I seldom missed a day of school back in Taylors Falls and I continued that practice at work during my working career. The Navy of course reinforced the idea that going to work every day was the only way. I am old school and retired now but back in the day when I worked I took a lot of pride in the fact that I showed up for work day in and day out rain or shine. I figured I was being paid to work so I showed up day after day. It used to drive me crazy when I knew that certain co-workers stayed home because they were hung-over or just plain didn’t feel like working. There were probably times when it would have been safer to stay home due to the snow or ice but not me, I was off to work.
Working every day carries over to my enjoyment of baseball, I like players that come to play ball each day and don’t take time off because they are tired or have a hang-nail. These players are being paid big bucks to play, not to sit on the bench and rest, they can rest on their own time like the rest of us.
So where am I going with this? Today we are going to take a look at the Minnesota Twins players that came to play. Today’s players are playing fewer games then their compatriots did 50 or so years ago for a variety of reasons. The change however; is not as great as I expected to find. When was the last time that a Twins player played in every game that season? That would be Justin Morneau in 2008 when he appeared in all 163 regular season games. Since 1961 and 55 baseball seasons only six Twins players have played in every game and Harmon Killebrew is the only one to do it more than once.
Working or playing every day can be tough and everyone gets sick or hurt now and then so I am going to use 160 games as my measuring stick for players that comes to play, a gamer as they say. Here is a question for you to ponder before you look it up on the list below, what Twins player has played in 160 or more games in a single season the most frequently? Here is a list of Twins players that played in 160 games or more from 1961 through 2015. Most of the players on this list are in the Twins Hall of Fame, the ones that are not deserve to be there!
Paul Molitor the current Twins manager played in 161 games at the age of 39 back in 1996 and I grant you that most of those were at DH but still, the man was 39 years old. Will that thinking factor into his daily line-up make-up? So far it has not.
So how do the Twins compare to the other American League teams from 1961 through the 2015 season? This table shows all the AL teams and how many occurrences they have had of a player appearing in 160 or more games and when it was last accomplished.
|TEAM||160 or more Game occurrences||Last Done|
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A question that came to mind as I was doing this is what impact does the DH in the American League have when you compare it to the National League where double switches are a way of life. Oddly enough the NL had 300 occurrences of players appearing in 160 games or more between 1961 and 2015 and the American League had just two more at 302. I would have thought that there would have been a bigger disparity with all the double switches in the NL contributing to more players appearing in more games.
I am not sure what caused the huge increase in 160 or more games played from 2001-2010 over the previous decade. The players with the most occurrences of 160 or more games played you ask over the time period covered here? That of course would be Cal Ripken with 15 and Pete Rose with 10.