MIGUEL TEJADA JUMPS ATOP DOMINICAN REPUBLIC’S ALL TIME GAMES PLAYED AT SHORTSTOP LIST
More than 100 players from the Dominican Republic have played shortstop in a major league game, but none have done so more frequently than Miguel Tejada. On August 17 at Wrigley Field, Tejada logged his 1,862nd game at a shortstop in the big leagues, nudging ahead of his boyhood idol, Alfredo Griffin.
Tejada tied Griffin’s mark the previous night against the Cubs, collecting four hits and two RBIs in a 9-5 San Diego victory. In moving past Griffin, he walked and singled in the Padres 1-0 triumph, and participated in three double plays on defense to help protect his team’s slim margin.
As an Orioles fan, I was thrilled when the team re-signed Tejada in the off-season, but a little saddened that he was moving to third base. He returned to his natural position after being dealt to the San Diego Padres in late-July, however, and moved into the record books a few weeks later.
When I had the pleasure of interviewing Tejada in New York in 2007, he seemed unaware that he was closing in on this record, but acknowledged that Griffin had been the man who inspired him to play shortstop in the first place. In fact, Tejada wore number 4 when he broke into the Show with Oakland, the same number Griffin sported during his standout years with the Toronto Blue Jays.
With a MVP award, six All Star selections and now this on his resume, a World Series ring would certainly cap off a borderline Hall of Fame career in style for the player known to teammates as “The Bus.” With the Orioles out of contention until next year at the earliest, I’ll certainly be rooting for Tejada and his teammates.
Here are the top 6 Dominicans in games played at position number 6 (shortstop) for those of you scoring at home:
1,874*** (through 8/31/2010) – MIGUEL TEJADA
1,861 – ALFREDO GRIFFIN
1,573 – TONY FERNANDEZ
1,386 – RAFAEL RAMIREZ
1,330*** – RAFAEL FURCAL
1,292 – CRISTIAN GUZMAN