Barry Bonds, the all-time leader in games played as a left fielder

Games played (most often abbreviated as G or GP) is a statistic used in team sports to indicate the total number of games in which a player has participated (in any capacity); the statistic is generally applied irrespective of whatever portion of the game is contested. In baseball, the statistic applies also to players who, prior to a game, are included on a starting lineup card or are announced as ex ante substitutes, whether or not they play;[1] however, in Major League Baseball, the application of this statistic does not extend to consecutive games played streaks. A starting pitcher, then, may be credited with a game played even if he is not credited with a game started or an inning pitched. The left fielder (LF) is one of the three outfielders, the defensive positions in baseball farthest from the batter. Left field is the area of the outfield to the left of a person standing at home plate and facing toward the pitcher's mound. The outfielders' duty is to try to catch long fly balls before they hit the ground or to quickly catch or retrieve and return to the infield any other balls entering the outfield. The left fielder must also be adept at navigating the area of left field where the foul line approaches the corner of the playing field and the walls of the seating areas. Being the outfielder closest to third base, the left fielder generally does not have to throw as far as the other outfielders to throw out runners advancing around the bases, so they often do not have the strongest throwing arm, but their throws need to be accurate. The left fielder normally plays behind the third baseman and shortstop, who play in or near the infield; unlike catchers and most infielders (excepting first basemen), who are virtually exclusively right-handed, left fielders can be either right- or left-handed. In the scoring system used to record defensive plays, the left fielder is assigned the number 7.

Because game accounts and box scores often did not distinguish between the outfield positions, there has been some difficulty in determining precise defensive statistics prior to 1901; because of this, and because of the similarity in their roles, defensive statistics for the three positions are frequently combined. However, efforts to distinguish between the three positions regarding games played during this period and reconstruct the separate totals have been largely successful; players whose totals include pre-1901 games are notated in the table below. Barry Bonds is the all-time leader in career games played as a left fielder with 2,715.[2][3] Rickey Henderson (2,421),[4] Luis Gonzalez (2,418),[5] Zack Wheat (2,328),[6] Fred Clarke (2,186),[7] and Lou Brock (2,161)[8] are the only other players to appear in over 2,000 games in left field in their careers.

Key

Rank Rank amongst leaders in career games played. A blank field indicates a tie.
Player (2024 Gs) Number of games played during the 2024 Major League Baseball season
MLB Total career games played as a left fielder in Major League Baseball
* Denotes elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame
Denotes total including pre-1901 games
Bold Denotes active player[a]

List

Christian Yelich, the active leader and 88th all-time in games played as a left fielder
Rickey Henderson holds the American League record.
Zack Wheat held the major league record for 75 years.
Ted Williams held the American League record for 42 years.
Goose Goslin held the American League record for 25 years.
Jesse Burkett simultaneously held the National League and American League career records.
Rank Player (2024 Gs) Games as a left fielder Other leagues, notes
MLB American League National League
1 Barry Bonds 2,715 0 2,715
2 Rickey Henderson* 2,421 1,985 436 Held major league record, 2001-2004
3 Luis Gonzalez 2,418 132 2,286
4 Zack Wheat* 2,328 57 2,271 Held major league record, 1926-2001; held National League record, 1926-2003
5 Lou Brock* 2,161 0 2,161
6 Ted Williams* 1,982 1,982 0 Held American League record, 1960-2002
7 Tim Raines* 1,961 771 1,190
8 Goose Goslin* 1,946 1,946 0 Held American League record, 1935-1960
9 Carl Yastrzemski* 1,912 1,912 0
10 Joe Medwick* 1,790 0 1,790
11 Carlos Lee 1,770 876 894
12 Billy Williams* 1,738 1 1,737
13 Matt Holliday 1,711 93 1,618
14 Bobby Veach 1,677 1,677 0 Held American League record, 1922-1935
15 Jimmy Sheckard 1,669 0 1,669
16 Sherry Magee 1,603 0 1,603
17 Carl Crawford 1,595 1,322 273
18 Bob Johnson 1,586 1,586 0
19 George Foster 1,549 11 1,538
20 Roy White 1,521 1,521 0
21 Minnie Miñoso* 1,509 1,482 27 Negro League totals unavailable
22 Jim Rice* 1,503 1,503 0
23 Raúl Ibañez 1,467 1,059 408
24 Gary Matthews 1,446 0 1,446
25 Duffy Lewis 1,414 1,414 0 Held American League record, 1919-1922
26 José Cruz 1,407 4 1,403
27 Charlie Jamieson 1,393 1,393 0
28 Garret Anderson 1,387 1,236 151
29 Heinie Manush* 1,381 1,381 0
30 Al Simmons* 1,372 1,285 87
31 Alex Gordon 1,361 1,361 0
32 Pat Burrell 1,327 1 1,326
33 Fred Clarke* † 1,322 0 1,322 Held major league record, 1909-1926; held National League record, 1905-1926
34 Ralph Kiner* 1,307 87 1,220
35 Del Ennis 1,290 25 1,265
36 Joe Vosmik 1,278 1,239 39
37 Greg Vaughn 1,262 828 434
38 Lonnie Smith 1,258 273 985
39 Jo-Jo Moore 1,248 0 1,248
40 Moisés Alou 1,242 0 1,242
Ryan Braun 1,242 0 1,242
42 Willie Stargell* 1,229 0 1,229
43 Greg Luzinski 1,221 0 1,221
44 George Burns 1,215 0 1,215
45 Jason Bay 1,208 237 971
Gene Woodling 1,208 1,180 28
47 Topsy Hartsel 1,202 1,071 131 Held American League record, 1906-1909
48 Ron Gant 1,184 40 1,144
49 Patsy Dougherty 1,180 1,180 0 Held American League record, 1909-1919
50 Jack Graney 1,172 1,172 0
51 Joe Rudi 1,158 1,158 0
52 Vince Coleman 1,153 196 957
Shannon Stewart 1,153 1,153 0
54 Ken Williams 1,133 1,071 62
55 Jeff Heath 1,127 1,001 126
Lou Piniella 1,127 1,127 0
57 Mike Greenwell 1,124 1,124 0
58 George Bell 1,123 977 146
59 Willie Horton 1,112 1,112 0
60 Bibb Falk 1,110 1,110 0
61 Tommy Davis 1,103 303 800
66 Ben Oglivie 1,100 1,100 0
63 Dusty Baker 1,091 68 1,023
64 Cliff Floyd 1,084 21 1,063
65 Kevin McReynolds 1,069 198 871
66 Alfonso Soriano 1,056 59 997
67 Bob Bescher 1,053 0 1,053
68 Babe Ruth* 1,047 1,025 22
69 Brett Gardner 1,044 1,044 0
70 Manny Ramirez 1,037 837 200
71 Hank Sauer 1,029 0 1,029
72 Leon Wagner 1,027 912 115
73 Justin Upton 1,025 621 404
74 Melky Cabrera 1,023 809 214
Adam Dunn 1,023 12 1,011
76 Albert Belle 1,017 1,017 0
77 Irish Meusel 1,016 1 1,015
78 Gus Zernial 1,005 1,005 0
79 Augie Galan 1,000 7 993
80 Bernard Gilkey 996 7 989
81 Al Martin 938 100 838
82 Alex Johnson 935 526 409
83 Michael Brantley 934 934 0
84 Stan Musial* 929 0 929
85 Luis Polonia 927 909 18
86 Steve Kemp 925 858 67
87 Frank Howard 923 860 63
88 Christian Yelich (9) 920 0 920
88 Geoff Jenkins 910 0 910
90 Josh Willingham 906 340 566
91 B.J. Surhoff 904 743 161
92 Jeffrey Leonard 896 190 706
93 Bob Skinner 893 0 893
94 Carson Bigbee 890 0 890
95 Riggs Stephenson 885 2 883
96 Dale Mitchell 880 878 2
97 Charlie Keller 874 874 0
98 Eddie Rosario (4) 869 653 216
99 Ralph Garr 863 354 509
100 Matty McIntyre 861 861 0

