As the dog days of summer approach, a lighter bit of trivia for you. No heavy analysis here, just some idle fun with the Play Index.

Johnny Damon signed on with the Indians earlier this season. Cleveland is Damon’s 7th club, and 4th in 4 seasons. What you might not be aware of is this: Damon leads in games played for all players who have played for exactly 7 clubs.

Another active player close to the top of his list is Omar Vizquel, now with his 6th team. Omar needs another 33 games (possible, but unlikely) to move past Dave Winfield for the most games played for players appearing for exactly 6 franchises.

After the jump, I’ll take a look at other weary travelers.

Here’s the list, showing the top 3 in games played, for each number of franchises played for.

Rk Player  Franchises G From To Age Pos Tm
1 Octavio Dotel 13 724 1999 2012 25-38 *1 NYM-HOU-OAK-NYY-KCR-ATL-CHW-PIT-LAD-COL-TOR-STL-DET
2 Matt Stairs 12 1895 1992 2011 24-43 9D37/84 MON-BOS-OAK-CHC-MIL-PIT-KCR-TEX-DET-TOR-PHI-SDP-WSN
3 Ron Villone 12 717 1995 2009 25-39 *1 SDP-MIL-CLE-CIN-HOU-COL-PIT-SEA-FLA-NYY-STL-WSN
4 Mike Morgan 12 597 1978 2002 18-42 *1 OAK-NYY-TOR-SEA-BAL-LAD-STL-CIN-MIN-CHC-TEX-ARI
5 Todd Zeile 11 2158 1989 2004 23-38 *532/D71 STL-CHC-PHI-BAL-LAD-TEX-FLA-NYM-COL-MON-NYY
6 Royce Clayton 11 2108 1991 2007 21-37 *6/5D SFG-STL-TEX-CHW-MIL-COL-ARI-WSN-CIN-TOR-BOS
7 Kenny Lofton 11 2103 1991 2007 24-40 *8/7D9 HOU-ATL-CLE-SFG-CHW-PIT-CHC-NYY-PHI-LAD-TEX
8 Tommy Davis 10 1999 1959 1976 20-37 *7D58/394 LAD-NYM-CHW-SEP-OAK-HOU-CHC-BAL-KCR-CAL
9 Jose Guillen 10 1650 1997 2010 21-34 *97D/8 PIT-TBD-CIN-ARI-OAK-ANA-WSN-SEA-KCR-SFG
10 Russell Branyan 10 1059 1998 2011 22-35 537D/9 CIN-TBD-STL-SDP-PHI-MIL-SEA-CLE-ARI-LAA
11 Rickey Henderson 9 3081 1979 2003 20-44 *78D/9 NYY-TOR-SDP-ANA-OAK-NYM-SEA-BOS-LAD
12 Ruben Sierra 9 2186 1986 2006 20-40 *9D7/8 TEX-OAK-NYY-DET-TOR-CIN-CHW-SEA-MIN
13 Jose Cardenal 9 2017 1963 1980 19-36 897/3546 SFG-CAL-CLE-STL-MIL-CHC-PHI-NYM-KCR
14 Steve Finley 8 2583 1989 2007 24-42 *89/7D1 BAL-HOU-SDP-ARI-LAD-LAA-SFG-COL
15 Gary Sheffield 8 2576 1988 2009 19-40 975D/63 MIL-SDP-FLA-LAD-ATL-NYY-DET-NYM
16 Julio Franco 8 2527 1982 2007 23-48 643D/579 PHI-CLE-TEX-CHW-MIL-TBD-NYM-ATL
17 Johnny Damon 7 2477 1995 2012 21-38 *87D9/3 KCR-OAK-BOS-NYY-DET-TBR-CLE
18 Roberto Alomar 7 2379 1988 2004 20-36 *4/D6 SDP-TOR-BAL-CLE-NYM-CHW-ARI
19 Al Oliver 7 2368 1968 1985 21-38 837D/9 PIT-TEX-MON-SFG-PHI-TOR-LAD
20 Dave Winfield 6 2973 1973 1995 21-43 *97D8/35 SDP-NYY-CAL-TOR-MIN-CLE
21 Omar Vizquel 6 2941 1989 2012 22-45 *65/4D379 SEA-CLE-SFG-TEX-CHW-TOR
22 Graig Nettles 6 2700 1967 1988 22-43 *5/739D68 MIN-CLE-NYY-SDP-ATL-MON
23 Eddie Murray 5 3026 1977 1997 21-41 *3D/57 BAL-NYM-CLE-LAD-ANA
24 Rusty Staub 5 2951 1963 1985 19-41 *9D3/78 HOU-MON-NYM-DET-TEX
25 Harold Baines 5 2830 1980 2001 21-42 *D9/87 CHW-TEX-OAK-BAL-CLE
26 Reggie Jackson 4 2820 1967 1987 21-41 *9D8/7 KCA-OAK-BAL-NYY-CAL
27 Tris Speaker 4 2790 1907 1928 19-40 *8/3971 BOS-CLE-WSH-PHA
28 Tony Perez 4 2777 1964 1986 22-44 *35/D4 CIN-MON-BOS-PHI
29 Pete Rose 3 3562 1963 1986 22-45 37549/8 PHI-MON-CIN
30 Rafael Palmeiro 3 2831 1986 2005 21-40 *3D7/98 CHC-TEX-BAL
31 Darrell Evans 3 2687 1969 1989 22-42 *53D/76 SFG-DET-ATL
32 Hank Aaron 2 3298 1954 1976 20-42 *9783D/45 MLN-ATL-MIL
33 Ty Cobb 2 3034 1905 1928 18-41 *89/73145 DET-PHA
34 Willie Mays 2 2992 1951 1973 20-42 *8/39675 NYG-SFG-NYM
35 Carl Yastrzemski 1 3308 1961 1983 21-43 *73D8/59 BOS
36 Cal Ripken 1 3001 1981 2001 20-40 *65/D BAL
37 Brooks Robinson 1 2896 1955 1977 18-40 *5/46 BAL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/14/2012.

