HomeTrending MLB NewsWhich MLB players have the most career games played?

Which MLB players have the most career games played?

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There’s a saying in sports that sometimes the best ability is availability. Obviously it’s important to have the best players with the most dynamic skillsets, but especially in baseball, where the season is a daily grind for six plus months, being there each and everyday for your team is critical. Some things like serious injuries that derail your season are out of your control, but there have always been players who are better than others about making themselves available every single day, and fighting through aches and pains to stay on the field. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the 25 MLB players who have played in the most games.

 

1 of 25

Pete Rose (3,562)

Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Rose is baseball’s all-time leader in a few different statistical categories — most notably hits — but he’s also appeared in more games, taken more plate appearances, and registered more at-bats than anyone else. Rose’s ability to consistently play every day, year after year is largely unparalleled. He led the league in games five different times, and played in every single one of his team’s contests seven different times. He has a 254-game edge on Carl Yastrzemski for the top spot games played — better than a full season-and-a-half advantage. Rose’s legacy has become somewhat tainted due to gambling allegations that have to date kept him out of the Hall of Fame, but there is truly no denying that between the lines he was one of the best to ever do it. 

 

2 of 25

Carl Yastrzemski (3,308)

Carl Yastrzemski (3,308)

Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox have had a plethora of iconic figures in our sport come through Boston, but outfielder Carl Yastrzemski is certainly towards the top of the list. The left-handed slugger spent his entire career with the ‘Sox, winning an MVP award, three batting titles and seven Gold Gloves, and was a model of consistency in essentially everything he did. Most relevant to this gallery, Yastrzemski appeared in more than 150 of Boston’s games in eleven different seasons, and his constant availability was a luxury the Red Sox were able to enjoy for more than two decades. 

 

3 of 25

Hank Aaron (3,298)

Hank Aaron (3,298)

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

According to more than a few baseball historians, Hank Aaron is still the all-time home run king, but you may be surprised to learn that he never hit more than 47 long balls in a single season. There are two primary reasons at play to explain how Aaron was able to accumulate so many home runs. Longevity and durability. For starters, not many players are able to accrue 23 seasons in the major leagues, which is exactly what Aaron did — debuting at 20 years old and finishing up when he was 42. But he also was incredibly durable, appearing in more than 150 games in 14 different seasons. Being consistently available gave the Braves an elite right-handed slugger in the middle of their line-up on a daily basis, and helped Aaron drive in 2,297 runs in the big leagues — the most all-time. 

 

4 of 25

Rickey Henderson (3,081)

Rickey Henderson (3,081)

Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY Sports

Playing in the big-leagues for two decades or more sure feels like a prerequisite to make this list, and speedy outfielder Rickey Henderson took that mantra to an extreme, appearing in 25 different major league seasons. Henderson is best known for being the premier stolen base artist in baseball history, but he was a much more complete player than that. He’s an MVP winner, a Gold Glove winner, a three time Silver Slugger recipient and owns two World Series rings. Playing until the age of 44 helped him accumulate well over 3,000 games at the sport’s highest level, and he is still the game’s all-time leader in stolen bases and runs. 

 

5 of 25

Albert Pujols (3,080)

Albert Pujols (3,080)

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Albert Pujols retired just last season after enjoying 22 years of incredible success in the major leagues. The Dominican Republic-born slugger debuted in 2001 and was an immediate star, blasting 37 home runs en route to winning National League Rookie of the Year. Over the next two decades plus, his accolades would just keep piling up. Pujols won three MVP awards, a batting title, six Silver Sluggers and two Gold Gloves, and led the Cardinals to two World Series championships. He was a true model of consistency that was always available for his team, which allowed him to compete in nearly 3,100 major league games. 

 

Ty Cobb (3,034)

Photo Reproduction by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

Ty Cobb is the most prominent figure in the history of the Detroit Tigers, and potentially the best pure hitter our sport has ever seen. The Narrows, GA native played the first 22 of his 24 big-league seasons in the Motor City, where he incredibly won 12 batting titles in a 13-year span. At various points in his career Cobb led the American League in literally every statistical category other than home runs, and his .366 lifetime batting average is still the best mark in major league history. 

