In birtelcom’s post on Willie Mays‘ induction into the Circle of Greats, a comment was made that Mays is one of only two players to play in 150+ games for 13 consecutive seasons (the other, flying under our radar, is Bobby Abreu). This prompted a general discussion of players who most consistently answered the bell, day in and day out, year after year.

After the jump, record holders in games played for every age range.

I’m displaying the results in tabular format, with the “From” ages as columns, and the “To” ages as rows. Of course, modern players with the extended 162 game schedule are favored. But, of those, certain players are disadvantaged if they played in any of the contracted seasons resulting from labour action, in 1972, 1981, 1994 and 1995.

One example of impact from a strike season is Pete Rose, who had a streak of 12 seasons (1969-80) playing 150+ games, then played every game in strike-shortened 1981, and followed that with two more 150+ game seasons in 1982-83, aged 41-42. Another is Cal Ripken who kept his consecutive-game streak alive through strike-shortened 1994 and 1995, but not his streak of 160+ game seasons that was stopped at 12 (1982-93), notwithstanding three more times at 160+ on the other side of the strike seasons.

Let’s start with the youngsters.

< 1717181920212223
< 1746 - Tommy Brown
17103 - Tommy Brown57 - Tommy Brown
18153 - Phil Cavarretta153 - Phil Cavarretta146 - Phil Cavarretta
19277 - Phil Cavarretta277 - Phil Cavarretta270 - Phil Cavarretta154 - Bob Kennedy
20415 - Robin Yount415 - Robin Yount415 - Robin Yount308 - Robin Yount161 - Robin Yount, Cesar Cedeno
21569 - Robin Yount569 - Robin Yount569 - Robin Yount462 - Robin Yount315 - Robin Yount162 - Delmon Young
22696 - Robin Yount696 - Robin Yount696 - Robin Yount592 - Al Kaline474 - Andruw Jones322 - Cal Ripken162 - 8 players, last Starlin Castro
23845 - Robin Yount845 - Robin Yount845 - Robin Yount738 - Robin Yount635 - Andruw Jones484 - Cal Ripken324 - Cal Ripken, Ron Santo, Jeff Francoeur163 - Tommy Davis
24988 - Robin Yount988 - Robin Yount988 - Robin Yount887 - Buddy Lewis796 - Andruw Jones645 - Cal Ripken485 - Cal Ripken, Ron Santo324 - Grady Sizemore, Tony Fernandez
251136 - Mel Ott1136 - Mel Ott1136 - Mel Ott1021 - Al Kaline950 - Andruw Jones807 - Cal Ripken649 - Ron Santo487 - Ron Santo
261288 - Mel Ott1288 - Mel Ott1288 - Mel Ott1174 - Al Kaline1106 - Andruw Jones969 - Cal Ripken809 - Cal Ripken647 - Cal Ripken
271438 - Mel Ott1438 - Mel Ott1438 - Mel Ott1321 - Mel Ott1260 - Andruw Jones1130 - Cal Ripken970 - Cal Ripken808 - Cal Ripken
