For fans of obscure baseball stats and records, it came as something of a disappointment when Edwin Jackson re-upped with the Oakland A’s in April 2019.
Sure, it’s great that Jackson keeps plugging along after 16 Major League seasons even though he sports an overall losing record (104-123) and has been an All-Star just once, with the Detroit Tigers in 2009.
And it’s amazing Jackson has been around that long and is still *just* 35 years old.
But the problem for us trivia geeks is that the A’s became Jackson’s 13th different Major League team when he first suited up for them in 2018.
It was a monumental — if ultimately inconsequential — development that left Jackson tied with Octavio Dotel in the “most teams” department.
So, when Jackson became a free agent at the end of ’18, he was poised to grab the record — alone — by signing with a 14th team.
But, nah. He and the A’s decided they liked each other enough to keep their good thing going.
All is not lost, though.
For one thing, Jackson looks like he’s got some tread left on his tires, so there’s time for him to land somewhere else, someday.
More immediately, Jackson may already hold a funky record.
Take a look at his Baseball Reference page and scroll down to the blue-gray block just under the main stats section. There, you’ll find Jackson’s numbers broken down team-by-team.
Now, scan down the wins column, and you just might notice something peculiar … while Jackson has accumulated more than 100 wins in the Big Leagues, he hasn’t notched as many as 20 for any one team.
Has anyone else done that?
It’s a question that could probably be answered fairly easily with the proper database connection and some knowledge of SQL, but I’m limited to simple web searches as I write this.
So I’ll check the most likely place you might find a guy in Jackson’s 100-20 club — those pitchers who have played with the most teams.
Luckily, MLB.com maintains a list of just such journeyman, so it’s not too hard to run through all the pitchers who have appeared for ten or more teams.
Do any make the cut?
Yeah, one does. His name is Edwin Jackson.
Beyond Jackson, the closest is Brett Tomko, who pitched for ten teams over 14 seasons. He won exactly 100 games but, alas, notched 29 Ws for the Cincinnati Reds to start his career.
Interestingly enough, Dotel himself misses the mark on a couple of counts — 22 of his 59 victories came with the Houston Astros.
So, is Edwin Jackson alone in his 100-20 club?
I think he may be, though I’d be happy to hear about others if you find them.
Sadly — for me/us, not for Edwin — he may blow the whole thing. Because, while he’s unlikely to win 14 games for the A’s this season, there’s always next season.
And if he were to wind up back with the Rays, his first victory would kill our little niche record.
Until then, though, we can revel in the wonder of Edwin Jackson.
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