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Conine's travels

A bit of trivia: Jeff Conine, an Oriole from 1999-2003 who was traded to the Florida Marlins last August, is the second-most traveled player in the majors, having visited 38 different stadiums in his career. By my count, that total should reach 43 this year as he plays his first games in the new parks in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Arizona, and San Diego. Only Robin Ventura has played in more ballparks (he's expected to reach 44 this year). Gary Graves of USA Today caught up with Conine recently for a brief, light-hearted chat about his journeys, recounted in "38 parks down, 4 more on tap for vet Conine." A snippet:

Q: What does playing in 38 ballparks say about your career?

A: It means I'm old. Obviously I came into the big leagues at a time of aging stadiums and now I get to see the advent of all the new ones.

Conine is a wise old head who knows what he's talking about. Since breaking in with the Royals in the early 1990s, he has spent an almost equal amount of time in each league, during which he has witnessed the ripple of neoclassical (so to speak) ballpark construction that started with Baltimore's Camden Yards in 1992. Although he is not quite ancient enough to have played in Memorial Stadium (put to rest in 1991) or the old Comiskey Park in Chicago (1990), he was around to play in Cleveland Stadium and Arlington Stadium before they were retired, as well as Mile High in Denver, which the Rockies called home before Coors Field opened.

Q: Your favorite park?

A: Camden Yards (in Baltimore, where he played five seasons for the Orioles).

They may call him Mr. Marlin, but the man has not lost his sense of taste.

Comments (2)


How about Todd Zeile? He probably holds the record for playing for the most teams. He is always getting traded.


You are right about Zeile having played for the most teams among active players. He has indeed been around the block several times (in a baseball sense). I counted eleven different teams on his career record—he's played for the Mets and Rangers twice—and I can't think of any player offhand who can top that number. This year-old article from The Sporting News asserts that Zeile topped the active list going into the 2003 season, and none of the other contenders it mentions have passed him since then. This page says that the all-time record is twelve teams and is shared by Mike Morgan and Deacon McGuire. Given that Zeile can still hit a little, he has a decent chance of tying or passing that mark.

However, the factoid about Conine and Ventura was based on the number of stadiums in which they had played, not the number of teams on which they had served. In that regard, Zeile is currently ahead of Conine at 42 stadiums played, and should reach 43 by the end of this year once he plays in Citizens Bank Park in Philly. (For some reason, Zeile's STATS splits on Bigleaguers.com list only 40 stadiums. There is no indication that he has played in Petco Field or the Great American Ball Park, even though he has been to both. I have yet to find a more accurate source, though. Until I do, don't take my count as the gospel truth.)


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