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MLB: Top 20 Players with the Most Opening Days Played

Pete Rose (Third From Right, Next To No. 20 Frank Robinson) In His First Opening Day, 1963

Pete Rose (Third From Right, Next To No. 20 Frank Robinson) In His First Opening Day, 1963

What might normally be considered a non-critical stat, turns out to be a leaders list full of some of the greatest baseball players ever. These mostly-Hall of Famers played in the most Opening Days.

Others below would have found their way into the Hall of FameBarry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Ivan Rodriguez – but for performance-enhancing drug (PEDs, steroids) usage.

The guy at No. 1 would have found his way into the Hall, too, but for the greatest sin against the integrity of the game – gambling. Pete Rose played in 23 Opening Days for three different teams.

Then you have Harold Baines and Joe Judge, interlopers.

Carl Yastrzemski and Hank Aaron round out the top three with 22 Opening Days played.

Hey, baseball has three or four Opening Days, so why not celebrate one more time here at Sports List of the Day: Players with the most Opening Day home runs coming up tomorrow…

PLAYER OPENING DAYS PLAYED FOR (SEASONS)
1. Pete Rose 23 Cincinnati Reds (1963-1978, 1985); Philadelphia Phillies (1979-1983); Montreal Expos (1984)
2. Carl Yastrzemski 22 Boston Red Sox (1961-1980, 1982, 1983)
2. Hank Aaron 22 Milwaukee Braves (1954-1964); Atlanta Braves (1966-1974); Milwaukee Brewers (1975, 1976)
4. Stan Musial 21 St. Louis Cardinals (1942-1944, 1946-1963)
4. Eddie Murray 21 Baltimore Orioles (1977-1988); Los Angeles Dodgers (1989-1991); New York Mets (1992, 1993); Cleveland Indians (1994-1996); Anaheim Angels (1997)
4. Willie Mays 21 New York Giants (1952, 1954-1957); San Francisco Giants (1958-1972); New York Mets (1973)
4. Al Kaline 21 Detroit Tigers (1954-1974)
4. Rickey Henderson 21 Oakland A’s (1980-1984, 1990-1995, 1998); New York Yankees (1986-1989); San Diego Padres (1996, 1997); New York Mets (1999, 2000); Boston Red Sox (2002)
4. Ken Griffey 21 Seattle Mariners (1989-1999, 2009, 2010); Cincinnati Reds (2000-2003, 2005-2008)
10. Dave Winfield 20 San Diego Padres (1974-1980); New York Yankees (1981-1988, 1990); California Angels (1991); Toronto Blue Jays (1992); Minnesota Twins (1993, 1994)
10. Gary Sheffield 20 Milwaukee Brewers (1989-1991); San Diego Padres (1992, 1993); Florida Marlins (1994-1998); Los Angeles Dodgers (1999-2001); Atlanta Braves (2002, 2003); New York Yankees (2004-2006); Detroit Tigers (2007, 2008)
10. Ivan Rodriguez 20 Texas Rangers (1992-2002); Florida Marlins (2003); Detroit Tigers (2004-2008); Houston Astros (2009); Washington Nationals (2010, 2011)
10. Frank Robinson 20 Cincinnati Reds (1956-1965); Baltimore Orioles (1966-1971); Los Angeles Dodgers (1972); California Angels (1973, 1974); Cleveland Indians (1975)
10. Brooks Robinson 20 Baltimore Orioles (1957-1976)
10. Cal Ripken 20 Baltimore Orioles (1982-2001)
10. Joe Morgan 20 Houston Astros (1965-1971, 1980); Cincinnati Reds (1972-1979); San Francisco Giants (1981, 1982); Philadelphia Phillies (1983); Oakland A’s (1984)
10. Barry Bonds 20 Pittsburgh Pirates (1987-1992); San Francisco Giants (1993-2004, 2006, 2007)
10. Harold Baines 20 Chicago White Sox (1980-1989, 1997); Texas Rangers (1990); Oakland A’s (1991, 1992); Baltimore Orioles (1993-1995, 1998-2000)
19. Robin Yount 19 Milwaukee Brewers (1974-1977, 1979-1993)
19. Omar Vizquel 19 Seattle Mariners (1989, 1991-1993); Cleveland Indians (1994-2004); San Francisco Giants (2005-2007); Toronto Blue Jays (2012)
19. Willie Stargell 19 Pittsburgh Pirates (1964-1982)
19. Graig Nettles 19 Minnesota Twins (1969); Cleveland Indians (1970-1972); New York Yankees (1973-1983); San Diego Padres (1984-1986); Montreal Expos (1988)
19. Joe Judge 19 Washington Senators I (1916-1932); Brooklyn Dodgers (1933); Boston Red Sox (1934)
19. Rogers Hornsby 19 St. Louis Cardinals (1916-1926); New York Giants (1927); Boston Braves (1928); Chicago Cubs (1929-1931); St. Louis Browns (1934, 1935, 1937)
19. Craig Biggio 19 Houston Astros (1989-2007)

