The MLB is a league that has an immense amount of history because of the abundance of spectacular players who have been active in it. There is no question that the league is always changing and it is quite clear that the desire to test the open market is far more common than it once was. It is rare to see star players finish their entire careers with the same team these days and that is definitely disappointing to see. However, when seeing that there are now 30 teams in the league, it does make sense for players to want to play in different environments. Yet on the other hand, this can make their last years in the league make them look out of place.
With all that has been stated thus far, in this article, we will be looking at fifteen MLB players who ended their careers on random teams and five other players who stayed on the same team their entire career. All the players on this list were top notch players either for short stints of their careers or throughout the entirety of them. However, at the end of the day, it will show thatthere have been a lot of stars who finished their careers in locations that you may have never expected. The desire to keep playing in the league definitely can be seen through this as well.
Nonetheless, let’s look at the fifteen MLB players who ended their careers on random teams and five players who stayed on the same team for their entire career!
20 Ended On Random Team: Jason Giambi (Cleveland Indians)
Jason Giambi was an absolute star during his prime years with the Oakland A’s and New York Yankees. He largely because known as a top notch player because of his home run numbers and that gave him a lot of value as a player. However, his career would end up dropping off after allegations.
Giambi would continue to try to stay in the league for a number of years to prove he still was a star player. He kept landing utility jobs for a number of teams at the end of his career and would finish it with the Cleveland Indians in 2014. Although his numbers were bad at that point, he was good for leadership.
19 Ended On Random Team: Roy Oswalt (Colorado Rockies)
Roy Oswalt could go down as one of the most underrated pitchers in the history of the MLB. He was a great ace for the Astros during his prime years with the team and almost led them to a World Series title. Although it would not happen, he was truly a star throughout it.
Oswalt would then be traded to the Phillies once the Astros started to rebuild and was a solid addition for them as well. However, after a bad 2012 season with the Rangers, Oswalt would have one last chance when the Rockies signed him, but he went 0-6 with an 8.63 ERA to go with it.
18 Ended On Random Team: Jim Thome (Baltimore Orioles)
Jim Thome is one of the best natural power hitters in the history of the MLB and that is why he made it into the Hall of Fame this year. After having a career with a plethora of accomplishments, it makes a lot of sense that he is one of the most beloved players of all-time.
However, Thome would end his career with the Baltimore Orioles in one of the strangest locations. Many envisioned that Thome would end up ending his career in a place like Cleveland or Philadelphia, but Thome would end up playing with one of the most random teams out there.
17 Same Team Entire Career: Ted Williams (Boston Red Sox)
Ted Williams is easily the most influential player to ever play on the Red Sox and he forever will be beloved by their fans. Williams is also one of the best players to ever be a part of the MLB and this is evidenced by the fact that he is the last player to ever bat .400 in a regular season.
However, what is most fascinating about Williams is that he played his entire career with the Red Sox. Although he sadly was never able to win a World Series with the team, he is an extremely important part of the history of the MLB and one of the best players of all-time as well.
16 Ended On Random Team: Sammy Sosa (Texas Rangers)
Sammy Sosa is easily one of the best players to ever play for the Chicago Cubs and his tenure there is what he is most remembered for. Although there is a lot of criticism over how he allegedly became a big home run hitter, there is absolutely no question that the is one of the best power hitters in the history of the game.
However, after a falling out with the team, Sosa would end up leaving them and joining the Orioles. He struggled immensely with the team and would then take a year off from the MLB. From there, he completed his career where it started with the Texas Rangers and he definitely looked out of place.
15 Ended On Random Team: Pedro Martinez (Philadelphia Phillies)
Pedro Martinez had an absolutely fantastic career and is the main reason as to why the Red Sox were able to win the World Series back in 2004. This was a pitcher who absolutely dominated the game when he was in his prime and absolutely deserves all the praise he gets.
At the end of the day, it is so weird to see that Martinez would go on to finish his career with the Phillies back in 2009. Although he would end up being a very important piece of their team that season, it just seemed strange to see him end his career not in Boston or even with the Mets.
14 Ended On Random Team: Randy Johnson (San Francisco Giants)
There may never be another pitcher ever in the MLB who is as intimidating as Randy Johnson was. Standing in at 6’10” and boasting of a lot of velocity to go with it, Johnson scared even the greatest of hitters during his prime years. That is what made him such a star in this league.
However, during the dying days of his career, it was extremely surprising to see Johnson end up pitching for the Giants to complete his career. He just looked extremely out of place with this team and it is very likely that most baseball fans may have forgotten he even ended up there at the end of the day.
13 Same Team Entire Career: Cal Ripken Jr. (Baltimore Orioles)
Cal Ripken Jr. is easily one of the most consistent players to ever play in the MLB and that is evidenced by the fact that he played in a record setting 2,632 games in a row. However, besides his durability, Ripken Jr. was a five-tool player and one of the best to ever play the game.
Ripken Jr. would actually spend the entirety of his career with the Baltimore Orioles and is considered to be their greatest player ever. This is a player who loved the city of Baltimore immensely and that is evidenced by the fact that he would end up playing 21 seasons with them.
12 Ended On Random Team: Manny Ramirez (Tampa Bay Rays)
Manny Ramirez is definitely one of the most intriguing and entertaining players in the history of the MLB. He virtually became famous in all of pop culture because of his signature “Manny being Manny” catchphrase. However, he was an absolute star in the process as well.
Ramirez was a star in the MLB and is remembered most for his stints with the Red Sox, Indians, and Dodgers. However, after a number of off-field incidents, he essentially tarnished his reputation. This would lead him to end his career with the low-market Tampa Bay Rays, which, due to said incidents, was otherwise uneventful.
