Sports Reference Blog

New World Series Appearances Data Update

Posted by Jonah Gardner on July 20, 2022

By Greg Harvey

Using the Elias Book of Baseball Records, we have updated all World Series banners from 1903 to 2021 to include players on the WS roster who did not appear in that season’s WS.

There are 822 occurrences of a player being on the World Series roster without appearing, with 719 of those belonging to distinct players.

There are 87 distinct players who had multiple occurrences of being on a WS roster and not making an appearance. Charlie Silvera had the most such with six total occurrences. The New York Yankees account for the most of any team with 193 of the 822 occurrences (23.5%).

There are 447 distinct players who were on the roster for the WS winning side and did not play that season. Charlie Silvera & Arndt Jorgens rank first as they both won five WS without appearing. Forty-four distinct players won multiple WS titles without making an appearance.

There are also two unique occurrences among the 822. The first is Chet Trail, who never made the MLB and was only on the 1964 Yankees WS roster as a clerical technicality. The Yankees selected him as a designated first-year player and had to keep him on the 25-man roster for the end of the season. The Commissioner also decided that he would have to be placed on the WS roster.

The second story is about Hiram Bithorn, who served in the military (Navy) during the 1945 season but was added to the Cubs WS roster after being discharged in September of that year.

Some other interesting notes from our intern Greg Harvey, who collected and prepared the data for this project:

Between 1907-1970, the teams who had more players left on the roster won 46/64 times (71.9%)

Teams who had more players left on their roster won 68 Times out of 117 WS (58.11%)

There have been 5 times in World Series history where both teams used their entire roster: 1903, 1960, 1991, 2001, & 2019

There are 21 HOF who at one point was on a WS roster and did not play in the WS that year. Notable names include Rollie Fingers, Johnny Evers, Lou Gehrig, Sandy Koufax, & Bob Feller.

If you want to share any feedback or suggestions, please send us your thoughts via our feedback form.

Comments are closed.