281589 - Mel Ott1589 - Mel Ott1589 - Mel Ott1472 - Mel Ott1420 - Andruw Jones1292 - Cal Ripken1132 - Cal Ripken970 - Cal Ripken
291739 - Mel Ott1739 - Mel Ott1739 - Mel Ott1622 - Mel Ott1576 - Andruw Jones1453 - Cal Ripken1293 - Cal Ripken1131 - Cal Ripken
301864 - Mel Ott1864 - Mel Ott1864 - Mel Ott1761 - Andruw Jones1730 - Andruw Jones1615 - Cal Ripken1455 - Cal Ripken1293 - Cal Ripken
312015 - Mel Ott2015 - Mel Ott2015 - Mel Ott1898 - Mel Ott1844 - Ron Santo1777 - Cal Ripken1617 - Cal Ripken1455 - Cal Ripken
322163 - Mel Ott2163 - Mel Ott2163 - Mel Ott2046 - Mel Ott1977 - Ron Santo, Alex Rodriguez1939 - Cal Ripken1779 - Cal Ripken1617 - Cal Ripken
332315 - Mel Ott2315 - Mel Ott2315 - Mel Ott2198 - Mel Ott2126 - Ron Santo2051 - Cal Ripken1891 - Cal Ripken1760 - Billy Williams
342449 - Robin Yount2449 - Robin Yount2449 - Robin Yount2342 - Robin Yount2279 - Hank Aaron2195 - Cal Ripken2035 - Cal Ripken1910 - Billy Williams
352579 - Robin Yount2579 - Robin Yount2579 - Robin Yount2472 - Robin Yount2426 - Hank Aaron2358- Cal Ripken2198 - Cal Ripken2066 - Billy Williams
362729 - Robin Yount2729 - Robin Yount2729 - Robin Yount2622 - Robin Yount2576 - Hank Aaron2520- Cal Ripken2360 - Cal Ripken2200 - Brooks Robinson
372856 - Robin Yount2856 - Robin Yount2856 - Robin Yount2749 - Robin Yount2715 - Hank Aaron2681- Cal Ripken2521 - Cal Ripken2359 - Cal Ripken
382856 - Robin Yount2856 - Robin Yount2856 - Robin Yount2844 - Hank Aaron2844 - Hank Aaron2767- Cal Ripken2668 - Pete Rose2511 - Pete Rose
392964 - Hank Aaron2964 - Hank Aaron2964 - Hank Aaron2964 - Hank Aaron2964 - Hank Aaron2862 - Carl Yastrzemski2830 - Pete Rose2673 - Pete Rose
403076 - Hank Aaron3076 - Hank Aaron3076 - Hank Aaron3076 - Hank Aaron3076 - Hank Aaron2978 - Cal Ripken2937 - Pete Rose2780 - Pete Rose
413213 - Hank Aaron3213 - Hank Aaron3213 - Hank Aaron3213 - Hank Aaron3213 - Hank Aaron3099 - Pete Rose3099 - Pete Rose2942 - Pete Rose
423298 - Hank Aaron3298 - Hank Aaron3298 - Hank Aaron3298 - Hank Aaron3298 - Hank Aaron3250 - Pete Rose3250 - Pete Rose3093 - Pete Rose
433371 - Pete Rose3371 - Pete Rose3371 - Pete Rose3371 - Pete Rose3371 - Pete Rose3371 - Pete Rose3371 - Pete Rose3214 - Pete Rose
443490 - Pete Rose3490 - Pete Rose3490 - Pete Rose3490 - Pete Rose3490 - Pete Rose3490 - Pete Rose3490 - Pete Rose3333 - Pete Rose
453562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3405 - Pete Rose
46+3562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3562 - Pete Rose3405 - Pete Rose