Photo: reds.enquirer.com

LeBron James’ 20 Highest-Scoring Games (and 10 Highest-Scoring Playoff Games)

LeBron James' Highest-Scoring Game Was Tonight - 61 Points Against The Charlotte Bobcats

LeBron James’ Highest-Scoring Game Was Tonight – 61 Points Against The Charlotte Bobcats

LeBron James scored 61 tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats – the most he’s ever scored in an NBA game.

Through 11 seasons and 820 games (as of the date of this post), LeBron has scored over 50 points in 10 games. Did you expect more from The King? He does everything on the court, though – assisting (deferring to the better play, really), stealing, overall defending, rebounding, etc – so it’s not all about his scoring average.

For all his superstardom, James has led the league in scoring just once – 30 PPG in 2007-08 for the Cleveland Cavaliers. In fact, James was a bigger scorer all around for the Cavs than for the Miami Heat. He had to be. On the Heat, he has more offensive options. Of his 20 highest-scoring games, 17 of them were in Cleveland – a higher proportion than would be expected even given the difference in years of service between his two teams.

As for the postseason, James has never scored 50. He’s scored 40 ten times, though, listed in today’s second list.

Click on the dates in either list to see the box score.

REGULAR SEASON

  POINTS FOR DATE / BOX SCORE AGAINST
1. 61 Miami Heat 3/3/2014   Charlotte Bobcats
2. 56 Cleveland Cavaliers 3/20/2005 @ Toronto Raptors
3. 55 Cleveland Cavaliers 2/20/2009 @ Milwaukee Bucks
4. 52 Cleveland Cavaliers 12/10/2005 @ Milwaukee Bucks
4. 52 Cleveland Cavaliers 2/4/2009 @ New York Knicks
6. 51 Cleveland Cavaliers 1/21/2006 @ Utah Jazz
6. 51 Cleveland Cavaliers 1/15/2008 @ Memphis Grizzlies
6 51 Cleveland Cavaliers 3/13/2009 @ Sacramento Kings
6 51 Miami Heat 2/3/2011 @ Orlando Magic
10. 50 Cleveland Cavaliers 3/5/2008 @ New York Knicks
11. 48 Cleveland Cavaliers 12/30/2009   Atlanta Hawks
12. 47 Cleveland Cavaliers 3/12/2006 @ Miami Heat
12. 47 Cleveland Cavaliers 4/1/2006   Miami Heat
12. 47 Cleveland Cavaliers 2/10/2009 @ Indiana Pacers
12. 47 Cleveland Cavaliers 2/6/2010   New York Knicks
16. 46 Cleveland Cavaliers 1/14/2006 @ Phoenix Suns
16. 46 Cleveland Cavaliers 3/29/2006   Dallas Mavericks
18. 45 Cleveland Cavaliers 11/2/2007   New York Knicks
18. 45 Cleveland Cavaliers 11/21/2007 @ Minnesota Timberwolves
20. 44 Cleveland Cavaliers 3/28/2005 @ New Orleans Hornets
20. 44 Cleveland Cavaliers 1/29/2006   Phoenix Suns
20. 44 Cleveland Cavaliers 2/13/2006   San Antonio Spurs
20. 44 Cleveland Cavaliers 12/13/2009 @ Oklahoma City Thunder
20. 44 Miami Heat 1/9/2011 @ Portland Trail Blazers

