MLB Journeymen: 10 Players Who Have Worn Many, Many Hats
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Sometimes it's hard to be a ball player. As a Major League athlete, you are expected to perform at a high level, day in and day out without fail. On top of all of that, you have to be prepared to change addresses at a moment's notice.
Some players spend their careers with one team, others will be a part of several teams. But the group of players you are about to read about spent their careers changing uniforms more than they changed their batting gloves.
This list features players who have played at least 10 Major League games with at least 10 different teams. The post office would have had a hard time keeping up with these guys. Even their families might have gotten lost along the way!
I have by no means included every player that fits the pre-requisites (at least 10 games with at least 10 clubs). What other players can you come up with that could be added to this list?
Pitcher Mike Morgan played with a dozen different teams over his career.
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It seemed like Mike Morgan pitched forever. He practically did. He originally came up with the Oakland Athletics in 1978 as an 18-year old.
The right-hander played for a total of 22 big league seasons. He was an All-Star in 1991, as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers — one of the 12 teams he pitched for. Overall, Morgan went 141-186 with a 4.23 ERA in over 2,700 career innings pitched.
He was traded a total of six times during his career, and won a World Series ring with the D-Backs in '01. Morgan retired a year later.
Morgan pitched at least 10 games with the: A's; Yankees; Blue Jays; Mariners; Orioles; Dodgers; Cubs; Cardinals; Reds; Twins; Rangers; and Diamondbacks.
Todd Zeile spent time with 11 different clubs over his career.
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There haven't been many guys in the game who were better for a clubhouse than Todd Zeile. It's a wonder that he was never able to settle down with one club during his 16-year career.
But indeed, Zeile was a journeyman. He played for 11 different teams, all over the country. He came up as a catcher with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1989. He also played first, third, and left field...he's even pitched a couple of innings.
Zeile played at least 10 games for the: Cardinals; Cubs; Phillies; Orioles; Dodgers; Marlins; Rangers; Mets; Rockies; Yankees; and Expos. Overall, he collected 253 home runs with a career .265 batting average.
Terry Mulholland, a 20-year veteran, pitched almost 2,600 innings in his career.
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Terry Mulholland came up with the San Francisco Giants in June of 1986. After almost 20 years to the day, he called it a career in June of 2006. Within that time-span, Mulholland pitched for 10 different teams (11 if you include the five games he appeared in for the Diamondbacks in his final season).
Over his 2,500-plus innings pitched, Mulholland won 124 games and had 46 complete game efforts. He finished with a 4.41 ERA an was an All Star in 1993.
Mulholland played at least 10 games for the: Giants (three times); Phillies; Yankees; Mariners; Cubs; Braves; Pirates; Dodgers; Indians; and Twins.
Jose Guillen has already played for 10 different teams - and his career isn't finished.
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At almost 35 years old, Jose Guillen has yet to officially retire, though he is not currently signed with any ball club. Guillen was made a free agent after the 2010 season, and has not latched on with any team so far in 2011.
But over his 14-year career, Guillen has been a member of 10 different teams. Mainly due to poor attitude , he has never spent three seasons or more on any one team. But he has put up decent numbers over his career.
In 1,650 career games, Guillen totaled 214 home runs and 887 RBI, and has an absolute cannon for an arm in right field. It remains to be seen if Guillen, who was bothered by neck pains at the end of last season, will sign a mid-season contract with his 11th team, or finally call it a career.
Guillen has played at least 10 games for the: Pirates; Devil Rays; Diamondbacks; Reds; A's; Angels; Nationals; Mariners; Royals; and Giants
Roberto Hernandez recorded over 300 saves over his career.
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Roberto Hernandez was a big-league closer for 17 seasons. During his career, he recorded a total of 326 saves and was a two-time All-Star.
A vast majority of Hernandez' saves came with three teams. He had a total of 161 saves in his first six seasons with the White Sox. He collected 101 saves with the Devil Rays, and 54 saves with the Royals. However, Hernandez did spend time with a total of 10 teams during his career.
