10 Oldest MLB Players Ever (Updated 2020)
Major League Baseball players, in contrast to players in other professional sports, frequently make their debuts in their mid-to-late twenties and have brief careers. Although outstanding players frequently have long careers, this is not the case for virtually everyone on this list, which is a testament to their abilities. More than half of the Major League Baseball players on this list were in their 50s when they played in their last game, with the remaining individuals having played in their last game when they were 49 years old.
Aside from that, they established a number of age-related records, which they continue to retain to this day.
10. Hughie Jennings (April 2, 1869 – February 1, 1928)
The oldest player ever was 49 years and 153 days old when he started playing in 1918. The Louisville Colonels, the Baltimore Orioles, the Brooklyn Superbas, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Detroit Tigers are among the teams represented. Year(s) in Service: 1891 – 1903, 1906, 1909 – 1910, 1912, and 1918 (16 years) Batter and shortstop are the positions. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Hughie Jennings had a long and successful career as a Major League Baseball player that lasted more than two decades.
During his tenure with the Orioles, Jennings rose to prominence, and he was a member of the franchise’s teams that won National League titles in 1894, 1895, and 1896, among other honors.
During the 1896 season, he was struck 51 times, which established a new record.
Around 1907, Jennings decided to retire from professional baseball and was hired as the manager of the Detroit Tigers.
Did You Know?
By the end of his career, Hughie Jennings had a batting average of.312 with 1,526 hits, 992 runs scored, and 359 bases stolen.
9. Arlie Latham (March 15, 1860 – November 29, 1952)
In 1909, he was 49 years and 168 days old when he began playing. The Buffalo Bisons, St. Louis Browns, Chicago Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Senators, and New York Giants are among the teams that compete in the American League. Years in Service: 1880–1896; 1899–1909; 1909– (18 years) Third baseman is the position. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Arlie Lathamis is another player who made his Major League Baseball debut at the age of 49. Latham began playing baseball for a small Stoneham, Massachusetts club when he was 14 years old, and hasn’t stopped since.
The next year, he signed with the Buffalo Bisons, an American League team.
After retiring from baseball in 1899, Latham went on to become the first full-time base coach in baseball history. In 1909, he coached the New York Giants, who he had previously played for as a player. He holds the record for being the oldest player to steal a base in the history of the sport.
Did You Know?
Arlie Latham became the oldest player in Major League Baseball history to steal a base when he was 49 years old, right before he retired.
8. Jamie Moyer (November 18, 1962 – Present)
In 2012, the oldest person that played was 49 years and 181 days old. The Chicago Cubs, the Texas Rangers, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Baltimore Orioles, the Boston Red Sox, the Seattle Mariners, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Colorado Rockies are among the teams represented. Years in Operation: 1986 – 2010; 2012 – (25 years) Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, taken in the position of pitcher. Jamie Moyer is the only person on this list who is still alive, and she is the only person on this list who is still alive.
In addition to being one of the oldest players in the history of the League, Moyer holds the distinction for being the oldest pitcher to win a game, surpassing the previous mark of Jack Quinn.
In addition, Moyer established the record for the oldest player in Major League Baseball history to notch a run batted in (RBI).
Mister Moyer garnered multiple accolades for his generosity and community work while he was still active, including the 2003 Roberto Clemente Award, the 2003 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, the 2003 Hutch Award, and the 2004 Branch Rickey Award.
Did You Know?
Jamie Moyer is one of only 29 players in Major League Baseball history to have appeared in games over four separate decade spans.
7. Hoyt Wilhelm (July 26, 1922 – August 23, 2002)
In 1972, I was 49 years and 349 days old when I started playing. The New York Giants, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cleveland Indians, the Baltimore Orioles, the Chicago White Sox, the California Angels, the Atlanta Braves, the Chicago Cubs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams competing. Years in Service: 1952 to 1972 (20 years) Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, taken in the position of pitcher. This list includes numerous players who played their last game when they were 49 years old, including Hoyt Wilhelm, who is one of several players that round out the list.
During World War II, Wilhelm served his country and played in the minor levels before turning 29 and entering the professional baseball ranks.
Wilhelm won 124 games as a relief pitcher, which is still the most wins by a relief pitcher in the history of the sport.
Wilhelm was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985, making him one of just 78 players to have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Did You Know?
Additionally, Hoyt Wilhelm retired with one of the lowest career earned run averages (2.52) in baseball history, in addition to his other accomplishments and awards.