Unsurprisingly, the number of games at the top of each list generally decreases with number of teams played for. The big exception is Rickey Henderson with over 3000 games for 9 franchises (almost 900 games more than Ruben Sierra, next on that list). Henderson’s itinerary included four different stints with the As and two with the Padres.

Octavio Dotel is now the all-time most-traveled player in major league history. Dotel has appeared with 13 teams in 14 seasons, and 6 clubs in just the past 3 years. Interestingly, Dotel has never had more than one stint with the same franchise.

Leading the small group at 12 franchises is Matt Stairs who, like Dotel, did not have multiple stints with the same franchise – not, that is, until finishing up with the Nationals after starting his career with Montreal.

In terms of teammates, Ron Villone with his 12th franchise and Julian Tavares with his 11th, both played on the 2009 Nationals. Also in 2009, Matt Stairs and catcher Paul Bako each played for their 11th franchise with the Phillies. Conversely, here are the top 5 in terms of most career games played by teammates who each played only for one team, at the time when they were last teammates.

At the other end of the spectrum, here are the top 3 for each number of franchises, in terms of fewest career games played. Not unexpectedly, the exclusive preserve of pitchers and backup catchers.

Rk Player G  Franchises From To Age Pos Tm
17 Players. Most recent:
1 Bruce Brubaker 2 2 1967 1970 25-28 /*1 LAD-MIL
2 Dave Dowling 2 2 1964 1966 21-23 /*1 STL-CHC
3 Hector Maestri 2 2 1960 1961 25-26 /*1 WSH-WSA
4 Manuel Barrios 5 3 1997 1998 22-23 /*1 HOU-LAD-FLA
5 Steve Blateric 5 3 1971 1975 27-31 /*1 CIN-NYY-CAL
6 Eric Hacker 6 3 2009 2012 26-29 /*1 PIT-MIN-SFG
7 John DeSilva 6 3 1993 1995 25-27 /*1 LAD-DET-BAL
8 Dummy Leitner 5 4 1901 1902 30-31 /*1 NYG-PHA-CLE-CHW
9 King Brady 8 4 1905 1912 24-31 /*1 PHI-PIT-BOS-BSN
10 Chris Tremie 22 4 1995 2004 25-34 /*2D CHW-TEX-PIT-HOU
11 Ensign Cottrell 12 5 1911 1915 22-26 /*1 PIT-CHC-PHA-BSN-NYY
12 Gustavo Molina 26 5 2007 2011 25-29 /*2 CHW-BAL-NYM-BOS-NYY
13 Steve Fireovid 31 5 1981 1992 24-35 /*1 SDP-PHI-CHW-SEA-TEX
14 Rich Sauveur 34 6 1986 2000 22-36 /*1 PIT-MON-NYM-KCR-CHW-OAK
15 Bill Short 73 6 1960 1969 22-31 /*1 NYY-BAL-BOS-PIT-NYM-CIN
16 Al Cicotte 104 6 1957 1962 27-32 *1 NYY-WSH-DET-CLE-STL-HOU
17 Andrew Lorraine 60 7 1994 2002 21-29 /*1 CAL-CHW-OAK-SEA-CHC-CLE-MIL
18 Terry Clark 91 7 1988 1997 27-36 /*1 CAL-HOU-BAL-ATL-KCR-TEX-CLE
19 Dana Eveland 114 7 2005 2012 21-28 *1 MIL-ARI-OAK-TOR-PIT-LAD-BAL
20 Jeff Juden 147 8 1991 1999 20-28 *1 HOU-PHI-MON-SFG-CLE-MIL-ANA-NYY
21 Bob Kuzava 214 8 1946 1957 23-34 *1 CLE-CHW-WSH-NYY-BAL-PHI-STL-PIT
22 Mark Redman 219 8 1999 2008 25-34 *1 MIN-DET-FLA-OAK-PIT-KCR-COL-ATL
23 Dick Littlefield 245 9 1950 1958 24-32 *1 BOS-CHW-DET-SLB-PIT-BAL-STL-NYG-CHC-MLN
24 Dave LaPoint 294 9 1980 1991 20-31 *1 MIL-STL-SFG-SDP-DET-CHW-PIT-NYY-PHI
25 Kip Wells 300 9 1999 2012 22-35 *1 CHW-PIT-TEX-STL-KCR-COL-WSN-CIN-SDP
26 Kevin Jarvis 191 10 1994 2006 24-36 *1 CIN-MIN-DET-OAK-COL-SDP-SEA-STL-BOS-ARI
27 Bruce Chen 337 10 1998 2012 21-35 *1 ATL-PHI-NYM-MON-CIN-HOU-BOS-BAL-TEX-KCR
28 Ken Brett 386 10 1967 1981 18-32 *1 BOS-MIL-PHI-PIT-NYY-CHW-CAL-MIN-LAD-KCR
29 Rick White 615 11 1994 2007 25-38 *1 PIT-TBD-NYM-STL-COL-CHW-CLE-PHI-CIN-SEA-HOU
30 Dennys Reyes 674 11 1997 2011 20-34 *1 LAD-CIN-TEX-COL-PIT-ARI-KCR-SDP-MIN-STL-BOS
31 Terry Mulholland 687 11 1986 2006 23-43 *1 SFG-PHI-NYY-SEA-CHC-ATL-PIT-LAD-CLE-MIN-ARI
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/16/2012.