He played at least 10 games for the: White Sox; Giants; Devil Rays; Royals; Braves; Phillies; Mets; Pirates; Indians; and Dodgers.
Kenny Lofton stole more than 50 bases five times in his career.
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Kenny Lofton was fast. From 1992-1996, he stole a total of 325 bases, averaging 65 per season and leading his league each year during that span.
In the second half of his career, however, Lofton started to slow down — probably because he spent the second half of his career running all over the country.
Lofton came up in 1991 with the Houston Astros. A year later, he was off to Cleveland, where he would spend nine of his next 10 seasons. But from 2002-2009, Lofton played for nine different teams, never spending more than one season with any of them.
Over his 17-year career, Lofton was a six-time All-Star and swiped a total of 622 bases, 15th all-time. The slick outfielder also collected nearly 2,500 hits.
Lofton played at least 10 games for the: Astros; Indians; Braves; White Sox; Giants; Pirates; Cubs; Yankees; Phillies; Dodgers; and Rangers.
Ron Villone last pitched in 2009 with the Washington Nationals.
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Left-hander Ron Villone spent 15 years in the big leagues, bouncing from team to team; bouncing between rotation and bullpen. But no matter what mound he took, and in what role he was in, Villone held himself in a professional manner, and pitched fairly well in his career.
In a little over 700 career games, Villone had an ERA of 4.73. He averaged about 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings — an admirable number for a left-handed specialist. He came up in 1995 with the Seattle Mariners, and pitched for a total of 12 different teams. He was traded six different times in his career. He last pitched in the big leagues in 2009 with the Washington Nationals.
Villone has played at least 10 games for the: Mariners; Padres; Brewers; Indians; Reds; Rockies; Astros; Pirates; Marlins; Yankees; Cardinals; and Nationals.
Royce Clayton played in the big leagues for 17 seasons.
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Royce Clayton was a charismatic and intense shortstop for the better part of his 17-year career. His career numbers are not as flashy as some other shortstops in history, but he played hard and always gave his all.
Since coming up with the San Francisco Giants in 1991, Clayton has played over 2,100 games in his career, collecting 231 stolen bases and was an All Star in 2007. He played with a total of 11 teams, but for the purpose of this list, his eight games with the Boston Red Sox do not count.
Clayton played at least 10 games for the: Giants; Cardinals; Rangers; White Sox; Brewers; Rockies; Diamondbacks; Nationals; Reds; and Blue Jays
Pinch-hitting extraordinaire Matt Stairs is playing in his 19th season in the Major Leagues.
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Matt Stairs is one of the most well-traveled players in the game. Currently playing in his 19th big league season, Stairs has taken his pinch-hitting prowess to the Nation's capital. So far in 2011, the 43-year-old Stairs has started just one game for the Nationals, but has 18 plate appearances.
In over 1,800 career games, Stairs has amassed 265 home runs and 897 RBI to-date. Stairs has 99 pinch-hits and 23 pinch-home runs in 459 career at-bats.
He's playing for his 12th team right now, and, believe it or not, he's only been traded once in his career. He won a World Series championship with the Phillies in 2008. The pinch-hitting extraordinaire has never recorded 500 at-bats in a single season.
Stairs has played at least 10 games for the: Expos; Red Sox; A's; Cubs; Brewers; Pirates; Royals; Rangers; Tigers; Blue Jays; Phillies; Padres; and Nationals.
After 17 seasons in the big leagues, Julian Tavarez had a 4.46 career ERA.
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Julian Tavarez was 20 years old when he came up with the Cleveland Indians in 1993. Since then, he racked up 828 big league games, while striking out an average of 61 batters per season over 17 seasons.
He also played for 11 different teams (though for the sake of this list, we won't count the seven games he appeared in for Milwaukee).
Tavarez played at least 10 games for the: Indians; Giants; Rockies; Cubs; Marlins; Pirates; Cardinals; Red Sox; Braves; and Nationals