 

7 of 25

Eddie Murray (3,026)

Eddie Murray (3,026)

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Switch-hitter Eddie Murray suited up for five different teams during his 21-year major league career, and was a productive contributor on all of them. Murray was the 1977 AL Rookie of the Year, a three-time Silver Slugger winner, made eight all-star teams and won three Gold Gloves. Part of the reason he was able to consistently put up gaudy numbers was his constant ability to stay on the field. Murray played in more than 160 games in six different seasons, and between 155-160 in six others. He won a World Series ring with Baltimore in 1983, and while he never led the league in the statistic in an individual season, he does hold baseball’s all-time record for sacrifice flies. 

 

8 of 25

Stan Musial (3,026)

Stan Musial (3,026)

Photo by Hy Peskin/Getty Images

Stan Musial is one of the names most synonymous with the St. Louis Cardinals franchise, and for all of his 22 big-league seasons fans in St. Louis were privileged to watch one of the best to ever do it. Musial won three MVPs with the Cardinals and helped the organization win three World Series championships, and part of his greatness was his consistent availability. The Donora, PA native led the National League in games played five different times, and took the field more than 150 times for the Cardinals in 10 different campaigns. 

 

9 of 25

Willie Mays (3,005)

Willie Mays (3,005)

Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

Center fielder Willie Mays was one of the greatest all-around players to ever play our sport, and for 23 years fans during his era were fortunate to get to watch him play on a nightly basis. Mays is still considered by many to be baseball’s premier defensive outfielder, and from 1957-1968 he won an incredibly impressive 12 consecutive Gold Gloves. He also earned two MVP’s, a batting title, participated in 24 all-star contests and was the 1951 NL Rookie of the Year. Most relevant to this gallery, he also posted up every single day, playing in 141 or more of the Giants’ games for 15 consecutive seasons. 

 

10 of 25

Cal Ripken Jr. (3,001)

Cal Ripken Jr. (3,001)

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Cal Ripken Jr. is probably the first name you think of when considering baseball ironman, and the 2,632 consecutive games he played in is a record that will simply never be broken. Ripken incredibly played in more than 160 of Baltimore’s games in 15 different seasons, and was the epitome of a guy who took the field night in and night out no matter what. But his value to the Orioles far exceeded just being available. Ripken was also a bona fide star who captured two AL MVP awards, eight Silver Sluggers, and two Gold Gloves while slashing a lifetime .276/.340/.447. He’s one of just 10 players to appear in more than 3,000 major league games. 

 

11 of 25

Barry Bonds (2,986)

Barry Bonds (2,986)

Jack Gruber, USA TODAY

Barry Bonds is someone nearly every baseball fan has an opinion about, but there’s two things about him that are non-negotiable. At his apex he was the greatest offensive force the sport has ever seen, and he was able to consistently stay on the field for more than two decades. Whether you believe his record to be legitimate or not, Bonds’ 762 home runs are the most of all time, as are his 2,558 walks and even more eye-opening, his 688 intentional walks. In 22 years Bonds slashed a lifetime .298/.444/.607, and he played in more than 150 games in a season nine times. 

 

12 of 25

Dave Winfield (2,973)

Dave Winfield (2,973)

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Right-handed swinging Dave Winfield was an elite power hitter who played for six different major league organizations. He debuted in 1973 as a 21-year-old with San Diego, and was able to play all the way until his age-43 season, participating in 2,973 games at the sport’s highest level. Winfield slashed a lifetime .283/.353/.475 with 465 home runs, 1,833 RBI, and 540 doubles. He was a six-`time Silver Slugger winner, made 12 consecutive all-star teams from 1977-1988, earned seven Gold Gloves, and won a World Series ring with the Blue Jays in 1992. 

