Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman’s longevity pales compared to Albert Pujols

Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals looks against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on May 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals looks against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on May 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Albert Pujols has played in just under 2900 Major League Baseball games in his career. 2886 to be exact. There are only 15 baseball players who have played in more games than The Machine. After being released by the Los Angeles Angles, the 41 year old Pujols waits and wonders if he’ll get the opportunity to play any more meaningful games.

The man who has over 3000 hits and 600 home runs considers his greatest achievement that of how long he has played. The longevity means he has been good enough to pencil into the lineup on a consistent basis.

While Pujols split time between two teams, Ryan Zimmerman has only played for one. Your Washington Nationals. As long as there has been a team in DC, Zimmerman has been wearing their uniform. When the Nats debuted in 2005, Zimmerman was a September callup, and he hasn’t been out of uniform since (he opted out of the 60 games during the 2020 season).

Pujols had a 770 game head start before Zimmerman took the field for his first game. A look at the two players respective careers shows just how hard it is to play in as many games as Pujols has.

We thought Ryan Zimmerman carved out a long career, pales in comparison to that of Albert Pujols.

Pujols has avoided the injury bug for the majority of his career, and the same can not be said about Zimmerman. After taking a year off, Zim has come back with a vengeance thus far in 2021. Riding a very hot hitting spring, he has continued to be the an offensive presence for the Nationals. Zimmerman entered the year as a platoon first baseman/pinch hitting specialist. His numbers have been good enough for him to take over the full time job, especially when put next to those of Josh Bell.

Zimmerman is nearly five years younger than Pujols, and has not hinted at retirement. He is not the longterm answer to the Nationals plans at first base, though if he continues to hit over .300 with power, they’ll find a roster spot for him for the next handful of years.

Do we believe Pujols has played his last game? If so, Zimmerman would have to play seven full 162 game slates to equal the amount of games Pujols has played in. Pretty remarkable, indeed.

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We look at the career Zimmerman has put together and while he has been around a long time, it’s a drop in a hat compared to Pujols. Best of luck to Albert as he searches for a team to end the year for. Best of luck to Ryan as he continues to climb the list of all-time games played (currently sitting  at 488th most).

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