On Wednesday, eight high-stress, don’t-blink baseball games featuring every single one of the 16 teams who reached the postseason will be played. Games start at noon ET and should go until about 1 a.m. ET, with every second featuring heart-pounding action. It just may be the wildest day in baseball history.
With so many important games all at once, we wanted to know who had played with the most of these teams. Which big leaguer has a closet stuffed with these jerseys and can’t figure out who to root for?
Not surprisingly, the answer is Edwin Jackson. Jackson holds the Major League record by playing for 14 big league teams. Shockingly, ten of those teams are in the playoffs this season. They are (big breath):
Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Chicago -- both Cubs and White Sox -- Braves, Cardinals, A’s, Padres, Marlins, and the Blue Jays.
Jackson never played for more than three seasons with any team and had what is probably his greatest success with the White Sox, where he went 11-9 with a 3.66 ERA across parts of two seasons. Of course, because this is Jackson, he was acquired by the White Sox in the middle of the 2010 season and was sent to the Cardinals in the middle of the next season.
Jackson also made it to the World Series twice -- once with the Rays in 2008, and again when he got his ring with St. Louis in 2011.
Sadly, while 735 pitchers were used in 2020 -- tied for the fifth-most in baseball history despite the shortened season -- Jackson didn’t play this year. So, who has the active title this postseason? Glad you asked.
The award for the Edwin Jackson Postseason Player of 2020 is:
1. Tyler Clippard, RP, Twins -- 7
Postseason teams played for: Yankees, Twins, A's, Indians, Astros, Blue Jays, White Sox
We shouldn’t be surprised -- since 2017, Clippard has played for six of these clubs. It’s like he saw the future and made sure he’d be atop the list.
The goggled reliever is also having a bit of a career renaissance. Over the past two seasons, Clippard’s thrown 88 innings with a 2.86 ERA. The Brewers’ Josh Hader, considered one of the most dominant relievers in the game, has a 2.85 ERA in just 6 2/3 more frames.
Should Clippard come in to face the Astros in the Wild Card Series, he’ll have a reason to be angry: Though he ended the season with Houston in 2017, he never appeared in a game that postseason.
2. (tie) Rich Hill, SP, Twins -- 6
Teams: Dodgers, Twins, A's, Indians, Yankees, Cubs
Another Twin! It’s like being a member of this list is part of their roster-building philosophy.
Hill came up with the Cubs, but struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness until he had to find himself and his unstoppable curveball in the independent leagues. Since his first full season as a starter back in 2016, Hill has a 3.01 ERA -- ninth-best in the Majors over that time. Had he started his career that way, there’s no way he plays for this many teams.
Hill will need the Twins to advance if he wants to see postseason action this year. With only a three-game series and Hill not slated to take the mound, the Twins left the southpaw off the Wild Card Series roster.
2. (tie) Cameron Maybin, OF, Cubs -- 6
Teams: Padres, Marlins, Braves, Cubs, Yankees, Astros
This one went down to the wire. Maybin was stuck at five teams until the Cubs traded for him at the Deadline for some extra outfield depth down the stretch.
Despite all the teams he’s played for in the postseason this year, Maybin’s seen very little playoff action. He reached the postseason with the Astros and Yankees, but received only 15 plate appearances in the two campaigns. That was enough for him to get a ring with Houston, though, so he’s probably not too upset about it.
4. (many ties)
Jesse Chavez, RP, Rangers -- 5
Teams: A’s, Blue Jays, Braves, Dodgers, Cubs
Steve Cishek, RP, White Sox -- 5
Teams: Marlins, Cubs, Rays, Cardinals, White Sox
Oliver Drake, RP, Rays -- 5
Teams: Rays, Brewers, Twins, Indians, Blue Jays
Edwin Encarnación, DH, White Sox -- 5
Teams: Blue Jays, Reds, Indians, Yankees, White Sox
Adeiny Hechavarría, INF, Braves -- 5
Teams: Marlins, Rays, Braves, Yankees, Blue Jays
Erik Kratz, C, Yankees -- 5
Teams: Yankees, Rays, Astros, Blue Jays, Brewers
Encarnación is probably the biggest name rounding out our list, though he may not look back on his time with the White Sox fondly. He hit only .157 this season -- though he also knocked out 10 home runs in only 181 plate appearances.
While Encarnación is also the player with the most postseason experience -- this will be his sixth season in the postseason with four different teams -- every player on this list has made an appearance.
Perhaps most shocking is Kratz’s inclusion -- simply because he hasn’t had much playing time. Here are his career plate appearances with each postseason team:
Blue Jays: 84
Yankees: 32 (but he does have two pitching appearances)
Ah, the life of a journeyman backup catcher. Still, Kratz has had his moments, coming up big with the Brewers in the 2018 NLDS as he picked up five hits and drove in two runs in Milwaukee’s NLDS victory over the Rockies.
Finally, we should make special mention of manager David Ross. If he was still playing for the Cubs, he’d also make the list for five teams: Braves, Dodgers, Reds, Cubs and Padres.