Who Played Most of the MLB Games?

Maintaining longevity in any sport is a challenging task, even more so in the MLB. This article looks at players who defied all notions and capped the Most MLB Games Played under their belt.

Be it the meticulous precision the hitter needs or the rapid fast arm swing that the pitchers exude, MLB has been home to some of the most incredible players whose widespan careers have been the sport’s hallmark for a long time.

Albert-Pujols-most-mlb-games-played
Albert Pujols, still going strong. (Source: flickr.com)

Without further preamble, let’s get straight into the list of those players who played most MLB games.

Most MLB Games Played

All the information provided below has been taken from trusted sources around the web, such as MLB.com and Baseball-Reference.

Before we look at the individual player profile, let’s have a quick overview of the most MLB games played.

RankingNameGames Played
25.Honus Wagner2794
24.Frank Robinson2808
23.Reggie Jackson2820
22.Eddie Collins2826
21.Harold Baines2830
20.Rafael Palmeiro2831
19.Al Kaline2834
18.Craig Biggio2850
17.Robin Yount2856
16.Brooks Robinson2896
15.Adrian Beltre2933
14.Rusty Staub2951
13.Omar Vizquel2968
12.Albert Pujols2971
11.Dave Winfield2973
10.Barry Bonds2986
9. Cal Ripken Jr.3001
8. Willie Mays3005
7. Stan Musial3026
6. Eddie Murray3026
5. Ty Cobb3034
4. Rickey Henderson3081
3. Henry Aaron3298
2. Carl Yastrzemski3308
1. Pete Rose3562

25. Honus Wagner

  • Games Played: 2794
  • Position: Shortstop (SS)

The Flying Dutchman of the MLB, Johannes Peter Honus Wagner, entertained baseball fans with his incredible speed and accuracy for 21 seasons.

Moreover, in his 21-year career, Wagner represented the Louisville Colonels and the Pittsburgh Pirates before becoming the manager for the Pirates in 1917.

Wagner played a total of 2794 matches in the MLB.

24. Frank Robinson

  • Games Played: 2808
  • Position: Outfielder (OF)

The only player to achieve the title of the Most Valuable Player for National League and the American League, Frank Robinson featured in the MLB for 21 years.

During his illustrious playing career, Robinson had 14 All-Star features to his name. Along with two coveted MVP titles, Robinson was also a two-time World Series Champion.

Frank Robinson. (Source: npr.org)

With 2808 matches played, Robinson lit up the league with his hard-hitting and agile batting during his 21-year career.

23. Reggie Jackson

  • Games Played: 2820
  • Position: Outfielder (OF)

Another player with 21 seasons in the MLB, Reginald Martinez Jackson, was known for his clutch hitting throughout his career. 

Nicknamed Mr. October, Jackson was the cornerstone behind Oakland’s three consecutive World Series titles. Furthermore, the 1973 American League MVP had 14 All-Star features to his name.

Leading his teams to ten first-place finishes throughout his career, Jackson played 2820 matches in the MLB.

22. Eddie Collins

  • Games Played: 2826
  • Position: Second Baseman (2B)

Representing the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox for 21 years, Edward Trowbridge Collins Sr. is one of the all-time greats of the MLB. 

The MLB Hall of Famer had an insanely successful career that spanned over 2826 games. Moreover, Collins’ cutthroat hard-hitting meant that he was the go-to guy during the early 1900s.

With 6 World Series Titles and an American League MVP to his name, Collins enjoyed one of the most successful careers in the MLB.

21. Harold Baines

  • Games Played: 2830
  • Position: Designated Hitter (DH)

Left-handed powerful hitter Harold Douglas Baines ranks seventh in the American League (AL) and 21st in the MLB history with 2830 matches.

Harold-Baines--most-mlb-games-played
Harold Baines. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

During his 22-year career, Baines was a bain of the opposition’s existence as he tormented his opponents with some serious hard-hitting.

Moreover, a six-time All-Star athlete, Baines, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.

20. Rafael Palmeiro

  • Games Played: 2831
  • Position: First Baseman (1B) and Left Fielder (LF)

Another left-handed athlete on our list, Rafael Palmeiro Corrales, is one of the only six players in the history of MLB to join the 500 home run club and the 3,000 hit club.

With 2831 games and 20 seasons in the MLB, Palmeiro capped his career with 4 All-Star features, 3 Gold Glove Awards, and 2 Silver Slugger Awards.

19. Al Kaline

  • Games Played: 2834
  • Position: Right Fielder (RF)

Ferocious in his approach, “Mr. TigerAlbert William Kaline was a one-club man in the MLB. He represented the Detriot Tigers for 22 seasons in the MLB.

Al-Kaline-most-mlb-games-played
Al Kaline. (Source: espn.com)

Widely known for his strong arm, Kaline amassed ten Gold Glove Awards along with 18 All-Star appearances.

