Major League Baseball consecutive games played streaks
Listed below are the longest consecutive games played in Major League Baseball history. To compile such a streak, a player must appear in every game played by his team. The streak is broken if the team completes a game in which the player neither takes a turn at bat nor plays a half-inning in the field.
The record of playing in 2,632 consecutive games over more than 16 years is held by Cal Ripken, Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken surpassed Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees, whose record of 2,130 consecutive games had stood for 56 years. Before Gehrig, the record was held by Everett Scott (1,307 consecutive games), a shortstop with the Red Sox and Yankees whose streak ended in 1925, less than a month before Gehrig's began. Everett broke the previous record which was established by George Pinkney (577 consecutive games) from 1885–1890.
The record for a National League player is held by Steve Garvey of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres (1975–1983), though Garvey's 1,207-game streak is less than half the length of Ripken's. Previous holders of the National League record include Billy Williams of the Chicago Cubs (1963–1970), Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals (1952–1957), and Gus Suhr of the Pittsburgh Pirates (1931–1937).
A notable recent streak was compiled by Miguel Tejada of the Oakland A's and Baltimore Orioles, who played in 1,152 consecutive games from 2000 to 2007. The current player with the longest active Major League consecutive games streak as of September 27, 2014 is Hunter Pence of the San Francisco Giants with 382.
Of players with at least 500 consecutive games played, ten are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
|Player||Name of the player|
|Streak||Number of consecutive games|
|Start||Date of the game which began the streak|
|End||Date of the final game of the streak|
|Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Streak is active|
|1||Ripken, Jr., CalCal Ripken, Jr.||2,632||May 30, 1982||September 19, 1998|
|2||Gehrig, LouLou Gehrig||2,130||June 1, 1925||April 30, 1939|
|3||Scott, EverettEverett Scott||1,307||June 20, 1916||May 5, 1925|
|4||Garvey, SteveSteve Garvey||1,207||September 3, 1975||July 29, 1983|
|5||Tejada, MiguelMiguel Tejada||1,152||June 2, 2000||June 21, 2007|
|6||Williams, BillyBilly Williams||1,117||September 22, 1963||September 2, 1970|
|7||Sewell, JoeJoe Sewell||1,103||September 13, 1922||April 30, 1930|
|8||Musial, StanStan Musial||895||April 15, 1952||August 22, 1957|
|9||Yost, EddieEddie Yost||829||August 30, 1949||May 11, 1955|
|10||Suhr, GusGus Suhr||822||September 11, 1931||June 4, 1937|
|11||Fox, NellieNellie Fox||798||August 7, 1955||September 3, 1960|
|12||Rose, PetePete Rose||745||September 1, 1978||August 23, 1983|
|13||Murphy, DaleDale Murphy||740||September 26, 1981||July 8, 1986|
|14||Ashburn, RichieRichie Ashburn||730||June 7, 1950||September 26, 1954|
|15||Banks, ErnieErnie Banks||717||August 26, 1956||June 22, 1961|
|16||Rose, PetePete Rose||678||September 28, 1973||May 7, 1978|
|17||Averill, EarlEarl Averill||673||April 14, 1931||June 28, 1935|
|18||McCormick, FrankFrank McCormick||652||April 19, 1938|
|19||Alomar, Sr., SandySandy Alomar, Sr.||648|
|20||Brown, EddieEddie Brown||618|
|21||McMillan, RoyRoy McMillan||585|
|22||Pinkney, GeorgeGeorge Pinkney||577||September 21, 1885||April 30, 1890|
|23||Brodie, SteveSteve Brodie||574|
|24||Ward, AaronAaron Ward||565|
|25||Fielder, PrincePrince Fielder||547||September 14, 2010||May 16, 2014|
|26||Rodriguez, AlexAlex Rodriguez||546|
|27||LaChance, CandyCandy LaChance||540|
|28||Freeman, BuckBuck Freeman||535|
|29||Luderus, FredFred Luderus||533|
|30||Matsui, HidekiHideki Matsui||518|
MLB's rule 10.23(c), defining consecutive game streaks, is as follows: "A consecutive game playing streak shall be extended if the player plays one half inning on defense, or if he completes a time at bat by reaching base or being put out. A pinch running appearance only shall not extend the streak. If a player is ejected from a game by an umpire before he can comply with the requirements of this rule, his streak shall continue."
