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20 Athletes Who Have Played for a Million Teams

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2013

20 Athletes Who Have Played for a Million Teams

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    As Brian Urlacher called it quits last week, ending his career after playing 13 years with just the Bears franchise, we couldn't help but think about some of the athletes who haven't been as lucky.

    Not only is Urlacher a sure shot Hall of Famer, but suiting up for just a single franchise is pretty rare these days.

    While we hope that our favorite teams can keep their own guys, we're not dumb enough to think it will always happen, and we're left hearing about some of these guys who have seemed to play for every team out there.

Bill Guerin

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    After a career that spanned almost two decades, Bill Guerin finally hung up his skates following the 2010 season, but not before changing sweaters eight times during that span.

    He may have recorded more than 850 total points and 1,600 penalty minutes, but he certainly played for a lot of teams to get those numbers.

Earl Boykins

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    Standing just 5'5", Earl Boykins always seemed to play with a chip on his shoulder and proved that you don't need to be giant to make it in the NBA.

    Known as a productive shoot-first bench player, Boykins found it difficult catching on with a team for good, as he played for 10 different teams.

    Not bad for an undrafted short guy out of Eastern Michigan who looks like he should be doing anything but playing basketball for a living.

Kenny Lofton

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    Growing up an Indians fan, we saw Kenny Lofton's career takeoff in the mid '90s.

    A lethal basestealer and Gold Glove-winning center fielder, Lofton often made the toughest plays routine thanks to his speed and athleticism.

    Playing until he was 40 years old, the speedster also suited up for 11 teams over a 17-year career, with that coveted World Series ring always eluding him.

Stephen Jackson

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    Playing for seven different franchises since coming into the league in 2000, Stephen Jackson has had quite the memorable career.

    He's been part of one of the biggest melee's in the league's history.

    Has won an NBA title.

    And, after recently being released by the Western Champion Spurs before the playoffs this year, will most likely join yet another team before next season.

Billy Cundiff

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    As you might expect from most NFL kickers who have had some decent success, Billy Cundiff has found himself going from team to team since coming into the league in 2002.

    Totaling eleven different area codes in the same amount of years, Cundiff has bounced around on practice squads and for fill-in duty, never lasting longer than three seasons with a team.

    We're sure he doesn't mind going to the bank to cash his checks for doing very little.

Kurt Thomas

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    Not only is the Knicks' Kurt Thomas one of the oldest guys in the league at 40, but he's also one of the most well-traveled, playing for nine different teams since 1996.

    For a guy his age, one might think he'd just sit the pine and get a first row view of the action, but can you believe he actually started 17 games for the Knicks this year?

    This was for the No. 2 seed in the East too, so it's not like he was just playing for a bottom dweller.

Miguel Batista

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    Making a name for himself during the Diamondbacks run to the World Series title in 2001—when he pitched 7 2/3 scoreless in game five of the Fall Classic—Miguel Batista sort of fell off the map following his impressive performance.

    Playing for a total of 11 teams during an 18-year career that ended last year, Batista never became the pitcher many may have thought he would be, though he did enjoy a long and steady career.

Sebastian Telfair

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    It's hard to believe that Sebastian Telfair,who came straight to the pros out of high school in 2004, was once one of the most sought-after recruits in college basketball.

    That will happen after realizing the point guard has already played for seven total franchises—and he's not even 28 years old yet.

    Inconsistency and character issues have set his career off-track a bit, but if teams continue to sign him each year, he may break the record for most team's played for before he's 30!

Dave Rayner

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    Dave Rayner may have hit on 72.2 percent of his field goals in his career, but that hasn't been good enough to keep him on a roster each season.

    Sharing the record for the most franchises ever played for in NFL history (11), Rayner has some of the worst job security in the country, and that's saying something!

Henry Blanco

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    Playing in the Majors since 1997, current Blue Jays catcher Henry Blanco has changed uniforms a shocking 10 times.

    With modest career numbers, maybe it's the uncertainty of who (or if) he'll be in a certain dugout each season that has left him a little insecure about going out there and just playing the game?

    Just a theory, but he seems to be making the best of it with a 16-year career.

Jim Jackson

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    For whatever reason, former No. 4 overall pick Jim Jackson's career didn't quite turn out the way many may have thought it would.

    Averaging as many as 25 points per game in his third season in the league, Jackson fell out of favor in Dallas, creating a snowball effect that saw him end up playing for a tied NBA-record 12 different teams over 14 seasons before he finally hung it up following the '06 season.

Mitch Mustain

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    There was a time when Mitch Mustain was considered to be the next big thing at quarterback, having the pick of the litter on any college he wanted.

    For whatever reason though, Mustain just couldn't decide, going from the University of Arkansas to Southern Cal, where he ended up sitting behind Matt Barkley after sitting out his transfer year.

    After going undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, the quarterback has played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, and the Georgia Force and  San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League.

    Dude is still just 25.

Darren Oliver

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    Darren Oliver has enjoyed a successful 20-year career in the Majors—and is actually still pitching in the league at 42 years old—but he's also one of the leaders in the clubhouse of most teams played for too.

    Changing uniforms nine times, Oliver isn't just oldhe's definitely racked up the airplane miles and rental truck services too.

Drew Gooden

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    Drafted out of Kansas as the No. 4 pick in 2002, most fans probably thought Drew Gooden would help turn around his original team, the Memphis Grizzlies.

    But for whatever reason, Gooden's name always seems to be tossed in as an extra guy in deadline deals, meaning he's changing zip codes every couple of years, as evidenced by the nine different teams he's played for in 10 seasons.

J.T. O'Sullivan

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    If there's a prototypical backup quarterback teams want holding a clipboard, J.T. O'Sullivan has proven to be it.

    Playing for a shared NFL-record 11 teams in eight years, O'Sullivan may only have 257 passing attempts and nine total touchdown passes, but he seems to have made an impression on plenty of coaches around the league who continue to sign him.

Ray Whitney

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    As a guy who's still contributing to a team at the age of 41, Ray Whitney probably won't be calling it quits anytime soon.

    After settling on a home with the Dallas Stars for this past season, Whitney has now played for eight total franchises in the NHL, never lasting longer than five seasons in one place.

    If you also add in his junior league, he's played for an astonishing 16 teams since 1988

    Maybe he just likes to travel?

Joe Smith

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    Though he averaged nearly 11 points and 6.5 rebounds per game over 17 years in the league, it's safe to say Joe Smith didn't have the greatest of careers for a former No. 1 overall pick.

    If the numbers themselves don't tell the story, maybe the fact that he played for a tied NBA-record 12 teams does?

    That's a whole lot of traveling, and we're not talking about the basketball type.

Matt Stairs

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    As the Major League leader for most teams played for by any position player in major league history (12), Matt Stairs was a guy who probably never got comfortable seeing his name in a lineup every day.

    It wasn't because he wasn't decent, but he could never be sure if he had been traded or not.

Mike James

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    Poor Mike James just can't catch a team who likes him enough to keep him around for long.

    Unfortunately for him, he's played for a bevy of teams, seemingly changing addresses every single year and putting on a new uniform an insane 11 times, which is just one shy of the NBA record.

    At 37 now, who knows if he gets a chance to play next season; but if he does, we doubt it'll be with his current team, the Mavericks.

Octavio Dotel

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    While aforementioned Matt Stairs has played for 12 different teams—the most for a position player in MLB history—Tigers pitcher Octavio Dotel has done him one better, suiting up for 13 separate franchises to hold the MLB record for any player.

    As a guy who continues to march out of the bullpen each season, Dotel is the most well-traveled athlete on the planet.

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