Evan Longoria to Nolan Ryan to Kevin Newman

Evan Longoria

Every day I pull one card from a 2023 Topps Heritage pack. Today’s card is 3B Evan Longoria. I was surprised to see him still playing. And that he played for the Diamondbacks last year.

Looking up his Wikipedia page, “The 15-year gap between Longoria’s two World Series appearances is the longest for a position player in MLB history.”

15-years between World Series appearances. I would have guessed there’s someone with like 20 years as the record. But 20 years is a very long MLB career.

392 MLB players have 18+ seasons
173 MLB players with 20+ seasons
(source)

So having a 15-year gap between World Series appearances sounds very plausible to be the record.

The top 10 players with the most seasons:

PlayerYearsTotal seasons
Cap Anson1871-189727
Nolan Ryan1966-199327
Deacon McGuire1884-191226
Tommy John1963-198926
Bobby Wallace1894-191825
Eddie Collins1906-193025
Jim Kaat1959-198325
Charlie Hough1970-199425
Rickey Henderson1979-200325
Jamie Moyer1986-201225

Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan played 27 seasons. Amazing. And he turns 77 today.

How did Nolan Ryan end up retiring at age 46? Why didn’t he keep on going? His sabr profile says:

The end came on September 22, 1993, at Seattle. In his last career start, while throwing a fastball in the first inning, Ryan tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Later that night in the clubhouse, he described his final game. “I heard the ligament pop like a rubber band. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to throw again. My body is telling me it’s time to move on and do something else.”

Yipes.

That Nolan Ryan and Robin Ventura fight happened exactly seven weeks before his last career game. I forgot how that infamous fight was so close to the end of his career. I picture it being more in the middle of this five-year reign with Texas. But just 49 days before?

Only one MLB player has been born on the day of the Ryan-Ventura fight (August 4, 1993) — Kevin Newman.

Kevin Newman

I wish I had something interesting to say about Kevin Newman. Pretty much the biggest thing is that he was born on the day of the Ryan-Ventura fight.

He was the worst player on the Pirates in 2018 with a -0.9 fWAR. The following year he was the 6th best player on the Pirates with a 2.1 fWAR. Then, in 2020, he flopped back down to being the 4th worst player on the Pirates with a -0.4 fWAR.

  • Played shortstop for the Pirates 2018-2022.
  • 2023 with the Reds.
  • Now with the Diamondbacks.

What’s Robin Ventura up to these days? It would be funny if somehow Ventura became the manager (or a coach) of Kevin Newman.

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