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Mariano Rivera appeared in his 1,000th game on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the 15th pitcher in history to reach that mark (all primarily relievers, natch), but the first ever to pitch in 1,000 games for a single team. That got me wondering what the all-time leader list for most games pitched for a single team looks like.

First, here are the 15 1,000-game men in major league history, in order of their rank on the all-time appearance list, with the most games each pitched for a single team in parentheses:

Rivera in game number 28, which was the fourth of four straight scoreless three-inning outings and came in the middle of a 15-inning hitless streak. (AP)

1,252 (372) - Jesse Orosco, Mets
1,178 (456) - Mike Stanton, Yankees
1,119 (695) - John Franco, Mets
1,071 (525) - Dennis Eckersley, A's
1,070 (361) - Hoyt Wilhelm, White Sox
1,064 (365) - Dan Plesac, Brewers
1,058 (394) - Mike Timlin, Red Sox
1,050 (722) - Kent Tekulve, Pirates
1,035 (902) - Trevor Hoffman, Padres
1,022 (458) - Lee Smith, Cubs
1,022 (341) - Jose Mesa, Indians
1,010 (345) - Roberto Hernandez, White Sox
1,005 (335) - Michael Jackson, Mariners
1,002 (319) - Goose Gossage, Yankees
1,000 (1,000) - Mariano Rivera, Yankees

And here's that list again ranked by the single-team totals:

1,000 - Mariano Rivera, Yankees
902 - Trevor Hoffman, Padres
722 - Kent Tekulve, Pirates
695 - John Franco, Mets
525 - Dennis Eckersley, A's
458 - Lee Smith, Cubs
456 - Mike Stanton, Yankees
394 - Mike Timlin, Red Sox
372 - Jesse Orosco, Mets
365 - Dan Plesac, Brewers
361 - Hoyt Wilhelm, White Sox
345 - Roberto Hernandez, White Sox
341 - Jose Mesa, Indians
335 - Michael Jackson, Mariners
319 - Goose Gossage, Yankees

Now here's the list of most games pitched for a single team:

1. 1,000 - Mariano Rivera, Yankees
2. 902 - Trevor Hoffman, Padres
3. 802 - Walter Johnson, Senators
4. 802 - Roy Face, Pirates
5. 740 - Phil Neikro, Braves
6. 722 - Kent Tekulve, Pirates
7. 714 - Warren Spahn, Braves
8. 708 - John Smoltz, Braves
9. 695 - John Franco, Mets
10. 686 - Jeff Montgomery, Royals

One note on the above list, via John Thorn's 1979 time capsule The Relief Pitcher: Baseball's New Hero: Face was claimed off waivers by the Tigers on August 30, 1968 after having thrown 801 games for the Pirates, but the Tigers waited until rosters expanded on September 1 to take him so as not to have to drop another player. Aware of Johnson's then-record of most games thrown for a single team, Pirates manager Larry Shepard offered to let Face start on the 31st to face one batter and tie the record before giving way to that day's scheduled starter, Steve Blass. Face asked if Shepard could arrange a relief appearance instead to keep his streak of 613 relief outings intact. So, Shepard had Blass start the game but, after one batter, put Blass in left field and had Face face his one man (Felix Millan, who ground out to shortstop on Face's first and only pitch), then restored Blass to the mound. The Pirates could afford such shenanigans because they were 20 games out of first place at the time. All it cost them was a bench player (Carl Taylor, who stood in left for one batter before being replaced by Blass), and they went on to win the game 8-0. It did, however, also cost Blass a shutout, as he finished the game without allowing a run, but the box score showed:

Pitcher IP H R ER BB K HR
Steve Blass 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Roy Face 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Steve Blass, W (13-5) 8.1 5 0 0 2 5 0


Hoffman broke that shared record in 2007. Rivera broke Hoffman's record in 2009, Hoffman's first year with the Brewers.

And finally, the leaders for most games pitched by players to only play for one team:

1. 1,000 - Mariano Rivera, Yankees
2. 802 - Walter Johnson, Senators
3. 669 - Red Faber, White Sox
4. 637 - Bob Stanley, Red Sox
5. 594 - Ted Lyons, White Sox

Rivera can't officially claim that record until he retires a Yankee, but he passed Johnson in 2008.