In addition, he was also the 1968 World Series Champion and the 1955 AL Batting Champion. Al Kaline played 2834 games in the MLB.

18. Craig Biggio

  • Games Played: 2850
  • Position: Second Baseman (2B) and Catcher

Another one-club man on our list, Craig Alan Biggio, represented the Houston Astros throughout his 20 years in the MLB. Moreover, often regarded as the greatest all-around player in Astros history, Biggio led Houston to six playoff appearances.

The four-time Golden Glove winner played 2850 games in the MLB, during which he featured in 7 All-Star matches.

17. Robin Yount

  • Games Played: 2856
  • Position: Shortstop (SS)

Loyalty is the name of the game as we look into another baseball pro who played for a single club throughout his career. Robin R. Yount, casually known as The Kid and Rockin’ Robin, represented the Milwaukee Brewers for the entirety of his 20 seasons in the MLB.

The two-time American League MVP played 2856 matches in the MLB. While he never got his hands on the prestigious World Series Championship, he led the Brewers to a World Series appearance. 

You might also be interested in the Top 20 Best MLB Players of This Year.

16. Brooks Robinson

  • Games Played: 2896
  • Position: Third Baseman (3B)

Reigning supreme above all the one-club men, Brooks Calbert Robinson Jr. holds the record for the longest career spent with a single club (23 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles) in the history of MLB.

Also known as “The Human Vacuum Cleaner” or “Mr. Hoover,” Robinson is one of the greatest defensive third basemen in MLB history.

Having played for 2896 games during his 23 seasons in the MLB, Robinson has a staggering 18 All-Stars appearances to his name. Furthermore, his incredible playing style led him to be crowned the 1964 AL MVP, followed by the 1970 World Series MVP.

15. Adrian Beltre

  • Games Played: 2933
  • Position: Third Baseman (3B)

Making his debut at the early age of 19, Adrián Beltré Pérez went on to play for 21 seasons in the MLB.

After making his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Beltre made stops at the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox before finishing his career with the Texans Rangers.

The five-time Gold Glove winner played for 2933 games in the MLB.

14. Rusty Staub

  • Games Played: 2951
  • Position: Right Fielder (RF), Designated Hitter (DH), First Baseman (1B)

Daniel JosephRustyStaub was an American professional baseball athlete who dazzled the league for 23 seasons in the MLB.

rusty-staub-most-mlb-games-played
Rusty Staub. (Source: metsmerizedonline.com)

A versatile player, Staub adapted his gameplay to different positions throughout his career.

Staub played 2951 matches in the MLB, during which he had 6 All-Star appearances to his name.

13. Omar Vizquel

  • Games Played: 2968
  • Position: Shortstop (SS)

Amongst the best fielding shortstops of all time, Omar Enrique Vizquel González played 2968 games during his 24-year career in the MLB.

Nicknamed the Little O, Omar won 11 Gold Glove Awards, among which he nine were consecutively between 1993 to 2001.

Not to mention, Omar is tied for the highest fielding percentage of all-time with .985. Furthermore, he is the all-time leader in double plays turned.

12. Albert Pujols

  • Games Played: 2971
  • Position: First Baseman (1B)

The only athlete on this list who is currently playing, José Alberto Pujols Alcántara, is a Dominican-born baseball pro representing the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Albert Pujols. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

With a long list of achievements to his name, Pujols is regarded as one of the best hitters in the league. Moreover, the two-time World Series champion has already played for 2971 matches in the league. 

If he remains fit, he could very well break the record for the most matches played in MLB history.

11. Dave Winfield

  • Games Played: 2973
  • Position: Right Fielder (RF)

Representing six teams throughout his 22-year career, David Mark Winfield played 2973 games in the MLB.

An immaculate presence on the field, Winfield is a 12-time MLB All-Star. Known for his ability to make the shots stick, Winfield hit 465 home runs throughout his career.

Similarly, his contributions were pivotal in leading the Toronto Blue Jays to the 1992 World Series win over Atlanta Braves.

10. Barry Bonds

  • Games Played: 2986
  • Position: Left Fielder (LF)

One of the greatest players for eternity, Barry Lamar Bonds, was recognized for his all-around ability on the field. Moreover, the left fielder dominated the league for 2986 matches over 22 seasons.

On the other hand, there is a detailed biography book named “Barry Bonds: A Biography (Baseball’s All-Time Greatest Hitters)about his career highlights and awards received. The seven-time NL MVP winner has a plethora of titles to his name. 

While he led a controversial career, there is no denying that Bonds was a special player on his day.

More about Bond’s success in his own words in Top 31 Barry Bonds Quotes.

9. Cal Ripken Jr.

  • Games Played: 3001
  • Position: Shortstop (SS)

Onto the 3000s mark, the two-time AL MVP Calvin Edwin Ripken Jr. played 3001 games over 21 seasons in the MLB.