 

13 of 25

Omar Vizquel (2,968)

Omar Vizquel (2,968)

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Switch-hitter Omar Vizquel played 24 seasons in the Major Leagues, and while his lifetime .272/.336/.352 slash line with only 80 big-league home runs doesn’t exactly jump off the page, Vizquel provided the majority of his value on the defensive side of the ball. To this day he —along with Ozzie Smith — is still considered the standard for defensive shortstops, and his ability to provide elite defense at a premium position is something none of his six teams ever took for granted. Most relevant to this gallery, Vizquel was somebody that was consistently available for his team, participating in more than 140 games in 14 different campaigns. 

 

14 of 25

Rusty Staub (2,951)

Rusty Staub (2,951)

USA TODAY Sports

Left-handed swinging Rusty Staub was a highly productive everyday player for the vast majority of his career, and then in his late 30s and early 40s became one of the game’s premier pinch hitters. In total, Staub slashed a lifetime .279/.362/.431 during a 23-year career that saw him suit up for five different clubs. He crushed 292 major league home runs, qualified for six all-star teams, and retired at 41 years old after 2,951 games at the sport’s highest level. 

 

15 of 25

Adrian Beltre (2,933)

Adrian Beltre (2,933)

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Third baseman Adrian Beltre retired just five years ago, and the Dominican Republic native was both one of the most productive right-handed hitters in the game, and one of the league’s most entertaining players, for the duration of his 21-year career. In 2,933 major league games spanning four different organizations, Beltre slashed .286/.339/.480 with 477 home runs, 1,707 RBI, 636 doubles, and 121 stolen bases. He won five Gold Glove awards (including two Platinum Awards), earned four Silver Sluggers, and competed in four Midsummer Classics. 

 

16 of 25

Brooks Robinson (2,896)

Brooks Robinson (2,896)

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Little Rock, AR-born Brooks Robinson patrolled the hot corner in Baltimore for 23 years, and is widely considered the greatest defensive third baseman in the history of the game. Robinson was the recipient of 16 Gold Glove awards, but he was far from a one-trick pony. Offensively, he slashed .267/.322/.401 with 268 homers, 1,357 RBI, and 482 doubles. He was the MVP of the American League in 1964, qualified for 18 AL all-star teams and helped the Orioles win the World Series in both 1966 and 1970. He also took pride in playing everyday, and competed in more than 150 games in 14 different seasons. 

 

17 of 25

Robin Yount (2,856)

Robin Yount (2,856)

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Robin Yount is easily the most accomplished hitter in the history of the Milwaukee Brewers organization, and for two decades the club was fortunate to have him on its side. In 2,856 career major league games, Yount slashed .285/.342/.430 with 960 extra-base hits, 1,406 RBI, and 271 stolen bases. He made three all-star games, won three Silver Sluggers, and twice was named the MVP of the National League. Yount led the majors in doubles twice and hits once, while also pacing the National League in triples on two separate occasions. Relevant to this gallery, he led the league in games played twice, and in 20 seasons failed to play 100 games only once, in 1981, when a strike by the players’ union cancelled more than a third of the campaign. 

 

18 of 25

Craig Biggio (2,850)

Craig Biggio (2,850)

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Scrappy Craig Biggio was a fixture in Houston for 20 years, and was one of the primary reasons the Astros enjoyed sustained success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Smithtown, NY native slashed a career .281/.363/.433 with 291 home runs, 1,175 RBI, 668 doubles, 55 triples and 414 stolen bases. He played in seven all-star games, won five Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers, and is a member of baseball’s exclusive 3,000 hit club. Biggio was also incredibly consistent at ‘posting up’ as the players like to call it, appearing in every single Astros game three different times, and participating in more than 150 of the club’s contests in eleven different campaigns. 

 

19 of 25

Al Kaline (2,834)

Al Kaline (2,834)

Photo by MLB via Getty Images

Right-handed swinging Al Kaline is in many ways still considered the face of the Detroit Tigers organization, as for 22 seasons he was the diamond’s main attraction in the Motor City. In 2,834 career games, Kaline slashed .297/.376/.480 with 399 home runs, 1,582 RBI, 498 doubles, 75 triples and 137 stolen bases. He participated in 18 all-star games, won the batting title in 1955, earned 10 Gold Gloves, and was one of the primary reasons Detroit won the World Series in 1968. 

