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Thread: Players Still Acive in big leagues 20 years after their MLB debut

  1. #1

    Players Still Acive in big leagues 20 years after their MLB debut

    Players who could be active in the big leagues 20 years after their MLB debut:

    1994-2014: None - Alex Rodriguez would have filled the bill here had he not been suspended for the entire 2014 season.

    1995-2015: Potentially four, but in reality two - and if the criteria is "consecutive Seasons - then the answer is One: LaTroy Hawkins, Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez.
    If A-rod returns after a year's suspension he will be in his 21st MLB season, although they will not be consecutive seasons. Jeter has already announced that this will be his last year. Giambi hasn't made his 2014 debut yet due to injury, but this will be his 20th MLB year if and when he gets off the DL. Based on his batting average of about .190 in 2013 I can't see him being retained in 2015. That leaves only LaTroy Hawkins as the "surprise winner of the 21 year sweepstakes" - 1995-2015 Edition. He debuted on April 29, 1995, has been in the majors for all or parts of 20 consecutive seasons and is already signed by he Colorado Rockies for 2015. It would take a poor season by Hawkins for the Rockies to exercise a buyout clause for Hawkins not to return in 2015. So by 4/29/15 Hawkins might very well be celebrating the 20th anniversary of his MLB debut wih a relief appearance for Colorado. - The lone survivor of the 1995-2015 Baseball Wars.

    Recent players who lasted 21 years and were still big leaguers on the 20th anniversary of their major leagues debut.

    Major Stars: Al Kaline, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Gary Sheffield
    Minor Stars: Julio Franco, Curt Simmons

    ....and then there is LaTroy "never an All-Star" Hawkins, who in succeeding to be active in the major leagues next April 29, twenty years after his major leagues debut - will be in a category all his own.
    Last edited by philliesfiend55; 04-08-2014 at 01:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by philliesfiend55 View Post

    Major Stars: Al Kaline, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Gary Sheffield
    Minor Stars: Julio Franco, Curt Simmons
    Jim Thome and Darren Oliver are two more recent ones that come to mind.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by GiambiJuice View Post
    Jim Thome and Darren Oliver are two more recent ones that come to mind.
    Right! - I didn't intend it to be a complete list - just a few off the top of my head, but I welcome any additions to the list.

  5. #5
    Add Arthur Rhodes to the list. He and Darren Oliver had remarkably similar careers. They both played 20 MLB seasons in 21 year spans. Each missed one complete season, due to injuries or demotion to the minor leagues, or both. Rhodes reached the majors in 1991, two years before Oliver. They were true contemporaries and were on similar career paths. They were both tried at starting pitching roles, but were more comfortable and more suited to the bullpen. Rhodes finally was selected as an all-star in his next to last year (2010). Oliver relieved in 50 games last year. Are we really sure his career is over?

    Thome had a 22 year career (1991-2012) and with his 612 homers and 1699 RBI ought to be a lock for election to the Hall Of Fame in his first year of eligibility (2018).

    Going back a half-century or so you could include Hall Of Fame relief pitcher, Hoyt Wilhelm who pitched 21 seasons from 1952 to 1972, and amazingly, his big leagues career didn't start until he was 29.
    Last edited by philliesfiend55; 04-08-2014 at 01:42 PM.

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    In 2011 down here in Texas, we had both Oliver and Rhodes in the 'pen. The Fox Sports Southwest channel that carried Rangers games had a commercial with the two elder statesmen in it together (they could have used some acting lessons, but it was neat to see them together in the spot). Arthur lasted to mid-season sometime, then was released - and picked up by the Cardinals. He was then set up to get a ring either way in the 2011 World Series, just like the 2010 Rangers catcher Bengie Molina who had also played with San Francisco that year.

    Luckily for Rhodes, not only did he get to celebrate a World Series win in his only trip (after those two decades of pitching in the bigs) to get his ring, but he also got to be a part of the action as a late lefty to face Josh Hamilton.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Herr28 View Post
    In 2011 down here in Texas, we had both Oliver and Rhodes in the 'pen. The Fox Sports Southwest channel that carried Rangers games had a commercial with the two elder statesmen in it together (they could have used some acting lessons, but it was neat to see them together in the spot). Arthur lasted to mid-season sometime, then was released - and picked up by the Cardinals. He was then set up to get a ring either way in the 2011 World Series, just like the 2010 Rangers catcher Bengie Molina who had also played with San Francisco that year.

    Luckily for Rhodes, not only did he get to celebrate a World Series win in his only trip (after those two decades of pitching in the bigs) to get his ring, but he also got to be a part of the action as a late lefty to face Josh Hamilton.
    You could say that his appearance in the 2010 all-star game and appearence for the winning side in the 2011 World Series were the crowning acheivements of a very nice career for Rhodes. Actually he should have made it to the all-star game much earlier than he did. He went 9-1 and 10-3 for Baltimore in 1996-1997 and 8-0 and 10-4 for Seattle in 2001-2002, all all-star worthy years, but he never got selected to the all-star squads those years. I was happy that he finally made an all-star team for Cincinnati in 2010.

    Arthur Rhodes 87-70 4.08 ERA - slected to and played in One all-star game.
    Darren Oliver 118-98 4.51 ERA - no all-star game selections

    High ERAs for winning pitchers, but they each played most of their careers in the American League and facing a DHs instead of pitchers will definitely bloat a pitcher's earned run average.
    Last edited by philliesfiend55; 04-10-2014 at 06:52 AM.

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