6. Jack Quinn (July 1, 1883 – April 17, 1946)
In 1993, I was 50 years and 6 days old when I started playing. New York Highlanders, Boston Braves, Baltimore Terrapins, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Athletics, Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers, and Cincinnati Reds are among the teams represented. Years in Service: 1909 – 1933 (24 years) Position:Pitcher Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Last but not least, Jack Quinnis is the last player on our list to have appeared in an MLB game when in his fifties. Quinn, whose given name was Joannes (Jan) Pajkos, was the son of Hungarian immigrants who immigrated to the United States when he was a child.
Quinn made his Major League Baseball debut in 1909 and continued to play until he became 50 years old in 1933.
Up until 2012, he held the record for being the oldest player to win a game.
There are numerous players on this list who were older than Quinn at the time of their final game, but he is the oldest individual who continues to play on a regular basis (most of the players on this list only appeared in one game when they were older).
Did You Know?
Jack Quinn was one of the last pitchers to be permitted to use the spitball, which was outlawed in the United States in 1920.
5. Jim O’Rourke (September 1, 1850 – January 8, 1919)
In 1904, the oldest person that participated was 54 years old. Middletown Mansfields, Boston Red Stockings/Boston Red Caps, Providence Grays, Buffalo Bisons, New York Giants, and Washington Senators are among the teams who compete in the American Hockey League. Years in Service: 1872–1893; 1904–present (22 years) Left fielder is a position in baseball. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Jim O’Rourke was a professional baseball player who began his career in the game’s infancy. He began his professional baseball career in 1872 as a catcher for the Middletown Mansfields, a team that had only entered the National Association a year earlier.
In 1876, O’Rourke made history by being the first individual in National League history to hit a first base hit.
In between seasons as a baseball player, he went on to practice law in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
He played in his final Major League Baseball game for the New York Giants in 1904, when he was 54 years old.
Did You Know?
Jim O’Rourke, an executive with the Bridgeport club of the Connecticut League, was responsible for the hiring of the first African-American minor league baseball player in the history of the sport in 1895.
4. Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso (November 29, 1925 – March 1, 2015)
In 1980, I was 54 years old and I was still playing. The Cleveland Indians, the Chicago White Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Washington Senators are among the teams that compete in the American League. Years in Service: 1947 to 1964; 1976 to 1980; (19 years) Left fielder is a position in baseball. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Minnie Miosois one of the most well-known and adored Major League Baseball players, particularly among fans of the Chicago White Sox. As a result of his widespread popularity among White Sox supporters, Mioso became known as “Mr.
The game that marked Mioso’s retirement took occurred in 1980, when he was 54 years old.
Mioso began his baseball career in 1946 with the New York Cubans of the Cuban Negro league, where he played for the first time.
Mioso was the first black Cuban to play in Major League Baseball and the first black player in the history of the Chicago White Sox.
Did You Know?
Although Minnie Mioso has garnered widespread attention for his contributions to baseball, he has not yet been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame despite being nominated twice.
3. Nick Altrock (September 15, 1876 – January 20, 1965)
In 1924, the oldest person that played was 57 years old. The Louisville Colonels, the Boston Americans, the Chicago White Sox, and the Washington Senators are among the teams represented. Years in Service: 1898; 1902–1909; 1912–1915; 1918–1919; 1924–1925 (13 years) Pitcher and pinch batter are two positions available. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Nick Altrock, like a number of the other players on this list, was no longer a regular player when he participated in his last Major League Baseball game.
He was demoted to the minors in Grand Rapids, Michigan, less than a year after being promoted.
Altrock’s pitching career was cut short by an arm injury in 1906, although he was once considered one of the best left-handed pitchers in Major League Baseball (from 1904 to 1906).
Altrock returned to the Washington Senators’ lineup as a pinch hitter following his injury and proceeded to participate in games. He was 57 years old when he made his final appearance in a game in 1933.
Did You Know?
Nick Altrock is one of just two players to have appeared in Major League games over the course of five decades, owing to his infrequent appearances.
2. Charley O’Leary (October 15, 1875 – January 6, 1941)
The oldest person who has played was 58 years and 350 days old in 1934. The Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, and St. Louis Browns are three of the most popular teams in the city. The following years were active:1904–1912; 1913–34 (10 years) Position:Shortstop Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. After appearing in one game for the St. Louis Browns in 1934, Charley O’Leary established himself as the second-oldest individual to ever play in the Major League Baseball. At the time, O’Leary had retired from professional football and was working as a coach with the Cleveland Browns.
