Sports Reference Blog

Wilkin Ramirez makes MLB’s (unofficial) #5000000th appearance

Posted by admin on April 1, 2013

There have been about 203,500 games in major league history (at least if you count the National Association 1871-1875 which many baseball historians including us view to be a major league). In the course of preparing for this season, I noticed that we had 4,999,745 games played in our appearances table, which meant we'd hit 5m on Opening Day.

This includes all kinds of games played from Cal Ripken's consecutive innings streak to Larry Yount getting the starting nod and getting knocked out while warming up in the bullpen for his only "appearance". We love these corny milestones, so we decided to track it today and figure out just who was #5,000,000. We caught a bit of a break as the way the games were played today we hit #5m near the end of the 4:00 games and before the 7:00 game, so we didn't have to give a starting 18 all of the credit.

Well, it was close but by our measure Wilkin Ramirez edged out Matt Thornton for the 5 millionth appearance in an MLB game. Are we 100% sure this is correct? Yes given our count it was Ramirez, but our count is almost certainly off by dozens if not a hundred or more in either direction. From baseball's distant past recordkeeping especially about defensive subs was notoriously bad, so we are probably missing some games.

But regardless this is the best we can do and it's a fun milestone. Happy Opening Day.

6 Responses to “Wilkin Ramirez makes MLB’s (unofficial) #5000000th appearance”

  1. Crackin' Wax Says:

    Well, the Twins are all about silver linings this year. This should count as one of them ;)

  2. Bill Says:

    Speaking of milestones, we are coming up on 18,000 players. The season started with 18,944.

    Last year the 56th player debuted on May 13th, so it should be right around that date. Any guesses as to who will be the lucky call up around then?

  3. MLB Opening Day 2013 | Sports Life with Barrett Weyneth Says:

    [...] fun milestone that was reached today the long history of baseball as according to their records the 5,000,000th appearance was made during today’s action. The Minnesota Twins Wilkin Ramirez entered today’s game against [...]

  4. 4-03-13: Detroit Tigers (Sanchez) @ Minnesota Twins (Correia), 4:10 - Page 2 Says:

    [...] [...]

  5. HMS Says:

    Larry Yount's aborted appearance was in relief, not a starting nod. He was announced to replace a pinch-hitter but never faced a batter.

  6. Bill Tuck Says:

    If Ramirez was in the starting lineup for the Twins, how do they determine he was five million when all the other starters on both teams began the game at the same time?