 

20 of 25

Rafael Palmeiro (2,831)

Rafael Palmeiro (2,831)

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

First baseman Rafael Palmeiro played for three different teams during his 20-year career, and was able to put up some eye-opening offensive numbers. In 2,831 games the left-handed slugger slashed .288/.371/.515 with 569 home runs, 1,835 RBI, and 585 doubles, while leading the league in runs, hits and doubles at various points in his career. He won three Gold Gloves, earned two Silver Sluggers, and qualified for four all-star games, and as is the case with most players on this list, he made a habit of consistently staying on the field. Palmeiro played in more than 150 games in 15 different seasons. 

 

21 of 25

Harold Baines (2,830)

Harold Baines (2,830)

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Left-handed swinging Harold Baines was not necessarily considered a superstar during his playing career, but a deep dive into his numbers shows that he was chronically underrated for most of his time on the field. Baines played in the big leagues for 22 seasons, slashing .289/.356/.465 with 384 home runs, 1,628 RBI,and 488 doubles. He was a model of consistency that played nearly every day for the duration of his career, and while he never led the league in a singular category, he was constantly among the more productive run producers in the game. Baines qualified for six all-star teams and won a Silver Slugger, and was recently ushered into the Hall of Fame by the Today’s Game Era Committee. 

 

22 of 25

Eddie Collins (2,826)

Eddie Collins (2,826)

Photo Reproduction by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

Second baseman Eddie Collins debuted for the Philadelphia Athletics all the way back in 1906, and spent the next 25 years of his life in the major leagues. In 2,826 career games Collins slashed a tremendous .333/.424/.429, with 672 extra-base hits and 741 stolen bases. He was named the MVP of the American League in 1914, was a part of six World Series-winning teams, and is still baseball’s all-time leader in sacrifice bunts. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939. 

 

23 of 25

Reggie Jackson (2,820)

Reggie Jackson (2,820)

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Outfielder Reggie Jackson was nicknamed Mr. October, but he could just as appropriately been called Mr. Everyday. Jackson played in the big-leagues for 21 years, and in 12 of those seasons he participated in 140 or more of his team’s games. Jackson was a legitimate star in the batter’s box, slashing a lifetime .262/.356/.490 with 563 home runs, 1,702 RBI and 463 doubles. His constant availability helped him win an MVP award, two Silver Sluggers, and he was able to play a starring role on five World Series winners. 

 

24 of 25

Frank Robinson (2,808)

Frank Robinson (2,808)

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Big right-handed slugger Frank Robinson played 21 seasons in the big leagues, and his list of accomplishments seem to be never-ending. He won MVP awards in 1961 and 1966, was the NL Rookie of the Year in ’61, won a Triple Crown, a batting title, a Gold Glove, was the Manager of the Year, was an all-star game MVP, a World Series MVP and earned two World Series rings. Got all that? In 2,808 career games Robinson slashed a dominant 294/.389/.537 with 586 home runs, 1,812 RBI, 528 doubles, 72 triples and 204 stolen bases. He was deservedly inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982. 

 

25 of 25

Miguel Cabrera (2,797)

Miguel Cabrera (2,797)

Mandi Wright / USA TODAY NETWORK

Miguel Cabrera just retired at the end of the 2023 regular season, and was able to squeak onto this list during the final week of his career. The 2,797 career games Cabrera finished with boosted him just above Honus Wagner for 25th all time. And what a privilege it was to watch Cabrera these last 21 years. He finished with a lifetime .306/.382/.518 slash line to go along with 511 home runs, 1,881 RBI and 627 doubles. He won two MVP awards, a Triple Crown, four batting titles and seven Silver Sluggers. He was selected to participate in a dozen all-star games, won the World Series with the Marlins in 2003, and the game was simply better with him in it. 

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