Oldest baseball players in MLB history & the most experienced active ballplayers

Minnie Minoso
Minnie Minoso is one of the oldest baseball players of all-time. Photo from The Athletic.

Unlike other sports, baseball allows players to have a bit of a longer career. The oldest MLB player on average is older than the oldest NBA player, and let’s not even get started on the NFL.

Even so, the oldest baseball players of all time have definitely taken that way too far. They played until their arms couldn’t move anymore and well, let’s just say that they enjoyed a very, very long career.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the most experienced MLB player and answer common questions such as who is the oldest MLB player? Who are the oldest active MLB players? and who are the oldest MLB players of all-time?

Oldest active MLB players:

Oldest MLB players of all-time:

5. Jim O’Rourke (OF) – 54 years, 21 days

Also known as “Orator Jim”, Jim O’Rourke became a baseball legend in no time. He averaged .310 and had 2,639 hits in his career, which isn’t as impressive if you consider the fact that he played for 23 years. Also, he hit 62 home runs and 1,208 RBIs.

O’Rourke played for the Middletown Mansfields, Boston Red Stockings/Red Caps, Providence Grays, Buffalo Bisons, New York Giants, and Washington Senators before staying close to the game as a manager. He also led the National League in home runs in 1880.

4. Minnie Miñoso (LF) – 54 years, 311 days

Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso Arrieta, also known as Minnie Miñoso or “The Cuban Comet” was a legend out of the Negro Leagues.

That’s why some record books still don’t include him, as Major League Baseball didn’t consider those numbers until 2021.

Miñoso shined for the New York Cubans of the Negro League before playing for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, St Louis Cardinals, and Washington Senators. He was a 2-time Negro League All-Star, Negro League champion, a 3-time leader in stolen bases, 9-time MLB All-Star, and the White Sox retired his number 9 jersey.


3. Nick Altrock (P) – 57 years, 16 days

It’s crazy to think that a pitcher who played for 21 years only had an 83-75 record. For context, Clayton Kershaw has a 185-83 record despite playing 8 fewer seasons thus far. That was the case with Nick Altrock, of German descent, and one of the oldest baseball players of all-time.

Altrock logged a career ERA of 2.65 and struck out 425 hitters. He played for the Louisville Colonels, Boston Americans, Chicago White Sox, and Washington Senators from 1898-1919, winning 2 World Series as a player and one later as a coach.

2. Charley O’Leary (SS) – 58 years, 350 days

Charley O’Leary‘s story is one of the most bizarre there is. He played at shortstop for the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals from 1904 to 1913 before pursuing a career as a player-coach. Then, just a couple of days before his 59th birthday, he had a pinch-hitting appearance with the St Louis Cardinals.

That single made him the oldest MLB player to ever record a hit and score a run, but that record wasn’t acknowledged for a lot of time. Why? Well, turns out that it wasn’t until 2010 that researchers found his birth certificate, which was dated 1875 instead of 1882 as he claimed.

1. Satchel Paige (P) – 59 years, 80 days

Star pitcher Satchel Paige holds the record for being the most experienced MLB player, a record that’s not likely to ever be broken. Paige’s Hall of Fame career started in the Negro Leagues playing for as many as 11 teams from 1926 to 1950.

He also shined in Major League Baseball with the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns, and Kansas City Athletics, becoming a two-time MLB All-Star, and a World Series champion. Besides being inducted into the Hall of Fame, he was also inducted into the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals.

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