.

Prodigies Robin Yount and Mel Ott figure prominently among careers starting as teenagers. Andruw Jones and Hank Aaron dominate starting from age 20 before giving way to Cal Ripken. Ron Santo appears starting at age 22, and his teammate Billy Williams at age 23 (Williams will figure more prominently in the next table). Note Yaz at age 21-39, his only appearance in these tables.

Regardless of when careers start, Pete Rose holds the records by the time those careers end. From age 32-39, Rose played 160+ games in 7 of 8 seasons (and had 159 games in the other year). At those ages, only Ichiro (6), Ripken (4), Steve Garvey (3)  and Jose Cruz (3) have more than two seasons of 160+ games.

Progressing to age ranges starting from age 24 to 31.

2425262728293031
24163 - Brooks Robinson, Tony Fernandez
25325 - Brooks Robinson, Ron Santo164 - Ron Santo
26486 - Brooks Robinson324 - 5 players, last Mark Teixeira164 - Cesar Tovar
27649 - Brooks Robinson487 - Billy Williams326 - Billy Williams164 - Billy Williams, Jose Pagan
28808 - Billy Williams, Cal Ripken649 - Billy Williams488 - Billy Williams326 - Billy Williams163 - Willie Montanez
29970 - Billy Williams811 - Billy Williams650 - Billy Williams488 - Billy Williams324 - 8 players, last Prince Fielder165 - Maury Wills
301133 - Billy Williams974 - Billy Williams813 - Billy Williams651 - Billy Williams487 - Billy Williams325 - Billy Williams, Bill Mazeroski, Hidecki Matsui163 - 4 players, last Todd Zeile
311296 - Billy Williams1137 - Billy Williams976 - Billy Williams814 - Billy Williams650 - Billy Williams488 - Billy Williams326 - Billy Williams163 - 4 players, last Albert Belle
321457 - Billy Williams1298 - Billy Williams1137 - Billy Williams975 - Billy Williams811 - Billy Williams649 - Billy Williams487 - Billy Williams324 - 4 players, last Miguel Tejada
331614 - Billy Williams1455 - Billy Williams1294 - Billy Williams1132 - Billy Williams968 - Billy Williams806 - Billy Williams645 - Ichiro Suzuki484 - Ichiro Suzuki
341764 - Billy Williams1605 - Billy Williams1444 - Billy Williams1282 - Billy Williams1123 - Ichiro Suzuki966 - Ichiro Suzuki807 - Ichiro Suzuki646 - Ichiro Suzuki
351920 - Billy Williams1761 - Billy Williams1600 - Billy Williams1438 - Billy Williams1276 - Pete Rose1120 - Pete Rose961 - Pete Rose801 - Pete Rose
362053 - Pete Rose1896 - Miguel Tejada1737 - Miguel Tejada1588 - Ichiro Suzuki1438 - Pete Rose1282 - Pete Rose1123 - Pete Rose963 - Pete Rose
372212 - Pete Rose2050 - Pete Rose1894 - Pete Rose1749 - Ichiro Suzuki1597 - Pete Rose1441 - Pete Rose1282 - Pete Rose1122 - Pete Rose
382375 - Pete Rose2213 - Pete Rose2057 - Pete Rose1911 - Ichiro Suzuki1760 - Pete Rose1604 - Pete Rose1445 - Pete Rose1285 - Pete Rose
392537 - Pete Rose2375 - Pete Rose2219 - Pete Rose2071 - Pete Rose1922 - Pete Rose1766 - Pete Rose1607 - Pete Rose1447 - Pete Rose
402644 - Pete Rose2482 - Pete Rose2326 - Pete Rose2178 - Pete Rose2029 - Pete Rose1873 - Pete Rose1714 - Pete Rose1554 - Pete Rose
412806 - Pete Rose2644 - Pete Rose2488 - Pete Rose2340 - Pete Rose2191 - Pete Rose2035 - Pete Rose1876 - Pete Rose1716 - Pete Rose
422957 - Pete Rose2795 - Pete Rose2639 - Pete Rose2491 - Pete Rose2342 - Pete Rose2186 - Pete Rose2027 - Pete Rose1867 - Pete Rose
433078 - Pete Rose2916 - Pete Rose2760 - Pete Rose2612 - Pete Rose2463 - Pete Rose2307 - Pete Rose2148 - Pete Rose1988 - Pete Rose
443197 - Pete Rose3035 - Pete Rose2879 - Pete Rose2731 - Pete Rose2582 - Pete Rose2426 - Pete Rose2267 - Pete Rose2107 - Pete Rose
453269 - Pete Rose3107 - Pete Rose2951 - Pete Rose2803 - Pete Rose2654 - Pete Rose2498 - Pete Rose2339 - Pete Rose2179 - Pete Rose
46+3269 - Pete Rose3107 - Pete Rose2951 - Pete Rose2803 - Pete Rose2654 - Pete Rose2498 - Pete Rose2339 - Pete Rose2179 - Pete Rose
.

Billy Williams is the dominant presence in the top half of this table, with Rose grabbing a larger and larger share of the bottom portion. Note Brooks Robinson in the top left corner, and also Ichiro’s first appearance for the 28-34 age range.