He made history by becoming the oldest player in Major League Baseball to record a hit and score a run.
After being bought by the Detroit Tigers in 1904, he was promoted to the main leagues.
Louis Cardinals, the New York Yankees, the Chicago Cubs, the St.
Did You Know?
Charley O’Leary was the manager of the New York Yankees during a period in which the team won six pennants and two World Series championships.
1. Leroy “Satchel” Paige (July 7, 1906 – June 8, 1982)
In 1965, I was 59 years and 351 days old when I started playing. The Cleveland Indians, the St. Louis Browns, and the Kansas City Athletics are three teams that compete in the American League. Years in Service: 1926 – 1965 (39 years) Pitcher’s position (picture courtesy of Wikipedia) Leroy “Satchel” Paige holds the record for being the oldest player in the history of Major League Baseball. In his final professional game, Paige was over 60 years old, making him the oldest player ever. Paige was a pitcher for a number of clubs in the American Negro League baseball league prior to his admission into Major League Baseball.
Paige became the oldest big league rookie in the history of the League when he made his debut in the Majors at the age of 42 in 2007.
Several well-known baseball personalities, including Joe DiMaggio, have stated that Paige is the finest player they have ever faced.
Did You Know?
Stachel Paige was the first African-American to pitch in both the American League and the World Series — Paige was also the eighth African-American to make his professional debut in the Major League Baseball.
Respect your elders: MLB’s 10 oldest players
Yadier Molina, a nine-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove Award winner, signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this month, ensuring that he will play his 18th season in the city of brotherly love. Despite the fact that Molina’s offensive stats have dipped in recent seasons, he continues to be the heart and soul of the Cardinals, both on and off the field. In addition, let’s not forget how important he was in the Cardinals’ most recent playoff series triumph, against Atlanta in the National League Division Series in 2019.
- 29, the Cardinals announced the re-signing of pitcher Yadier Molina, who will continue to play with longtime friend and batterymate Adam Wainwright.
- But, let’s take a breather here.
- it’s getting harder and harder to find players this elderly these days.
- Yes, it’s that time of the month again: Our annual look at the top ten oldest players in Major League Baseball is here.
- Then we realize we’re growing even older when the manager begins to look and act our age.
- Don’t laugh, because it will happen to you, too, when you are young.
- Eventually, you reach the stage when you are much older than everyone else.
As of right now, no one born in the 1970s – or who played in the 1990s – will be on the roster for the upcoming season.
The following is a list of the 10 oldest players in baseball headed into the 2021 regular season.
Robinson Canó would have been included on this list if he had not been suspended for the remainder of the season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug for the second time.
If you are younger than everyone on this list, you should be proud of yourself.
1) Albert Pujols (DH, Los Angeles Angels) (age 41) The date of birth is January 16, 1980.
Albert, on the other hand, just keeps going.
Louis in 2011, and his stats have continued to deteriorate throughout the season.
But you never know what may happen: Six years ago, he hit 40 home runs, and this year he has 23.
2) Rich Hill, left-handed pitcher for the Rays (age 40) Born on the 11th of March, 1980.
Hill has continued to have one of the most bizarre baseball careers in history.
As a member of the Dodgers, he was outstanding for three seasons, and he continues to be productive when given the opportunity to throw.
In every regard, the Rays appear to be the ideal match for the organization.
Season one began in 2005.
His first half of the season saw him rank as the top hitter in all of baseball!
However, if he can maintain his health, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be wanted by a team in 2022, especially if the National League has a designated hitter in the lineup.
He’s 83 points short, and he only had 41 in his previous complete season of baseball.
4) Oliver Pérez (Indians) is a left-handed pitcher (age 39) The date of birth is August 15, 1981.
There was a period when some of us believed Pérez had the potential to be the next Randy Johnson, and I know you won’t believe me when I tell you.
He was no longer on the market the next year, but the Mets were intrigued by his potential and signed him to an extraordinarily ill-fated contract.
oh, geez, a decade now.
5) Adam Wainwright, right-handed pitcher for the Cardinals (age 39) The date of birth is August 30, 1981.
In 2018, Wainwright appeared to be on the verge of retiring from baseball due to injuries that had worn him down to a mush.
The next year, he was the top pitcher on the Cardinals’ staff.
Oh, and he recently earned the Roberto Clemente Award, which is pretty cool.
