During the regular season, a Major League Baseball team is going to have three major roster changes which start after Spring Training when the teams have to cut their roster down to the maximum required limit of 25. They get another change when September call-ups start, allowing them to expand to use their entire 40 man roster before being reduced back down to 25 when the postseason begins.
This leads to plenty of players sticking around long after they have reached their peak just hoping to earn one of those coveted roster spots as they head into the postseason. But it’s not always just about players looking for a ring before they retire. There are a lot of MLB stars that most people have forgotten about winning a World Series because of when they won it.
Miguel Cabrera has one World Series win, in 2003, when he was 20 years old and playing for the Florida Marlins. However, most people probably thought he won a ring in Detroit but unfortunately, they have not won a World Series in a very long time.
That is one example of a long list of superstars that have won at least one World Series ring in their career that you most likely forgot about or did not even know about it until today.
Here are the 15 Players You Won’t Believe Have A World Series Ring
15 Jose Vizcaino, New York Yankees (2000)
During his entire career, Jose Vizcaino was best known as a backup infielder, having played for multiple teams from the American and National Leagues, for his entire 18-year career. It is rare to have a backup stick around for nearly 20 seasons but Jose figured out a way and ended up striking gold in 2000 when he was lucky enough to land a spot on the New York Yankees World Series team.
From 1989 until 2006, Jose played for eight different teams, two of them twice, including the Los Angeles Dodgers (twice), Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants (twice), New York Yankees, Houston Astros, and St.Louis Cardinals. Even after spending time in almost every major city in the MLB, Jose still managed to retire with a .270 Batting Average, 204 Doubles, 633 Runs, and 480 RBI.
But for someone that played for the Giants, Dodgers, Mets, and Yankees, it is surprising that he only won one World Series ring in 2000. He began the season in Los Angeles before being traded in June to New York where he hit .276, with 10 RBI. Vizcaino started four of the five games in the Series.
14 Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox (2005)
Much like Jose Vizcaino, Paul Konerko was another long time MLB player that ended up playing 18 years, mostly for the Chicago White Sox. However, he was not a career backup, he was a starting First Baseman and Designated Hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds before finally landing a spot on the White Sox, where he would remain for 16 seasons.
The White Sox spent a very long time without winning a World Series title. In fact, before the 2005 season, the White Sox last World Series appearance was in 1959 when they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. The last time they won a World Series was all the way back to 1917 when they beat the New York Giants.
So seeing Paul Konerko lead his White Sox to the 2005 World Series, claiming his one and only ring, is a big deal, especially for Chicago fans.
13 Barry Larkin, Cincinnati Reds (1990)
Barry Larkin is a one of the greatest shortstops to ever play professional baseball and that is a very prestigious list. He has been ranked alongside Cal Ripken Jr., Honus Wagner, Ozzie Smith, Derek Jeter, Ernie Banks, and Robin Yount.
However, for being such an incredible athlete, Barry Larkin only managed to reach the postseason twice in his 19-year career, in 1990 and 1995. The good news is that in 1990, he was part of a Reds team that went wire-to-wire that season, a feat only accomplished five times in MLB history. (Wire-to-Wire is when a team begins the season in first place in their division and remains there throughout the entire regular season and wins the World Series.)
So even though they were a one-hit wonder in 1990, it was good enough to get a Hall of Fame shortstop his one and only ring.
12 Jamie Moyer, Philadelphia Phillies (2008)
When Jamie Moyer was only 23 years old, in 1986, he began his MLB career with the Chicago Cubs. It was anything but memorable as he finished with a 7-4 record and a 5.05 ERA. He did manage one amazing game that year when he went to Montreal and pitched a complete game shutout, giving up only two hits. It was one game but it was impressive enough that the rookie ended up playing for another 25 years.
After playing 25 seasons, he managed to play for eight different teams, never once giving up on the sport he dedicated his entire life to play. It wasn’t until he turned 45 years old that he finally reached the World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Imagine playing professional baseball for 22 years before winning your first World Series at the age of 45. Surprisingly, however, he wasn’t the oldest to play in the World Series. Jack Quinn accomplished that feat, twice, in 1929 and 1930 when he was 46 and 47.