3233343536373839
32162 - 5 players, last Miguel Tejada
33324 - Luis Gonzalez163 - Pete Rose, Al Oliver
34485 - Pete Rose325 - Pete Rose163 - Ernie Banks
35647 - Pete Rose487 - Pete Rose324 - Pete Rose163 - Cal Ripken
36809 - Pete Rose649 - Pete Rose486 - Pete Rose325 - Cal Ripken162 - 6 players, last Ichiro Suzuki
37968 - Pete Rose808 - Pete Rose645 - Pete Rose486 - Cal Ripken323 - Ichiro Suzuki, Cal Ripken161 - Ichiro Suzuki, Cal Ripken
381131 - Pete Rose971 - Pete Rose808 - Pete Rose646 - Pete Rose485 - Ichiro Suzuki323 - Ichiro Suzuki163 - Pete Rose
391293 - Pete Rose1133 - Pete Rose970 - Pete Rose808 - Pete Rose646 - Pete Rose484 - Pete Rose325 - Pete Rose162 - Pete Rose, Steve Finley
401400 - Pete Rose1240 - Pete Rose1077 - Pete Rose915 - Pete Rose754 - Craig Biggio609 - Craig Biggio456 - Craig Biggio306 - Dave Winfield
411562 - Pete Rose1402 - Pete Rose1239 - Pete Rose1077 - Pete Rose915 - Pete Rose753 - Pete Rose597 - Craig Biggio449 - Dave Winfield
421713 - Pete Rose1553 - Pete Rose1390 - Pete Rose1228 - Pete Rose1066 - Pete Rose904 - Pete Rose745 - Pete Rose582 - Pete Rose
431834 - Pete Rose1674 - Pete Rose1511 - Pete Rose1349 - Pete Rose1187 - Pete Rose1025 - Pete Rose866 - Pete Rose703 - Pete Rose
441953 - Pete Rose1793 - Pete Rose1630 - Pete Rose1468 - Pete Rose1306 - Pete Rose1144 - Pete Rose985 - Pete Rose822 - Pete Rose
452025 - Pete Rose1865 - Pete Rose1702 - Pete Rose1540 - Pete Rose1378 - Pete Rose1216 - Pete Rose1057 - Pete Rose894 - Pete Rose
46+2025 - Pete Rose1865 - Pete Rose1702 - Pete Rose1540 - Pete Rose1378 - Pete Rose1216 - Pete Rose1057 - Pete Rose894 - Pete Rose

.

For age 32-39, basically all Rose, all the time, save for a few Ichiro and Miguel Tejada sightings. Craig Biggio and Dave Winfield make an appearance in the bottom right corner, mainly to due to the 40 year-old Rose losing time in the strike-shortened 1981 season.

40414243444546+
40156 - Dave Winfield
41306 - Honus Wagner162 - Pete Rose
42430 - Honus Wagner313 - Pete Rose151 - Pete Rose
43541 - Pete Rose434 - Pete Rose272 - Pete Rose134 - Carlton Fisk
44660 - Pete Rose553 - Pete Rose391 - Pete Rose240 - Pete Rose119 - Pete Rose
45732 - Pete Rose625 - Pete Rose463 - Pete Rose353 - Julio Franco228 - Julio Franco125 - Julio Franco
46+732 - Pete Rose636 - Julio Franco636 - Julio Franco611 - Julio Franco486 - Julio Franco383 - Julio Franco258 - Julio Franco

.

Rose’s lost time in 1981 does provide a bit of variety for age ranges starting at age 40, notably Honus Wagner‘s appearance and Carlton Fisk‘s incredible 134 games at age 43, 106 of them behind the plate. Fisk would add 79 more games caught at 44 and 45, alone at those ages save for coaches filling in or last-game-of-the-year stunts. Only war-time replacements Merv Shea and Clyde Sukeforth also caught games at age 43, and only 19 between them.

Almost as impressive as Fisk’s exploits is Julio Franco‘s 100+ games played for four consecutive seasons, age 43-46. No other player did so at age 45 or 46, only one other (Rose) at 44 and only Pete, Yaz, Fisk and Omar Vizquel at 43.

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