Other Hall of Famers

Player Games as a left fielder Other leagues, notes
MLB American League National League
Frank Robinson* 834 130 704
Chick Hafey* 788 0 788
Jim O'Rourke* † 770 0 760 Includes 10 in Players' League
Max Carey* 660 0 660
Hugh Duffy* † 571 9 555 Includes 7 in American Association
Monte Irvin* 546 0 490 Includes 56 in Negro National League (second) (incomplete)
Tommy McCarthy* † 514 0 463 Includes 41 in Union Association, 10 in American Association
Enos Slaughter* 509 119 390
Harmon Killebrew* 471 471 0
Dave Winfield* 465 351 114
Billy Hamilton* † 434 0 424 Includes 10 in American Association
Chipper Jones* 356 0 356
Kiki Cuyler* 332 0 332
Hank Aaron* 315 4 311
Mule Suttles* 271 0 0 Includes 179 in Negro National League (first), 91 in Negro
National League (second), 1 in East–West League (incomplete)
Chuck Klein* 258 0 258
Willie McCovey* 256 0 256
Hank Greenberg* 238 238 0
Earle Combs* 214 214 0
Orlando Cepeda* 213 0 213
Hack Wilson* 201 0 201
Freddie Lindstrom* 183 0 183
Cool Papa Bell* 175 0 0 Includes 173 in Negro National League (second),
2 in Negro National League (first) (incomplete)
Sam Crawford* † 138 51 87
Mickey Mantle* 129 129 0
Cristóbal Torriente* 128 0 0 Includes 128 in Negro National League (first) (incomplete)
Lloyd Waner* 128 0 128
Ned Hanlon* † 119 0 119
Craig Biggio* 109 0 109
Willard Brown* 107 0 0 Includes 107 in Negro American League (incomplete)
Billy Southworth* 95 11 84
Earl Averill* 84 83 1
Harry Hooper* 81 81 0
Edd Roush* 80 0 43 Includes 37 in Federal League
Robin Yount* 69 69 0
Joe DiMaggio* 67 67 0
Cap Anson* † 46 0 45 Includes 1 in National Association
Mel Ott* 30 0 30
Martín Dihigo* 29 0 0 Includes 16 in Negro National League (second), 8 in Eastern Colored League,
5 in American Negro League (incomplete)
Pete Hill* 26 0 0 Includes 15 in Eastern Colored League,
11 in Negro National League (first) (incomplete)
Todd Helton* 13 0 13

Notes

  1. ^ A player is considered inactive if he has announced his retirement or has not played for a full season.

References

  1. ^ Section 20 of the official scorer guidelines
  2. ^ "Barry Bonds Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  3. ^ West, Steve. "Barry Bonds Bio". Society For American Baseball Research. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "Rickey Henderson Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  5. ^ "Luis Gonzalez Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  6. ^ "Zack Wheat Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  7. ^ "Fred Clarke Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  8. ^ "Lou Brock Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 23, 2021.