11 Francisco Cervelli, New York Yankees (2009)
In his first five seasons, the Italian born in Venezuela, Francisco Cervelli, fought his way through the minor league farm system of the New York Yankees before finally making his MLB debut in September of 2008 as the Yankees starting catcher for a few games. He would go on to remain the backup catcher for several seasons until being traded to Pittsburgh where he has become their starting catcher.
As a member of the 2009 New York Yankees team, even without ever playing a single game in the World Series in his career, he won a ring for being on the active roster that year.
It is one of those rare moments when a backup catcher ends up never playing a single moment and can still earn himself a spot on the 2009 New York Yankees World Series banner. If you ask him about the ring, chances are he is not going to speak about it with a lot of excitement mainly because professional athletes that do not feel as though they earned the ring, normally do not enjoy discussing it either.
10 A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox (2005)
For most of his career, A.J. Pierzynski has been known as a dirty player, having dealt with several allegations of dirty play. Besides being a dirty player and a veteran MLB starting catcher, A.J. is best known for an incident that happened in 2006 when he was tagging up from third base following a fly ball out. Chicago Cubs catcher Michael Barrett was the unlucky player that was run over by A.J. at the plate.
The incident could have ended right there but A.J. decided to not let the moment go and after his takedown of Barrett, he proceeded to show him up by slamming the plate with his hand as a sign of dominance over him. That made Barrett angry and it led to a bench clearing brawl where both players were suspended.
Although he had a big mouth and could not help himself from speaking the things we were all thinking, he stayed in baseball for a long time because he was one of the best catchers in the game defensively and even holds the American League record for consecutive errorless chances, beating Yogi Berra's longstanding record. And yes, A.J. has a World Series ring.
9 Moises Alou, Florida Marlins (1997)
Moises Alou was already a MLB veteran by the time he was signed by the Chicago Cubs in 2002. He dealt with injuries in his first season but during the 2003 season, he ended up becoming their starting Left Fielder and we all know what happened next, right?
The Steve Bartman incident is one that still resonates in every single Chicago Cubs fans' mind. For those of you who don't know, Steve Bartman was the fan that reached into the path of Moises Alou's vision and he disrupting a routine fly ball out during the National League Championship Series. At the time, the Cubs were up 3-0 in the eigth inning but after that play, things fell apart and the Cubs lost the next two games, being eliminated from the postseason.
If he makes that catch, the Cubs could have made their way to the World Series and broke the longstanding curse. It would have been his second World Series ring having already won one in 1997 when he was with the Florida Marlins.
8 Craig Counsell, Florida Marlins/Arizona D’Backs (1997, 2001)
Not only did Craig Counsell win a World Series ring in 1997 with the Florida Marlins, a team that had so many star players it's tough to keep track of who ended up where, but he also won a ring with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 where he was also the NLCS MVP.
The Milwaukee Brewers newest Manager was once a role playing veteran that got very lucky throughout his 16-year career thanks to his defensive prowess and leadership in the locker room. This man might not have put up good numbers, he was a career .255 hitter, but he was one of those players that you would pick up because you knew he could play the middle infield better than a lot of others in the NL.
7 Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Dodgers (1981, 1988)
Long before he was the manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Mike Scioscia was a Major League catcher for another Los Angeles team, the Dodgers. He played for about 13 seasons and did surprisingly well, although most casual baseball fans probably don't remember him during the '80s.
Mike Scioscia was there for the 1981 World Series when Fernando Valenzuela led the Los Angeles Dodgers to their first World Series win since 1965, in a strike shortened season. Mike was also around in 1988 when Orel Hershiser had one of the best seasons in baseball history en route to the Dodgers sixth World Series ring, and their last.
He was the starting catcher for 10 of his 13 seasons with the Dodgers earning a .259 batting average, with 68 HR and 446 RBI.
6 Hank Aaron, Milwaukee Braves (1957)
If you were curious as to how Hank Aaron reached 755 Home Runs in his 23-year career, the answer is simple, consistency, consistency, consistency.