11 Ended On Random Team: Babe Ruth (Boston Braves)
Babe Ruth is one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. Starting his career as a pitcher, he was absolutely dominant with the Boston Red Sox. However, after the team stupidly traded him the Yankees for cash, he became the best power hitter in all of baseball at a quick rate.
Ruth obviously cemented his legacy with the Yankees and now is one of the most popular figures to ever have been part of the MLB. However, even with this being the case, Ruth actually would go on to finish his career with the Boston Braves. That is a fact that a lot of people may have never known.
10 Ended On Random Team: Mike Piazza (Oakland A’s)
Mike Piazza could very well go down as the best hitting catcher in the history of the MLB and this is evidenced by how spectacular his stats were during his prime. He was the star of the Mets for an abundance of years and came very close to leading them to a World Series title in 2000.
It is surprising to see that Piazza did not end his career with the Mets, even with all of the success he had in the city. However, instead, he would have a pretty underwhelming finish with the Oakland A’s. This is something that many fans may have forgotten about entirely because it was so short-lived.
9 Same Team Entire Career: Tony Gwynn (San Diego Padres)
Tony Gwynn was a legend with the San Diego Padres and can easily go down as their franchise star. Gwynn would spend the entirety of his 20-year MLB career with the Padres and due to this fact, he became absolutely beloved in the city and left a huge impact on baseball in general.
When looking at this career statistics, it is absolutely apparent that he could have signed with any team in the world. Instead, he stayed with the struggling Padres for the entirety of his career. There is no question he could have won elsewhere, but Gwynn was a rare loyal player.
8 Ended On Random Team: Hank Aaron (Milwaukee Brewers)
Hank Aaron had one of the best careers in MLB history and many still consider him the home run king, even with Barry Bonds hitting more. This is largely because Aaron played the game entirely clean and will forever be considered as being one of the greatests to ever play in the league.
Aaron is obviously remembered for spending the majority of his career with the Braves’ organization, but it is important to note that he would actually finish his career with the Milwaukee Brewers for two seasons. At that point, he was washed up, but still awesome to watch.
7 Ended On Random Team: John Smoltz (St. Louis Cardinals)
John Smoltz will forever be remembered as one of the greatest pitchers to ever play in the history of the league. He was extremely versatile because he was not only dominant as a starter, but also as a closer for the Braves. He is in the Hall of Fame because of this fact.
What some people may forget is that Smoltz actually would end up finishing his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Red Sox traded him after struggling immensely with the team to them and he would go on to pitch the remainder of the year with the Cardinals putting up subpar numbers.
6 Ended On Random Team: Frank Thomas (Oakland A’s)
Frank Thomas is one of the most underrated players to ever play in the MLB. This is largely because when he was in his prime, it was during a time when many players were hitting astronomical amounts of home runs. Thomas was doing it in a clean fashion while hitting with a high average.
At the end of the day, Thomas ended up being a huge part of the White Sox and helped lead them to their World Series. However, his career would end up being derailed at the end because of many injuries and that would result in him finishing his career under the radar with the Oakland A’s.
5 Same Team Entire Career: Sandy Koufax (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Sandy Koufax was like a fine wine; he only got better with age. Koufax would develop into the ace for the Los Angeles Dodgers and easily can be considered as the greatest pitcher in their entire history. It is a shame however that his career was cut short due to injuries during his prime.
Nonetheless, in the twelve seasons where Koufax was on the Dodgers, he was an extremely important pitcher and led them to have an immense amount of respect as well. At the end of the day, this is one of the best pitchers in the history of the MLB and it is disappointing he could not have had a longer career.
4 Ended On Random Team: Jose Canseco (Chicago White Sox)
Jose Canseco is one of the biggest names in the history of baseball. Although he was spectacular power hitter during his prime years, he definitely is more known for his honesty regarding certain topics. In his book, he admitted to a number of off-field transgressions and talked about other players as well.
To focus on his career, Canseco definitely is remembered most for his years of dominance with the Oakland Athletics. However, many people may forget that Canseco would end his career with a large number of teams before playing his final season with the Chicago White Sox.
3 Ended On Random Team: Vladimir Guerrero (Baltimore Orioles)
Vladimir Guerrero is easily one of the greatest hitters in the history of the MLB because of his ability to hit for contact while having an immense amount of power. He was the face of the franchise for both the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Angels during his prime seasons.
However, as his career progressed, Guerrero definitely would start to drop off a bit as he got older. This would result in Guerrero finishing his career with the Baltimore Orioles where he produced average numbers. He would retire after just one season with them as a result of this.
2 Ended On Random Team: Nomar Garciaparra (Oakland A’s)
Nomar Garciaparra had the league in his hands during his prime years with the Boston Red Sox. Due to this, he definitely is most remembered for his stint with the team and of course, being traded to the Chicago Cubs just months before their first World Series win in 86 long years.
Garciaparra would spend his final years in the league in California. Although his tenure with the Dodgers is definitely remembered by most, there is probably an abundance of individuals who were not aware that he played his final 65 games in the MLB with the Athletics in 2009.
1 Same Team Entire Career: Lou Gehrig (New York Yankees)
Lou Gehrig was easily one of the greatest players in the history of the MLB and he was the heart of the Yankees during their years of pure dominance. His love for the city and organization were definitely displayed by the fact that he would spend his entire 17-year career with them.
It definitely is sad that his career had to end because of his battle with ALS because he was still a star before his diagnosis started to take over his life. Sadly, Gehrig would pass away just two years after his final year with the Bronx Bombers. At the end of the day, he is still one of their most important figures ever.