The name on the front of the jersey

Jeter Rivera

Future Hall of Famers Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, Yankees throughout their careers…quite a rarity these days.

Gehrig. Feller. Williams. Musial. Banks. Stargell. Yastrzemski. Bench. Yount. Ripken. The list goes on and on. Many of baseball’s all-time greats never changed uniforms in their lengthy big league careers. Of course that’s a rarity now, which makes present-day Yankees greats Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter all the more unusual.

I grew up in an era when baseball was changing dramatically. In the 1970s, as the DH rule and free agency hit baseball, longtime stars suddenly started moving from team to team. I remember thinking how strange it was to see Catfish Hunter become a Yankee, but superstars changing uniforms quickly became the norm.

Mays Marichal McCovey

Willie Mays, Juan Marichal, and Willie McCovey…these legendary Giants Hall of Famers each wore another team’s jersey late in their careers.

It was still rather striking to see Brian Wilson in a Dodgers uniform this season after all his success with the Giants earlier in his career. But he’s no Hall of Famer at this point, and we almost expect players to change teams these days anyway.

However, it’s not just in the free agent era that players so closely associated with one team have ended their careers elsewhere. The DH rule led to many fading sluggers grinding it out in unfamiliar surroundings late in their careers, and even before that legends like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth switched teams.

Here’s a look back at some Hall of Famers who are so well-known for one team that it’s pretty odd seeing them in another uniform…especially when it’s the jersey of their old arch-rivals.


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