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A Career with One Club, Retiring with Another

Posted by Raphy
In the comments of my post from earlier today, reader Mike1L asked about the best players who played with one franchise for their entire careers, but finished up with a new team.  While it would be very time consuming to create another team-by-team list, we can easily create a list of career leaders. Here are the players with with highest WAR that played for a single team for every season  but the last season of their careers.

First the position players: (For complete stats and an expanded list, click here.)

Rk Player WAR/pos Tm
1 Ron Santo 66.4 CHC-CHW
2 Yogi Berra 61.9 NYY-NYM
3 Dwight Evans 61.8 BOS-BAL
4 Harmon Killebrew 61.1 WSH-MIN-KCR
5 Zack Wheat 57.8 BRO-PHA
6 Hank Greenberg 56.8 DET-PIT
7 Sam Rice 51.1 WSH-CLE
8 Gabby Hartnett 50.3 CHC-NYG
9 Ed McKean 40.0 CLE-CLV-STL
10 Tommy Holmes 32.6 BSN-BRO
11 Mark Belanger 32.5 BAL-LAD
12 John Valentin 30.9 BOS-NYM
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/13/2011.

Here are the pitching leaders:

Rk Player WAR Tm
1 Warren Spahn 93.4 BSN-MLN-NYM-SFG
2 Christy Mathewson 87.7 NYG-CIN
3 John Smoltz 63.9 ATL-BOS-STL
4 Ed Walsh 54.8 CHW-BSN
5 Bob Friend 48.9 PIT-NYY-NYM
6 Lefty Gomez 43.0 NYY-WSH
7 Noodles Hahn 39.6 CIN-NYY
8 Harry Brecheen 38.8 STL-SLB
9 Larry Dierker 38.1 HOU-STL
10 Chris Short 35.5 PHI-MIL
11 Mark Gubicza 34.8 KCR-ANA
12 Jim Maloney 34.7 CIN-CAL
13 Guy Hecker 30.7 LOU-PIT
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/13/2011.

These lists range from very good players to superstars, but even the lower players on these lists are easily associated with their main clubs. (When you say Noodles, I say Cincinnati.) It's fun to try to remember where they finished their careers.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I only included retired players for obvious reasons.

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