Thus it is possible for a pinch-runner to enter a game and record a statistic—steal a base, be caught stealing, or score a run—without being credited with a (consecutive) game played. Indeed, Juan Pierre appeared in 821 consecutive games from 2002 to 2007, but on June 3, 2005, he was used solely as a pinch runner. Under Rule 10.23(c), this resulted in separate games-played streaks of 386 and 434 games. 
Similarly, a fielder can field a ball in play, make a putout or an assist, and even commit an error, without being credited with a (consecutive) game played. For example, Hideki Matsui's consecutive games streak was ended when he broke his wrist diving for a ball with two outs in the first inning of the Yankee game of May 11, 2006. That game would have been #519 in his MLB streak and #1,769 in his MLB/Japan game streak (see below), but since Matsui did not play a full half inning on defense, that game is not counted in his streak. MLB and the Society for American Baseball Research both credit Matsui with having played 518 consecutive MLB games.
Streak starts, continuations, and ends
Lou Gehrig's streak started as a pinch-hitter. The next day he started at first base in place of slumping Wally Pipp and stayed there for fourteen years. On July 14, 1934, Gehrig, suffering from an attack of lumbago, was listed in the Yankee lineup at shortstop. He batted in the top of the first inning to preserve the streak, singled, and was promptly removed from the game. Gehrig's streak was ended by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the disease that would take his life. His physical abilities rapidly declining, Gehrig told manager Joe McCarthy to take him out of the lineup on May 2, 1939. He never played again, dying in 1941.
Ripken says that the closest he ever came to not playing during his streak was the day after he twisted his knee during a bench-clearing brawl against the Seattle Mariners in June 1993. When the 1994-95 baseball player's strike threatened to destroy Ripken's streak as baseball owners planned to use replacement players, Baltimore owner Peter Angelos announced that the Orioles would rather not field a team than see Ripken's streak snapped. The replacement player scenario never came to pass, as the remainder of the 1994 season—including the World Series—was cancelled due to the strike. Ripken broke Gehrig's record on September 6, 1995. Ripken himself made the decision not to play on September 20, 1998, the Orioles' last home game of the season. Rookie Ryan Minor played third base for Ripken in a 5-4 loss to the Yankees. Ripken's record is considered by many to be unbreakable.
Miguel Tejada's streak ended after Doug Brocail hit Tejada on the wrist with a pitch on June 20, 2007. During the game on June 21, Tejada took an at-bat in the top half of the first inning, bunting into a fielder's choice. He was removed from the game for a pinch runner, officially keeping the streak alive. But Tejada was then diagnosed with a broken wrist and went to the disabled list, ending his streak at 1,152 games.
From June 5, 1982 to September 14, 1987, Ripken played 8,264 consecutive innings, which is believed to be a record, although not one that is officially kept by MLB. The second-longest streak known to have occurred is 5,152 consecutive innings by George Pinkney from 1885 to 1890.
Combined Japanese–US streak
Hideki Matsui assembled a consecutive games streak of 1,768 games combined between the Japanese league Yomiuri Giants and the Major league New York Yankees, placing him behind only Ripken and Gehrig for streaks in top-flight professional baseball. The MLB portion of Matsui's streak extended for 518 games and represent a record for consecutive games to start a player's big-league career. The entire combined streak stretched from August 22, 1993 to May 10, 2006 and was ended by a wrist injury in what would have been his 519th consecutive game (see above). The major league portion of the streak extended from March 31, 2003 (opening day) until May 10, 2006.
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