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.
This entry was posted on Monday, April 1st, 2013 at 6:46 pm and is filed under Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.