Hammerin’ Hank Aaron hit 30 or more Home Runs 15 times and of those 15 seasons, he hit more than 40 eight times. He also hit 20 or more Home Runs in 20 of his 23 years in baseball. In fact, his lowest Home Run total was 10, in 1976, when he was 42 years old and in his final season.
Somewhere along the way, he won a World Series in 1957 and in the following season, came within one game of a repeat but fell short when the Milwaukee Braves lost the 1958 World Series to the New York Yankees.
5 Bobby Bonilla, Florida Marlins (1997)
The only thing fans today remember about Bobby Bonilla for is that terrible contract the New York Mets gave him in the late '90s before releasing him in 2000. The part of the contract that makes it so terrible is thE the deal was for the Mets to pay him $1.19 million a year until 2035. They only owed him $5.9 million but will end up paying him $29.8 million as a part of this deal.
He was a great talent and was even the highest paid player in the league for a few seasons before landing in Florida for the 1997 season World Series run where he finally got the World Series ring he had been striving for since he entered the league in 1986. He came close a few times but never got to the World Series except for that season and he did not let that opportunity pass him by.
4 Paul Molitor, Toronto Blue Jays (1993)
From 1978 to 1992, Paul Molitor played for the Milwaukee Brewers and could have retired in '92 while still making the Hall of Fame one day. But he decided to keep playing and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays where, at 36 years old, he won his first and only World Series ring.
Most fans forgot about his time North of the border and the fact that he was a key piece to the Blue Jays World Series repeat in 1993.
In his three seasons with Toronto, Paul Molitor hit 51 Home Runs with 246 RBI and a .315 batting average. But that was something he did all the time which is why he is in the Hall of Fame today. Paul Molitor has a well-deserved World Series ring.
3 Kevin Cash, Boston Red Sox (2007)
When Joe Maddon headed to Chicago to take on the role of managing the Cubs, the Tampa Bay Rays started looking for a replacement. They found one in Kevin Cash, a former Boston Red Sox catcher and bullpen coach with the Cleveland Indians under Terry Francona.
In his first two seasons as the manager of the Rays, Kevin Cash has turned in a mediocre record of 148-176 in the toughest division in baseball, the American League East. It was a tough gig to begin with having to fight with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, and Baltimore Orioles. Of the five teams in that division, any of them besides the Ray can go on a deep postseason run which is scary to know. Cash may never get a World Series ring with the Rays but he has one with the Red Sox.
2 Frank Thomas, Chicago White Sox (2005)
If you ever wanted to win a bar bet, try this one on for size. Ask someone which Hall of Fame MLB player spent the majority of his career with the same team only to get injured and miss the postseason during the team’s first trip to the World Series in 46 years but still get a World Series ring?
There is a very low chance anyone knows the answer to this one except for a few die hard White Sox fans but if you knew it, that’s impressive.
Frank “Big Hurt” Thomas was a legend in Chicago, spending 16 seasons with them while hammering 448 Home Runs, 1,465 RBI, and hitting .307. But in 2005, when they finally got to the postseason with a team good enough to win it all, he got hurt and missed the entire playoffs. However, because of his dedication to the organization, the Hall of Fame designated hitter was granted an honorary ring.
1 Nolan Ryan, New York Mets (1969)
If you were to ask most baseball fans when the legendary pitcher won a World Series ring, odds are they will not get this one correct 90% of the time because it was during Nolan Ryan’s third season in MLB, back in 1969, when he was still playing for the New York Mets.
For the first five seasons of his career, Nolan Ryan pitched in New York where, in only 510 Innings Pitched, he ended up with a 29-38 record, 3.58 ERA and 493 Strikeouts.
The 22-year old pitcher got his one and only chance of a 27-year Hall of Fame career, as the greatest pitcher of all time, to pitch in the World Series when he was asked to close out the final 2.1 innings with a 4-0 lead over the Baltimore Orioles. His performance was good enough to earn his first and only postseason save in his illustrious pitching career.