Satchel Paige was the oldest baseball player ever to appear in the major leagues, last pitching for the Kansas City A’s in 1965 at the age of 58.
His work in K.C. consisted of one appearance, a night game against the Boston Red Sox at Municipal Stadium on September 25, 1965. Paige drew the start and pitched three shutout innings, but the A’s went on to lose the contest, 5-2.
The entire scene represented one of A’s owner Charles O. Finley’s early publicity schemes with the team, as Paige had been retired since 1953 after putting together a Hall of Fame career that spanned nearly three decades, nine franchises, and four leagues.
In a similar vein, Minnie Miñoso last suited up for the Chicago White Sox in 1980, appearing in two games as a pinch hitter at age 54. He had retired in 1964 but came back for a 3-game stint in 1976 before his short run in 1980.
Those appearances — in 1976 and 1980 — gave Miñoso service time in each of five different decades, tied with Nick Altrock for the most ever.
Altrock himself last played for the Washington Senators in 1933, at the age of 57. Like Paige and Miñoso, though, Altrock had long gaps in his playing career and tiny games-played totals in the final years of his big league run.