While watching the Yankees play the Royals last week, I was surprised to see Reggie Sanders in a Kansas City uniform. It’s not a wild concept that Sanders could be playing in Kansas City, but what was interesting was that he has done it now two years in a row. It made me look up his career stats, and I learned that he played for St. Louis before the Royals and he played with them for two consecutive years. The reason why this was so interesting is because from 1998 to 2004, Sanders played for a different team every season.
1991-98: Cincinnati Reds
1999: San Diego Padres
2000: Atlanta Braves
2001: Arizona Diamondbacks
2002: San Francisco Giants
2003: Pittsburgh Pirates
2004-05: St. Louis Cardinals
2006-07: Kansas City Royals
Even more remarkable is that he’s only been traded twice in that span and both within the same calendar year. He was traded on February 2nd, 1999 by the Cincinnati Reds with Josh Harris and Damian Jackson to the San Diego Padres for Mark Sweeney and Greg Vaughn. Then on December 22, 1999 he was traded by the San Diego Padres with Wally Joyner and Quilvio Veras to the Atlanta Braves for Bret Boone, Ryan Klesko, and Jason Shiell. Every move since that December 1999 trade has been via free agency.
He made a single appearance at the All-Star game, in 1995 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, where he struck out in his only plate appearance. Sanders has also played in three World Series, winning in 2001 as part of the Diamondbacks, losing in 2002 with the Giants and losing again in 2004 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Needless to say, the number of teams Sanders has played for is enough to call his career impressive. But I also learned that Sanders is one of 6 players in Major League history to record 300 home runs, 300 stolen bases and 300 doubles. The other players? Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds, Andre Dawson, and Steve Finley. That is some amazing company.
So while we ooh and aah over Barry Bonds’ trip to the all-time home run record and Alex Rodriguez’s pursuit of 500 (in addition to Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield’s), let’s take a minute to give it up for Reggie Sanders.