John Bazemore/Associated Press
That’s the last time Kazmar played in the bigs for 4,589 days. However, he made his triumphant return to an MLB club’s roster Saturday when he served as a pinch hitter for the Atlanta Braves during their road game against the Chicago Cubs.
Kazmar grounded into a double play, but the fact that the resilient infielder was able to come back after nearly 13 years in the minors is impressive enough.
Outside of a 57-game Double-A stint in 2012, Kazmar played Triple-A ball for affiliates of the Padres, Seattle Mariners and New York Mets from 2009 to 2019. He spent 2013-2019 with the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers but never got the call up to Atlanta.
That changed Saturday when Atlanta announced the team selected Kazmar to the active roster.
ESPN News Services broke down some other notable gaps between major league appearances over the years.
“Kazmar’s gap between major league appearances is the longest since 1950, surpassing those of Minnie Minoso (12 years, 68 days) and Satchel Paige (12 years, 3 days). The most recent player with a longer gap was right-hander Ralph Winegarner, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Winegarner played on June 23, 1936, for the Cleveland Indians and did not return to the majors until July 7, 1949, with the St. Louis Browns—a span of 13 years, 14 days.”
The 36-year-old Kazmar has now played professional ball for 17 seasons after entering the Atlanta lineup Saturday.