bat that he's more valuable than the outfielders on the team, but in the case of Bench and Mauer, I think that would be true.

  28. Mike Gaber Says:

    Speaking of Catchers and Cincinnati:

    I remember in 1944 a big deal was made about Cincinnati Reds catcher Ray (Iron Man Mueller) catching in all 154 games. In fact there was a tie game that year so he actually caught 155 games.

    I checked the team fielding stats and there were a few other catchers who played for the Reds that year, so he apparently did get some late inning catching relief on occasion.

    Since the schedule has increased to 162 games has another catcher caught in over 155 games in a season.

  29. BSK Says:


    I think it also depends on who's spot Mauer takes when he's playing but not at catcher. If you put him at 1B and bench Morneau (when he's healthy), have you really made your team better? Now, if you are going to give certain guys days off regardless, I could see such a strategy making sense. But if getting Mauer into more games means Morneau into few, that MIGHT not be the trade-off you want. It also depends on who slots in at C.

    Note: I know a lot of stats rate Mauer as better than Morneau, but my understanding is that is largely predicated on their defense and positional adjustment. Of course, it's still possible that Mauer would be better than Morneau when playing the same position.

  30. Basmati Says:

    Why do you need to put Mauer at 1st and bench Morneau? They have a DH in the AL. Just put the best defensive guy at 1B and the worst at DH. Of course having said that it's probably easier to find a DH who can hit as good as Mauer and give the guy a rest. As good as he is his value in that he is a great hitting catcher, but his numbers this year are more in line with the rest of his career and are not off the charts as in 2009.

    As for I-Rod I wonder how long he will hold the record for games caught. He has 2388 games in 20 years. Jason Kendall has 2025 games in 15 years. The only other guy who looks like he might compete with that at the moment is Yadier Molina who has 791 games in 7 years and has a reputation for catching a lot of games.

  31. Neil L Says:

    Way too much good stuff in this discussion to respond to it all intelligently!

    I hate working all day and into mid-evening, then trying to catch up on all the quality posts put up during the day.

    An important question, perhaps, about Andy's original list is to what extent does a stable starting line-up correlate with regular-season and post-season success?

    I don't think all the 150+ game player-seasons can be explained by pinch hitting and defensive replacements. Somewhere along the line, there have to be managers with a low tolerance for risk who will fill out their lineup cards by reflex, not giving younger players a chance or wanting to shake things up.

    In other words, is a stable starting lineup more a function of a manager's personality or of the actual talent he has on the field?

  32. steven Says:

    The 1964 World Champion Cardinals had four players appearing in at least 160 games: Boyer, Groat, White and Flood.

  33. Gerry Says:

    Mike Gaber #28, in 1968 Randy Hundley caught 160 games.

  34. Zachary Says:


    Bench was a great hitter, but it was that he was also a great defensive catcher that really made him special. While Mauer isn't in Bench's class defensively, he's still very good. Combine that with the very real possibility that Mauer is the better hitter of the two and the Twins have one of the most valuable commodities in baseball history. How can they turn away the best catcher since the '70s, and maybe the best ever? It's like how Bobby Orr could have played on the wing and scored even more goals ... but that would have lessened his brilliance by robbing him of his special rarity.

  35. Tony Says:

    @26 -

    Eisey! The 1993 Phillies are my favorite team of all time. Being from the Philly suburbs and 31 years old, they were the only pennant winning team from age 4 to age 29. They had true platoons in left and right, with a left-handed hitter to start against righties and a right-handed hitter to start against lefties. Then the other guy would usually come in as a pinch-hitter against a reliever. Milt Thompson and Inky in left, and Wes Chamberlain and Eisey in right. They all started between 73 and 86 games, and appeared in between 96 and 129 games, except for Eisey's 153.

  36. Tony Says:

    Also, he was probably the most prominent major leaguer with Tourette's.