Season one began in 2004.
In spite of the fact that Yadi is just one year younger than Pudge was when Pudge retired, he is a better hitter than Pudge was when Pudge was in his mid-to-late 30s, and by a significant margin.
Don’t be shocked if this continues to be the case.
Happ, left-handed pitcher for the Twins (age 38) The date of birth is October 19, 1982.
Happ has shown to be quite durable at the conclusion of his career, and he was absolutely adequate in nine starts for the Yankees in 2020, a marked improvement after his disappointing year in 2019.
And, hey, Happ does have a World Series ring to his collection.
8) Darren O’Day (RHP, New York Yankees) (age 38) The date of birth is October 22, 1982.
To some extent, O’Day is regarded of as a soft-tossing sidearmer, and to a certain extent, that is correct, yet his strikeout percentage continues to rise: He had a greater K/9 rate than, for example, Gerrit Cole did the previous season.
In addition, in 604 major league appearances, O’Day has never been the starter in a game.
9) Ervin Santana, right-handed pitcher for the Royals (age 38)Born: December 12, 1982.
So, technically speaking, Santana is not currently a member of a major league squad.
However, the Royals did sign him to a Minor League contract, and if he has a strong spring, he has a shot to make the team.
In addition, he is approaching the 10-year anniversary of his no-hitter with the Angels.
10) Justin Verlander, right-handed pitcher for the Astros (age 37) The date of birth is February 20, 1983.
Verlander is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, and he is not expected to return to the mound until at least 2021.
And he’ll be back in ’22 regardless of what happens.
Keep in mind that he recorded 300 strikeouts in just one season in 2019. He will be a strong opponent, regardless of how he returns. He will also be a free agent at the conclusion of this season. When he returns to the mound, who will he be pitching for this time around?
Oldest MLB player: Oldest baseball players of all-time
Minnie Minoso is one of the most accomplished baseball players in history. The photograph is courtesy of The Athletic. Baseball, in contrast to other sports, permits players to have a slightly longer playing career. On average, the oldest MLB player is older than the oldest NBA player, and let’s not even get started on the oldest NFL player. Even yet, the oldest baseball players in history have unquestionably gone too far in that direction. They played until their arms were unable to move any longer, and, well, let’s just say that they had a very, very lengthy professional career to look back on.
and who are the all-time oldest Major League Baseball players?
Oldest active MLB players:
- Among those who have turned 39 years and 73 days are Yadier Molina (C) of the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright (P) of the Cardinals. Also turning 41 years and 25 days are Nelson Cruz (DH) of the Rays and Rich Hill (P) of the Mets. Also turning 41 years and 251 days are Albert Pujols (1B/DH) of the Dodgers and Yadier Molina (C) of the Cardinals.
Oldest MLB players of all-time:
Jim O’Rourke, sometimes known as “Orator Jim,” rose to prominence as a baseball legend in a short period of time. He had a lifetime batting average of.310 and 2,639 hits, which isn’t particularly outstanding when you consider the fact that he played for the Red Sox for 23 years. In addition, he hit 62 home runs and drove in 1,208 runs. The Middletown Mansfields, the Boston Red Stockings/Red Caps, the Providence Grays, the Buffalo Bisons (of the American League), and the Washington Senators were among the teams for which O’Rourke played before retiring from the game to work as a manager.
4. Minnie Miñoso (LF) – 54 years, 311 days
Minnie Mioso Arrieta, also known as Saturnino Orestes Armas Mioso Arrieta or “The Cuban Comet,” was a legendary figure in the Negro Leagues who rose to prominence in the 1920s. That’s why he’s still not listed in certain record books, because Major League Baseball didn’t take those figures into consideration until 2021. Mioso began his professional baseball career with the New York Cubans of the Negro League before going on to play for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, St Louis Cardinals, and Washington Senators, among other teams.
The White Sox retired his number 9 jersey in his honor.
3. Nick Altrock (P) – 57 years, 16 days
When you consider that a pitcher who competed for 21 years only had an 83-75 record, it’s incredible. Consider that Clayton Kershaw has a 185-83 record despite having played 8 less seasons than he has thus far. That was the case with Nick Altrock, a baseball player who is of German heritage and is one of the all-time greats in the sport. Altrock finished his career with a 2.65 earned run average and 425 strikeouts. The Louisville Colonels, Boston Americans, Chicago White Sox, and Washington Senators were among the teams he represented from 1898 to 1919, and he won two World Series while playing for the Colonels and another as a coach after that.
