@MBraves Skipper Aaron Holbert: Obscure MLB-Record Holder?

Tip to Tomahawk Take for their “fun fact” this morning on Mississippi Braves manager Aaron Holbert.  They brought up the idea that Holbert might hold an obscure Major League record from his decade-long minor league playing career.

That record?

The longest time passed between first and second major league games played.

Mississippi Braves skipper Aaron Holbert

Mississippi Braves skipper Aaron Holbert

Holbert, a first round pick (18th overall) of the Cardinals in the 1990 draft, made his major league debut on April 14, 1996 against the Phillies.  He went 0-for-3 that game before being optioned to the minors–kicking off a journey back to the big leagues that would last nearly ten more years.

After 3,411 days (or nine years, four months and two days later), Holbert returned to the big leagues, this time with the Cincinnati Reds.  He appeared in his second major league game on August 16, 2005 as a pinch-hitter for starting pitcher Eric Milton.

Nine years!  Nine years of minor league bus rides.  Nine years of year-by-year contracts and not knowing if a team will give you a job the following season.  Nine years of stops in the Cardinals, Mariners, Devil Rays, Red Sox, Marlins, Blue Jays, Mariners (again), Pirates and Reds organizations.

And all that for one more taste of that Major League coffee.

M-Braves broadcaster Kyle Tait got confirmation from the Elias Sports Bureau on Monday morning: Holbert is not the record holder, but he’s close.  The actual record dates way back into the vintage days of baseball, long before the modern structure of minor leagues and the draft as we know it.

The obscure record goes to pitcher Jack McFetridge, who made his debut on June 7, 1890 at the age of 20, then didn’t play another major league game until (around) April 23, 1903–a span of 4,702 days, or 12 years, 10 months and 16 days.

Philadelphia Phillies hurler Jack McFetridge (picture from Baseball Reference)

Philadelphia Phillies hurler Jack McFetridge (picture from Baseball Reference)

Still, Holbert’s tale about his brush with obscure, ancient Major League Baseball history will certainly make for a good story to his grandchildren one day.

And we can always say Holbert holds the record in baseball’s “modern era”.

Kyle Tait is in his fourth season as the radio voice of the Mississippi Braves. Follow him on Twitter @MBravesRadio and hear more at http://www.HearKyleTait.com


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