The professional athlete who has played for the most teams – 24/7 Wall St.


There are 32 teams in the NFL, 30 in the MLB, 30 in the NBA, and 32 in the NHL. Some players spend their entire careers with one. Baseball Hall of Famer is a good example. He played his entire 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers. However, some players are swapped from team to team, and others who are abandoned from one team sometimes end up finding another.

A category of players who move around often are companions. Companion athletes are good enough to stay in their league for many years to come, but not good enough to feature in a franchise’s long-term plans. Throughout the history of the sport, there have been a handful of companions who have bounced from team to team, never settling in one place. In fact, there are 10 players who have adapted for a dozen or more teams in their careers.

To determine which player played for the most teams, 24/7 Tempo looked at data from the Sports reference family of sites about professional athletes who have played for at least 12 NFL, MLB, NHL or NBA franchises. Only players who were part of the active roster of a franchise were taken into account.

Of the 10 different players who have played for at least a dozen teams in their careers, five were in the MLB, four in the NBA, and just one in the NHL. No NFL player has ever adapted for a dozen teams.

While being a companion player isn’t the most glamorous job in professional sport, it’s still impressive. The record holder played for 14 different MLB teams, meaning nearly half of the teams thought he was good enough to be on their roster. It required consistency, longevity, professionalism, and adaptability, growing from Baltimore to San Diego to nearly a dozen other major cities in 17 years. This long and winding career may never be matched.

The player who played for the most teams was Edwin Jackson. Here are the details:

> Teams played for: 14
> League: MLB
> Length of career: 2003-2019

No professional athlete in modern NFL, NHL, NBA, or MLB history has played for as many teams as 14-year-old Edwin Jackson. The pitcher made his MLB debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003 at just 19. In 2006, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, where he also spent three seasons. Jackson was traded to the Detroit Tigers prior to the 2009 season. There he made his only all-star game, going 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA.

After the season, he was traded four times in 20 months, going from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Chicago White Sox to the Toronto Blue Jays to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he was part of their World Series winning team. 2011. Starting in 2012, Jackson signed a series of free agent contracts, playing for the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres, Orioles. from Baltimore, Washington again, the Oakland A, a second stint in Toronto, and finally back in Detroit for a few games in 2019 to complete his career.

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