2. Charley O’Leary (SS) – 58 years, 350 days
The narrative of Charley O’Leary is one of the most unusual stories ever told. From 1904 through 1913, he was a shortstop with the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals before pursuing a career as a player-coach in the major leagues. A few days later, he made a pinch-hitting appearance with the St. Louis Cardinals, only a few days before his 59th birthday celebration. That single made him the oldest Major League Baseball player to ever register a hit and score a run, but his accomplishment went unnoticed for a long period of time.
Why? Apparently not until 2010 did researchers finally track down his birth certificate, which turned out to be from 1875 rather than 1882 as he had previously stated.
1. Satchel Paige (P) – 59 years, 80 days
Satchel Paige, the star pitcher, now holds the record for being the most experienced MLB player, a mark that is unlikely to be broken in the foreseeable future. Paige’s Hall of Fame career began in the Negro Leagues, where he played for as many as 11 different clubs between 1926 and 1950. He also had a successful career in Major League Baseball, where he played for the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns, and Kansas City Athletics, earning two MLB All-Star selections and a World Series championship.
The Oldest Living Major League Baseball Players
“‘Hey there, Elder! After a baseball game between armed forces teams in Samoa in 1945, George Elder heard a familiar voice call out to him from center field. “Come here,” he said as he sprinted in from the center field. Elder played center field for the United States Marine Corps All-Star squad, and he was playing only a few weeks after returning from combat on Iwo Jima earlier in the year. On his way off of the field, the United States Navy commander who had summoned him over said, ‘I hear you used to play football back home.” Forget about football, for the time being.
- During his high school football career, he was named captain, and he went on to play running back at Fordham University in New York.
- However, if Ted Williams, dubbed “the greatest hitter who ever lived,” encourages you to play baseball, you do so without hesitation.” Joe Vaccarelli is the author of this work.
- Did you know that there are 15 Hall of Famers on the list of the 500 oldest live baseball players in the world?
- Chet Hoff was the oldest Major League player in baseball history, having lived to be 107 years and 132 days old until he passed away on September 17, 1998, making him the oldest player in the sport’s entire history.
- What if you had the opportunity to conduct biographical baseball research for Baseball Almanac?
- Do you wish to pose a question to the Almanaca regarding one of the players on the list above?
Yearly League Leaders & Records for Oldest
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Sean Smith has supplied the total zone rating as well as a first framework for calculating Wins above Replacement (WAR).
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MLB: These Are the Oldest Baseball Players of All Time
One of the first things that new baseball fans notice is how frequently older players continue to produce at the greatest levels despite their age. Not only is it important to manage the game from the dugout, but it is also important to get filthy while playing in the game itself. In the history of the modern game, pitchers such as Fernando Rodney (42) and Bartolo Colon (44), among others, have been among the game’s oldest players (46). The likes of recent retirement Ichiro Suzuki and a few other position players also made headlines (45).
The following are the five oldest players in the long and illustrious history of Major League Baseball, with their earliest active ages noted after their names.
Jim O’Rourke, 54
Jim O’Rourke was a member of the 1892 New York Giants, and he continued to play until he was 78 years old, making him one of the oldest baseball players in history. | Getty Images courtesy of Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics In 1872, left fielder Jim O’Rourke began his professional career, a time period that predated the full consolidation of Major League Baseball into what we now know as the National League of Baseball. He started his run as a passable catcher for the Middletown Mansfields in the National Association, eventually improving to the point that the Boston Red Stockings — thenot-quite-yet-storied Red Soxas we now know them — signed him in 1876.
He regularly joined minor league teams for small stretches in between his main career as a lawyer.
At his best, he took the NL by storm with a.362 batting average with the 1877 Red Stockings, which contributed to his final career average of.310.
Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso, 54
The following attributes are allowed: ” src=” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; picture-in-picture; picture-in-picture;” allowfullscreen=””> For the majority of baseball fans, Orestes Mioso is a relatively unknown figure. With the exception of White Sox fans and stat nerds, in which case The Cuban Comet is a must-see event for you. Minnie Mioso is an all-time great who should have been honored by Cooperstown earlier this year, but she was not.
He worked his way up from the Negro Leagues to the Chicago White Sox, where he was instrumental in breaking down the color barrier.
His batting average of.298 seemed to be excellent for any period of baseball.
