Who has longest OD streak at each position?

March 31st, 2021

The 2021 season is almost here, and several streaks of consecutive Opening Day starts are about to be extended.

With that in mind, here is a look at the player who has the longest active streak of Opening Day starts at each position, taking into account projected 2021 Opening Day lineups.

All-time data is since 1901, the first season for which it is available.

Catcher: Yadier Molina (Cardinals)
Consecutive Opening Day starts through 2021: 17

The last Cardinals catcher not named Molina to start on Opening Day was the team's previous manager, Mike Matheny, in 2004. Molina's 17th total Opening Day start behind the plate will break a tie with Benito Santiago for second on the all-time list, trailing only Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez (20). But with Molina turning 39 in July and back in St. Louis on a one-year deal, it's unclear how much longer he can keep this streak going

If Jason Castro is on the bench for the Astros this Opening Day, no other active catcher would have a streak of longer than five seasons.

Longest all-time streak: 20 -- Ivan Rodriguez (1992-2011)

First base: Joey Votto (Reds)
Consecutive Opening Day starts through 2021: 13

Votto took over the gig from Scott Hatteberg in 2009, and with a contract that runs through '23 (with a '24 club option), he'll be sticking around a while longer. However, his 2021 Opening Day status is in doubt after he missed time this spring due to COVID-19. If Votto can't go, the crown would pass to the Braves' Freddie Freeman, who is set for his 11th consecutive opening start.

Longest all-time streak: 19 -- Joe Judge (1916-34)

Second base: Jose Altuve (Astros)
Consecutive Opening Day starts through 2021: 10

Altuve's first Opening Day (2012) was the Astros' final one as a National League Central team before moving to the American League West. The 2017 AL MVP has gotten the nod in each of his first 10 full seasons, including 2021. With a contract that is set to keep him in Houston through '24, Altuve should remain settled for quite some time.

Robinson Canó started 15 consecutive Opening Days at second base through 2020 but is suspended for all of this season due to PEDs.

Longest all-time streak: 20 -- Joe Morgan (1965-84)

Third base: Josh Donaldson (Twins, Braves, Blue Jays, A's)
Consecutive Opening Day starts through 2021: Nine

Donaldson has bounced around a bit, but wherever he's gone, he's been at the hot corner on Opening Day. The run began with Oakland in 2013, when Donaldson came out of nowhere to establish himself as a late-blooming MVP candidate. Donaldson signed a four-year deal with Minnesota before last season but played only 28 games in 2020.

Nolan Arenado is one year behind Donaldson, heading into his first Opening Day with the Cardinals following a trade from Colorado.

Longest all-time streak: 20 -- Brooks Robinson (1957-76)

Shortstop: Elvis Andrus (A's, Rangers)
Consecutive Opening Day starts through 2021: 13

Andrus took over the Rangers job from Michael Young in 2009, and he started 12 straight years there. But his time in Texas came to an abrupt end this past offseason when he was traded across the AL West to Oakland. Still, the 32-year-old is slated to keep his streak alive in a new uniform.

Andrus' closest active challenger is the Giants' Brandon Crawford, who will set a new club record with his 10th Opening Day start at short in 2021.

Longest all-time streak: 18 -- Luis Aparicio (1956-73)

Left field: Eddie Rosario (Indians, Twins)
Consecutive Opening Day starts through 2021: Six

Left field tends to be a more transient position, so there are no long active streaks here. Rosario debuted with the Twins in May 2015 and established himself in Minnesota for the next five seasons before he was non-tendered after the '20 campaign. AL Central rival Cleveland scooped him up and will hope Rosario can boost what's been an anemic outfield of late.

Longest all-time streak: 17 -- Barry Bonds (1988-2004), Luis Gonzalez (1991-2007)

Center field: Lorenzo Cain (Brewers, Royals)
Consecutive Opening Day starts through 2021: 10

It's been a long road to this point for Cain, a 17th-round Draft pick whose first Opening Day nod came in his age-26 season in 2012 with Kansas City. He became a huge part of the Royals' championship core, then returned as a free agent to Milwaukee, which had shipped him off in the Zack Greinke trade in December 2010. Cain opted out of the '20 season but not before starting on Opening Day and playing in five games.

Mike Trout is one year behind Cain, having started the 2012 season back in the Minors after struggling initially during his 40-game debut in '11.

Longest all-time streak: 20 -- Willie Mays (1954-73)

Right field: Bryce Harper (Phillies, Nationals)
Consecutive Opening Day starts through 2021: Seven

Arizona's Kole Calhoun would have extended his streak to eight this year, if not for a knee injury that will put him on the shelf to open the season. Instead, he passes the baton to Harper, whose first two openers came in left field before he shifted to right in 2015. This will already be Harper's third Opening Day with the Phillies after he signed a 13-year contract that runs through '31.

Longest all-time streak: 15 -- Roberto Clemente (1958-72)

Starting pitcher: Max Scherzer (Nationals) and Aaron Nola (Phillies)
Consecutive Opening Day starts through 2021: Four

Justin Verlander started the past five Opening Days for the Tigers and Astros but now is recovering from Tommy John surgery. So it's a tie at the top between two NL East aces. Scherzer never started an opener as Verlander's teammate in Detroit but likely would be set for his seventh consecutive Game 1 assignment in Washington, if not for a minor injury that delayed his schedule in 2017. Even then, he would be only halfway to the all-time record.

Longest all-time streak: 14 -- Jack Morris (1980-93)