Baseball: Most positions played in one game

In yesterday’s Mariners-Padres game, Christian Bethancourt played catcher, left field, pitcher, and 2nd base for the Padres. This got me to wondering who’s played the most different positions during a single game. Then I figured that someone’s probably played all nine in some kind of publicity stunt.

Anyway, doing some research, I found this quote here

This seems kind of unusual that there’d be that many who played those particular positions. Any thoughts on that? And who has played the most positions in a single game? Not counting publicity stunts, that is.

The answer is all 9, done three times. Whether they were publicity stunts or just good clean fun is open to interpretation.
[li]Bert Campaneris, Kansas City Athletics, Sept. 8, 1965[/li][li]Cesar Tovar, Minnesota Twins, Sept. 22, 1968[/li][li]Scott Sheldon, Texas Rangers, Sept. 6, 2000[/li][li]Shane Halter, Detroit Tigers, Oct. 1, 2000[/li][/ul]

All were in September (the latest actually on Oct 1) by teams that were out of playoff contention or in games that didn’t impact the pennant races.

Sorry, that should read “The answer is all 9, done **four **times.”

Wow, Sheldon did that after entering the game in the 4th inning. I’d say that’s not a publicity stunt, but not done out of necessity, either.

OK, not counting those four, what’s the most positions in one game?

According to this, there are “too many to list” players who’ve played 5 positions in a single game in the NL. The only listings for the AL are the 4 who’ve played all 9 positions. So, I suspect the answer is 5 and there are lots of players who have done so in the history of the game.

What conditions would lead to someone playing so many positions that’s not a publicity stunt? I mean, there are close games where any coaching move could make the difference that still don’t see fielders moved from one position to another. This game was a blowout, and it sounds like Bethancourt pitched in order to save the arms of the actual pitchers. Did they really move Bethancourt to left field and 2nd base because it was the best strategy to win the game, or did they just figure “we’re down by double digits, fuck it.” That’s not exactly a publicity stunt, but it’s not driven by the interest of the team, either.

Was hoping to see Eddie Gaedel on that list. :slight_smile:

Will Ferrell played all 10 positions (DH) in one day during spring training, for 10 different teams!

He only played half a position.

Yes, I’ve been to Hell, why do you ask?

I’ve seen players shifted around in extra inning games as pinch hitters come and go and (in the NL) pitchers get in double switches to change batting order.

Not exactly the most positions, but on May 14, 1988 the Cardinals and Braves played a 19-inning game.Both teams cleared out their benches and bullpens. The Cardinals ended up with reserve infielder Jose Oquendo pitching and the previous day’s starting pitcher, Jose DeLeon, in left field.

Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog didn’t want to risk anything happening to DeLeon, so he shifted DeLeon with right fielder Tom Brunansky every time a right-handed batter came up. Brunansky and DeLeon ended up swapping positions in the outfield 12 times:eek: while Oquendo pitched four innings.

The Braves won 7-5.

I assumed they wanted to keep him in the batting lineup when they moved him to left field. But I’m just guessing about that.

Talk about a publicity stunt.

I recall this game between the Mets and the Reds in 1986. After a 10th inning brawl, the last remaining bench player was a catcher, so Davey Johnson shuttled Jesse Orosco & Roger McDowell between the outfield and the pitcher’s mound until they won the game in the 14th. But McDowell only played three positions in all of that, Orosco 2, but it makes for a unique box score.

Blog post about the game

After seeing something on yesterday’s Mariners game, I realized that the four who previously played those positions were the four who’d played all nine positions. That’s some very misleading journalism there.

Now this is what you do when you’re down by double digits.

Campaneris was definitely a publicity stunt; and he was injured in the 9th inning and had to leave the game.

Indeed! That was an awesome game yesterday. It’s the fifth inning, the home team has jumped out to a 10-run lead. Game over, right? Someone forgot to tell the Mariners.

In fact the whole series (4 games, 2 at Seattle, 2 at San Diego) was unusual scoring-wise: 9-3, 16-4, 6-14, 16-13. Those are some fairly outrageous scores for baseball, but all in one series?