However, Mioso’s underappreciated powers have now caught the attention of statistic enthusiasts. He was notable for amassing a career on-base percentage of.389, which placed him in the same exclusive company as Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams, among others.
Nick Altrock, 57
Nick Altrock was a working-class baseball player who bounced between minor league and major league activity between 1898 and 1933, long before his last name became synonymous with a well-known musical genre. His hard-drinking, partying lifestyle was well-known — and even revered by some — among his peers. While this may or may not have been the cause of his relegation to the minors on a regular basis, from 1904 to 1906, he managed to establish himself as one of the finest left-handed pitchers in baseball.
Unfortunately, an injury put an end to that particular run.
At the age of 57, he made his final appearance for the Washington Senators, cementing his position as one of the game’s oldest players in the history of the sport.
has reassembled a squad, but without someone quite like Nick Altrock.
Charley O’Leary, 58
Charley O’Leary made history by being the oldest major league player to record a hit and a run in the same game only a few weeks before his 59th birthday. The St. Louis Browns took a risk on the former Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers star making a post-retirement cameo, and the gamble paid off handsomely. While serving as a coach, O’Leary was officially a part of the team during his record-breaking hitting performance. In the end, he was more well-known for his successful coaching stints with teams such as the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs than for his comparatively quiet period during his playing career.
At 58 years old, though, that single hit makes him one of the oldest baseball players the Major Leagues has ever produced.
Leroy “Satchel” Paige, 59
The following attributes are allowed: ” src=” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; picture-in-picture; picture-in-picture;” allowfullscreen=””> When it comes to baseball history, fans who fall in love with the game’s past are troubled by the loss of accurate statistics on Negro League players, many of whom may have been among the finest players to ever play the game.
Many of these guys have never played a game on an American or National League field before this season.
Paige was 42 years old when he was finally permitted to make his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians, after terrifying batters in the top Negro League from 1926 through 1948.
The fact that he was the finest pitcher Joe DiMaggio had ever faced was legendary once he made the transition from minor league baseball to major league baseball.
His earned run average (ERA) over his MLB playing years from 42 to 59 was a mind-boggling 3.29. Consider what his true career average may have been if segregation hadn’t isolated his abilities for such a long time.
42-Year-Old Colon Becomes Oldest Player to Hit 1st Home Run
Photograph by Gregory Bull for the Associated Press According to the MLB Stat of the Day, New York Mets pitcherBartolo Colonhad an intriguing weekend, becoming the oldest player in Major League Baseball history to smash his first home run of his career. A fastball from Padres pitcher James Shields was hurled into the left center bleachers at Petco Park by the 42-year-old Colon during the second inning of Saturday’s game against the Padres. The runner on second base was on his way to third base when the ball was launched.
Furthermore, according to MLB Stat of the Day, Colon became the second-oldest player to smash a home run in a Mets uniform, following only the ageless Julio Franco, who blasted a home run for the Amazins at the age of 48, according to Colon.
Having struck out in each of his final two at-bats in Saturday’s game, he now has 121 strikeouts in 228 at-bats (53.1 percent) and has a meager batting average of.092 for the season.
Despite only appearing in seven games (six starts) this season, he has a 2.82 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and 33 strikeouts in 38.1 innings, allowing three or less runs in each of his seven outings.
The Ten Oldest Baseball Players to Play in a Game
Age is little more than a number to these retired baseball players, who defied the passage of time and produced when called upon to do so at a specific age. When Frank Howard reached the ripe old age of 40 in 1976, he encapsulated the angst of many major league baseball players who hoped they could continue to play for as long as they wanted to. According to Howard, “the problem with baseball is that by the time you understand how to play it, you can’t play it anymore.” People frequently assert that age is nothing more than a number.
Players will always have a disadvantage against Father Time no matter how hard they work to keep themselves in shape, eat all of the correct foods, and otherwise hunt in vain for baseball’s holy grail.
Some of the elderly players on the list below were able to continue playing for years and years, while others came out of retirement to compete against men who may have been their sons or even grandchildren, and turned a PR ploy into a commendable if fleeting accomplishment.
(With the exception of a few gray-haired veterans, the players on the following list are listed in chronological order by the age at which they last contributed.)
Franco, who played his last Big League Baseball game 25 days after turning 49 in 2007 for the Atlanta Braves, was the only position player to have stayed as relevant on a major league team at such a late age. In his lone at-bat, Franco drove in a run with a pinch-hit RBI single. Franco got well over 4,000 professional hits over his almost three decades of professional baseball career, which included stints with at least 20 different ballclubs in the Major League Baseball, the lower leagues, Mexico, Japan, and Korea.
