Who are some of the best “glue guys” -- or the players whose positive chemistry helps keep a happy clubhouse -- in recent MLB history?
An unselfish infielder who showed his ultimate worth last year with the Giants, hitting .362 after being acquired and winning MVP of the NLCS. Red Sox fans may remember his willingness to play hurt down the stretch.
Though a former Rookie of the Year, Hinske is better known as solid clubhouse presence with a penchant for reaching the postseason, reaching the playoffs in four straight years with four teams and winning two titles.
He’s had equal success as a starter (248 games, 4.46 ERA) and a reliever (410 appearances, 4.53 ERA). He’s also a writer, poet, philosopher, and philanthropist who’s entering his 19th season with his 12th team.
The situational lefthander has once again put off retirement to pitch a 20th season. He played in six straight postseasons (2006-11) with three teams, and he owns a 1.104 WHIP in 30 playoff appearances.
Stairs played until he was 43 thanks to his outgoing personality, lefthanded power, and pinch-hitting prowess (career .829 OPS off the bench). He made four playoff appearances, the first and last coming 14 years apart.
Unorthodox stance aside, Counsell had a .342 OBP for his 16-year career. He was also a solid defender at three infield positions and played well in the clutch (two World Series titles, NLCS MVP in 2001 with Arizona).
For a guy who had just 671 hits in 13 seasons and a career OBP less than .300, Sojo is remembered as an accomplished player. He won three rings with the Yankees and played all four infield positions in five seasons.
Despite not making his debut until 27, Perez was part of nine division winners in nine years with Atlanta. He also raised the Braves’ comfort level by being Greg Maddux’s personal catcher (121 games received).
Bragg hustled, dived, and made exceptional plays all over the outfield, making doubters forget he stands just 5-9. He was valued enough to play for nine teams over 11 seasons and made the playoffs three times.
The Holliston, Mass., native was an NL manager’s dream, a clubhouse leader who could hit on short notice and play first base and outfield. He’s second on the all-time list for pinch hits with 175.