On this list, Dana Eveland (no. 19) and Bruce Chen (no. 27) look poised to move into the top spot when they join their next teams. And, in this day and age of free agency with over half of major league rosters turning over every year, that may not take long to happen.

Following up on the free agency thought, here are the most traveled players up to 1974.

Rk Player G  Franchises From To Age Pos Tm
1 Bob Miller 707 10 1957 1974 18-35 *1 STL-NYM-LAD-MIN-CHC-CLE-CHW-SDP-PIT-DET
2 Tito Francona 1719 9 1956 1970 22-36 7398 BAL-DET-CHW-CLE-STL-PHI-ATL-OAK-MIL
3 Hoyt Wilhelm 1069 9 1952 1972 29-49 *1 NYG-STL-CLE-BAL-CHW-CAL-CHC-ATL-LAD
4 Ron Kline 742 9 1952 1970 20-38 *1 PIT-STL-LAA-DET-WSA-MIN-SFG-BOS-ATL
5 Bobo Newsom 609 9 1929 1953 21-45 *1 BRO-CHC-SLB-BOS-DET-NYY-NYG-WSH-PHA
6 George Brunet 324 9 1956 1971 21-36 *1 KCA-MLN-HOU-BAL-LAA-CAL-SEP-PIT-WSA-STL
7 Dick Littlefield 245 9 1950 1958 24-32 *1 BOS-CHW-SLB-DET-PIT-BAL-STL-NYG-CHC-MLN
8 Dave Philley 1904 8 1941 1962 21-42 9873/5 PHA-CHW-CLE-BAL-DET-PHI-SFG-BOS
9 Tommy Davis 1803 8 1959 1974 20-35 *7D58/394 LAD-NYM-CHW-HOU-SEP-CHC-OAK-BAL
10 Jim Delahanty 1186 8 1901 1915 22-36 457/39618 CHC-NYG-BSN-CIN-WSH-SLB-DET-BTT
11 Babe Dahlgren 1137 8 1935 1946 23-34 *3/562 BOS-NYY-CHC-BSN-BRO-SLB-PHI-PIT
12 Jack Quinn 771 8 1909 1933 25-49 *1/97 NYY-BSN-BAL-CHW-BOS-PHA-BRO-CIN
13 Johnny Klippstein 713 8 1950 1967 22-39 *1 CHC-CIN-LAD-CLE-WSA-PHI-MIN-DET
14 Ted Savage 642 8 1962 1971 25-34 79/8435 PHI-PIT-STL-CHC-LAD-CIN-MIL-KCR
15 Moe Drabowsky 591 8 1956 1972 20-36 *1 CHC-MLN-CIN-KCA-BAL-KCR-STL-CHW
16 Juan Pizarro 496 8 1957 1974 20-37 *1 MLN-CHW-PIT-BOS-OAK-CLE-CHC-HOU
17 Orlando Pena 422 8 1958 1974 24-40 *1 CIN-KCA-DET-CLE-PIT-BAL-STL-CAL
18 Bill Wight 347 8 1946 1958 24-36 *1/3 NYY-CHW-BOS-DET-CLE-BAL-STL-CIN
19 Bob Kuzava 214 8 1946 1957 23-34 *1 CLE-CHW-WSH-NYY-BAL-PHI-STL-PIT
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/16/2012.

So, even without free agency, there were still players who moved around a lot. Of this group, Bobo Newsom probably packed his suitcase most often as Newsom had multiple stints with several of his 9 teams, including the Senators (5 times), Browns (3), Robins/Dodgers (2), and Athletics (2). Newsom’s  long travels finally paid off in a WS championship at age 40 with the 1947 Yankees (Newsom almost won a WS championship as the ace of the 1940 Tigers staff, bidding for his 3rd CG victory of the series but falling 2-1 in game 7 to Paul Derringer and the Reds).

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