At the age of 55, he tried his hand at baseball in the independent United Baseball League, where he batted.222 in 27 at-bats.
Clearly, growing older did not bother him; in a 2007 interview with SBNation, he sneered at the notion of aging, remarking that “as long as you have the capacity to play this game.all That’s that matters.
People believed the Pennsylvania-born southpaw was cheating time when he won 21 games for the Seattle Mariners in 2003 at the age of 41, but they had no idea exactly how much petrol he still had left in the tank at that point in his career. Moyer went on to win 82 more games over the following seven years until succumbing to Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2010 season. Is it the end of your professional life? This is not the case with this individual. As they prepared to return to the field in 2012, the Colorado Rockies offered Moyer an opportunity to redeem himself in spring training, and he responded by earning a spot on the team’s Opening Day roster at the age of 49.
Mister Moyer didn’t give up even after being dismissed by the Rockies; he was scouted by both the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays in the minors before being dropped by both, therefore ruining any hopes of playing professional baseball after turning 50.
The right-handed knuckleballer, who was one of three players on this list to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, got a late start in the major leagues, making his major league debut with the New York Giants in 1952 at the age of 29. Certainly, he would make up for lost time, pitching another 20 years in a career in which he would become the first player in history to win ERA titles in both the National and American Leagues, the first to pitch in 1,000 games, and count teammates ranging from Sal Maglie to Steve Garvey among his many accomplishments and honors.
Wilhelm started off his final season with his previous team, the 1972 Los Angeles Dodgers, by earning a save in his first appearance of the season, retiring the likes of Hank Aaron and Dusty Baker to preserve an 8-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
As a result, Wilhelm played in 15 more games, going 0-for-3 with no wins or saves. This was partly due to the Dodgers’ penchant for inserting him late in games that were already decided in the opposing team’s favor. His last act occurred on July 10, 2016, only 16 days before he turned 50.
When you think about it, it’s really incredible to think about someone playing professional baseball in seven distinct decades, but that’s precisely what Minoso did—even though advertising efforts played a significant role in his success. Following a good minor-league debut in the 1940s, Minoso rose to prominence in the Major Leagues during the 1950s, becoming a popular fixture for both the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Indians. Minoso’s fame began to fade in the mid-1960s as he approached the age of 40, and he relocated to Mexico, where he continued to play for another decade, peaking with a.315 average at the age of 45 in 1971.
Minoso managed only one hit, a single off the California Angels’ Sid Monge, and went hitless in the other six at-bats he took.
When Veeck’s successor, Jerry Reinsdorf, requested that the 64-year-old Minoso return to the plate during the last season of Comiskey Park in 1990, Commissioner Fay Vincent acted like Ebenezer Scrooge and refused the request.
Paul Saints, in which he was intentionally walked in the later game.
Quinn was one of just two big league pitchers born in Slovakia (the other being Elmer Valo), and he was a quality pitcher who never had a particularly good year, with the exception of a 26-win season in 1914 for the short-lived Federal League. In spite of this, he managed to hang around for quite some time, putting up solid numbers in the face of live ball throughout the late 1920s for the Philadelphia A’s as he went into his late 40s. After demonstrating that he could still bat, Quinn became the oldest big leaguer (until Franco, above) to hit a home run in an official regular season game in 1930, at the age of 42.
On June 3, 1933, Quinn was pitching for a terrible Cincinnati team, but he managed to earn his 56th and final career save by retiring all three batters he faced against Pittsburgh after starter Ray Kolp had given up three runs to cut the Reds’ lead to one.
Quinn therefore became the oldest player to ever record a save, despite the fact that the statistic wasn’t officially recorded yet.
He played his final game on July 7, just six days after reaching the half-century mark, and he was released six days later on the same day. Quinn was never given another opportunity to play in the majors, despite brief appearances in minor league games over the next two years.
Altrock, a star pitcher during the Chicago White Sox’ formative years, had an endearingly humorous demeanor and a face to match; all he needed was a gap-toothed smile to pass for Mad Magazine hero Alfred E. Neuman. Altrock was a star pitcher during the Chicago White Sox’ formative years. In the early 1910s, as his arm began to fail him, Altrock took his sense of humour to the field, where he was employed as a base coach by the Washington Senators, who hired him not for his knowledge and leadership, but rather for his ability to entertain the audience with his clown-like performances.