The Iron Man of MLB, Cal holds the record for consecutive matches played with 2632 back-to-back matches to his name.

Cal-Ripken-Jr.--most-mlb-games-played
Cal Ripken Jr. in 1993. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

With the sixth-highest election percentage ever (98.53%), Cal was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

8. Willie Mays

  • Games Played: 3005
  • Position: Center Fielder (CF)

At number 8 is The Say Hey Kid from Alabama, Willie Howard Mays Jr. Despite serving two years in the US Army during the Korean War, Mays managed to play 3005 matches for 22 years in the MLB.

With a whopping 24 All-Star features to his name, it is no surprise that Mays is considered one of the all-time greats.

Furthermore, his illustrious career includes 2 NL MVP awards, 12 Gold Glove Awards, and one World Series Championship

7. Stan Musial

  • Games Played: 3026
  • Position: Outfielder (OF) and First Baseman (1B)

One of the most steady hitters in MLB history, Stanley Frank Musial, was an American baseball pro who played for 22 seasons in the MLB. 

With 3 World Series Championship, 3 NL MVP Awards, 24-time All-Star features to his name, Stan the Man was the first-ballot inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.

Moreover, widely known for his unique batting stance, Stan consistently hit the ball out of the park, playing for a total of 3026 games in the MLB.

Also Read: 12 Tallest Basketball Players in The World

6. Eddie Murray

  • Games Played: 3026
  • Position: First Baseman (1B) and Designated Hitter (DH)

Evident from his nickname, Steady Eddie, Eddie Clarence Murray was a reliable and ever-dependable athlete in the MLB.

While the MVP award always eluded his grasp, Murray finished his career with 3026 games, a World Series Championship, 8 All-Star features, 3 Gold Glove Awards, and 3 Silver Slugger Awards.

5. Ty Cobb

  • Games Played: 3034
  • Position: Center Fielder (CF)

Moving on to our top 5, Tyrus Raymond Cobb was an American MLB pro who played for 22 seasons, amassing 3034 appearances.

Cobb is credited with setting 90 MLB records during his career. Moreover, the 1911 AL MVP winner has a combined total of 4065 runs scored and batted in.

Ty Cobb. (Source: snl.no)

Furthermore, Cobb bagged himself 12 AL Batting Champion Awards, during which he hit the ball with sweet precision.

4. Rickey Henderson

  • Games Played: 3081
  • Position: Left Fielder (LF)

Rickey Nelson Henley Henderson, known as the ‘Man of Steal,’ is the greatest leadoff hitter and baserunner the league has ever seen.

Henderson played for nine teams during his 25-year-career and finished his career with 3081 matches and 10 All-Star features.

Moreover, he won the World Series twice (1989, 1993) and the AL MVP in 1990. He also had a Gold Glove Award to his name. 

3. Henry Aaron

  • Games Played: 3298
  • Position: Right Fielder (RF)

Known for his constant hammering with his bat, Henry Louis Aaron rightly got nicknamed Hammerin’ Hank during his 23 seasons in the league.

Moreover, a maestro batter, Aaron won the World Series Championship and the NL MLV award in 1957. With a whopping 25-time feature in the All-Star, Aaron is undoubtedly one of the best in MLB history.

Henry Hammer Aaron played 3298 matches in the MLB.

2. Carl Yastrzemski

  • Games Played: 3308
  • Position: Left Fielder (RF) and First Baseman (1B)

Sharing the reigns with Brooks Robinson as the elite one-club man, Carl Michael Yastrzemski represented the Boston Red Sox for 23 years in the MLB.

A complete professional, Carl has accumulated a long list of awards to his name. Most notably, he is an 18-time All-Star athlete who has 7 Gold Glove Awards, 1 AL MVP Award, and 1 Triple Crown to show for his illustrious baseball career.

Moreover, he is an MLB legend who got elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.

1. Pete Rose

  • Games Played: 3562
  • Position: Outfielder (OF) and Infielder (IF)

Baseball isn’t complete without mentioning Peter Edward Rose Sr. Moreover, baseball’s marathon-man, Pete Rose, played 3562 games, the most by any player during his 24-year career.

A crucial part of the dominating Cincinnati Reds team during the 1970s, Rose leads the all-time charts for games played, hits, at-bats, singles, and outs.

Pete Rose. (Source: britannica.com)

Moreover, the three-time World Series Champion also has 17 All-Star appearances to his name. Similarly, Rose bagged himself a World Series MVP during the 1975 season, shortly after winning the NL MVP in 1973.

While his induction in the Hall of Fame has been contentious, it is undeniable that Rose was a phenomenal player who left an unforgettable mark in the history of MLB.

Conclusion

It takes a lot of effort and perseverance to perform at the highest level consistently. While some come and go, some march on to make their mark permanently.

Similar is the case for the players mentioned above who took it upon themselves to excel for a long time – allowing us to witness the Most MLB Games Played Ever.

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