POSTSEASON

  POINTS FOR DATE / BOX SCORE AGAINST
1. 49 Cleveland Cavaliers 5/20/2009   Orlando Magic
2. 48 Cleveland Cavaliers 5/31/2007 @ Detroit Pistons
3. 47 Cleveland Cavaliers 5/9/2009 @ Atlanta Hawks
4. 45 Cleveland Cavaliers 5/3/2006   Washington Wizards
4. 45 Cleveland Cavaliers 5/18/2008 @ Boston Celtics
4. 45 Miami Heat 6/7/2012 @ Boston Celtics
7. 44 Cleveland Cavaliers 5/26/2009 @ Orlando Magic
8. 41 Cleveland Cavaliers 4/28/2006 @ Washington Wizards
8. 41 Cleveland Cavaliers 5/24/2009 @ Orlando Magic
10. 40 Cleveland Cavaliers 4/19/2010   Chicago Bulls
10. 40 Miami Heat 5/20/2012 @ Indiana Pacers

Photo: espn.com

NBA: Top 20 Players with the Most 40-Point Games in a Single Season (Since the Merger)

Michael Jordan Posted 37 40-Point Games In 1986-87

Michael Jordan Posted 37 40-Point Games In 1986-87

How hot is Kevin Durant in 2013-14? Well, he’s the hottest around right now and the current scoring leader and favorite for NBA MVP, but he’s only luke warm compared to the top guys on today’s list -  those players with the most 40-point games in a season.

Durant’s got seven under his belt so far (with a high of 54) and only 29 games to go. He should make the ranks by season’s end the way he’s hocking it (at 51.2 percent!).

It will be tough to get to the top though, and impossible to break Michael Jordan‘s post-merger* record of 37 40-point games in a single season. He did it in 1986-87, hitting 61 points twice along the way, and wrapping it all up with a 3,000-point year (the only player other than Wilt Chamberlain to achieve such a mark).

Jordan and Kobe Bryant take up seven of the top eight spots below and are the only players with 20 or more 40-point games in a season (post-merger).

  PLAYER 40-POINT GAMES SEASON TEAM HIGH GAME
1. Michael Jordan 37 1986-87 Chicago Bulls 61 (Twice)
2. Kobe Bryant 27 2005-06 Los Angeles Lakers 81
3. Michael Jordan 22 1989-90 Chicago Bulls 69
4. Kobe Bryant 19 2002-03 Los Angeles Lakers 55
5. Kobe Bryant 18 2006-07 Los Angeles Lakers 65
5. George Gervin 18 1979-80 San Antonio Spurs 55
5. Michael Jordan 18 1987-88 Chicago Bulls 59
8. Allen Iverson 17 2000-01 Philadelphia 76ers 54
9. George Gervin 16 1981-82 San Antonio Spurs 50
10. Allen Iverson 15 2005-06 Philadelphia 76ers 53
10. Michael Jordan 15 1988-89 Chicago Bulls 53
10. Dominique Wilkins 15 1987-88 Atlanta Hawks 51
13. Michael Jordan 14 1992-93 Chicago Bulls 64
14. Adrian Dantley 13 1981-82 Utah Jazz 53
14. Bernard King 13 1984-85 New York Knicks 60
14. Pete Maravich 13 1976-77 New Orleans Jazz 68
14. Dwyane Wade 13 2008-09 Miami Heat 55
18. Michael Jordan 12 1997-98 Chicago Bulls 49
18. Moses Malone 12 1981-82 Houston Rockets 53
20. Gilbert Arenas 11 2005-06 Washington Wizards 47
20. Larry Bird 11 1987-88 Boston Celtics 49 (Twice)
20. Patrick Ewing 11 1989-90 New York Knicks 51
20. Michael Jordan 11 1991-92 Chicago Bulls 51
20. Michael Jordan 11 1990-91 Chicago Bulls 46
20. Bernard King 11 1990-91 Washington Bullets 52
20. Karl Malone 11 1989-90 Utah Jazz 61
20. Tracy McGrady 11 2002-03 Orlando Magic 52

* The ABA-NBA merger was in 1976-77.

Photo: photobucket.com

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