Altrock was periodically rewarded for his antics by being invited to play in actual games—at first with pitching cameos and, subsequently, with guest plate appearances—usually in the final game or two of the season when nothing but pride or, in Altrock’s case, sheer theatrics was on the line.
Altrock made history in 1924 by becoming the oldest major leaguer to officially triple in a game at the age of 48; five years later, he collected a single at the age of 53; and two years after that, he managed a walk—before being struck by a pitch while attempting to steal second.
O’Rourke, another “for the sake of old time’s sake” member on this list, had already etched a place in baseball history as the player who collected the very first hit in the history of the National League in 1876, a feat that still stands today. He would go on to gain another distinction as the oldest player ever to get a hit in a big league game at the time. Despite the fact that O’Rourke had not appeared in a major-league game since 1893, the 54-year-old had been plodding along as a player/manager for Bridgeport of the minor-league Connecticut State League since 1895 when, in 1904, manager John McGraw asked the catcher to play one final game for his New York Giants.
Catching Hall-of-Fame pitcher Joe McGinnity, O’Rourke recorded four putouts, no assists, and one mistake; at the plate, he delivered a single and scored a run in four at-bats as the Giants won 7-5 to clinch the National League pennant.
O’Rourke would go on to play for Bridgeport for the rest of his career, and he would make one final batting appearance for New Haven in 1912, at the age of 61.
Candy Jim Taylor
Negro League players that played much into their apparent primes were catchers Jose Maria Fernandez and Biz Mackey, Nat Rogers and Connie Rector, all of whom continued to play on and off until they were 50 years old or older, or just past that age. While he didn’t reach base safely in his final at-bat in 1942 at the age of 58, Taylor became the oldest player to collect an RBI in an official game in the major leagues. Taylor, who managed, caught, and was an owner for numerous teams in the Negro Leagues since their inception in 1920, had them all beat—as well as most other major leaguers—when he made his final at-bat in 1942.
We say “arguably” because the game logs for the NNL were not accessible at the time of uploading this article.
The Chicago native is arguably the most extreme example of an old coach being dragged off the bench, handed a bat, and given a shot in response to screams of “Let’s see what the ol’ guy can do,” among other things. As a colleague of a young Ty Cobb during his playing days with the Detroit Tigers, O’Leary withdrew from baseball after 1913 and spent the following 20 years as a coach, mostly with the New York Yankees during their rise to prominence in the 1920s. O’Leary was born in the city of Detroit, Michigan.
Louis Browns when, in the season’s final game against the World Series-bound Detroit Tigers, his manager, Rogers Hornsby, let him to take the field for what would be his first official at-bat in 21 years.
Although O’Leary was officially accepted as being 51 at the time of the song, further investigation revealed that he was really born seven years earlier, recalibrating his age to 58 at the time of the last hit, which came only weeks before he turned 59.
It appeared as though the author of a book titledMaybe I’ll Pitch Foreverseemed that he would do just that. Despite performing a great deal of barnstorming and exhibition work on the side, the lanky right-hander began his big league career in 1926 with the Negro National League, where he would remain for the next 20 years until moving on to the New York Yankees. Cleveland and its maverick owner Bill Veeck signed him in 1948, when he was 42 years old. It was widely perceived as a prank, and even Indians manager Lou Boudreau fought with Veeck until the latter agreed to allow Paige to throw 20 pitches to him as a means of demonstrating his worth.
The American League saw Paige throw efficiently from 1951 to 1953; after being released at the age of 47 (at the time, he was believed to be five years older), he signed with and shined with the Triple-A Miami Marlins from 1956 to 1958.
But, late in the summer of 1965, the confrontational, promotion-obsessed Charles Finley hired Paige to play for his Kansas City A’s and assigned him to start on September 25 against the Boston Red Sox at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Paige went on to retire all six batters he faced over the following two innings, relying on a fly ball, two pop-ups, two grounders, and a strikeout.
The Red Sox scored five runs in the ninth inning to win the game, 5-2, after he left.
“Age is an issue of the intellect triumphing over matter,” he added afterwards.
Major league pitchers are stronger and faster than ever, restoring the balance and then some.
The craziest wild pitches in the decade of the 2010s Oh my my, did it actually happen? From 2010 to 2019, we take a look back at some of the most bizarre events that occurred in the world of baseball.