Trivia: What Professional Athlete Played for the Most Teams?
Here's an interesting trivia question:
What professional athlete played for the most (different) teams? Let's stick just to major league teams, such as the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB.
Rather than answer this question quckly, first let's break it down by sport. Here are the answers in the four major sports leagues:
Shayne Graham – It's no surprise that Graham was a placekicker. Kickers tend to change teams far more often than players at other positions, sometimes within the same season. During his 15-year career which spanned 2001-2015, Graham played with 10 different teams. This is prety incredible since Graham was with the Cincinnati Bengals for seven full successful seasons. He made 85 percent of his field goal attempts and 98 percent of extra points during his NFL career. But that wasn't good enough to keep him with anyone for long, except for the years spent with the Bengals.
J.T. O'Sullivan – Longtime backup quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan also played for 10 different teams, between 2002 and 2010. However, some of those assignments were on practice squads. He only played in 39 games during his career, and attempted just 257 passes. He went 2-6 with the 49ers as a starter at San Francisco in 2008.
Here are other NFL players ranked by the number of teams they were with:
8 teams – Jeff Brady (linebacker)
7 teams – Jeff George (quarterback)
Mike Sillinger – Drafted in 1989 Sillinger spent 17 seasons as an NHL player. He played for 12 different teams and was traded 9 times during his NHL career, both of which currently stand as league records (note that he is tied with Brent Ashton for the latter record). Sillinger scored 240 goals in 1,049 games played. Internationally, Sillinger also represented Team Canada on two occasions, winning a gold medal at the 1991 World Juniors.
Here are the other NHL players ranked by the number of teams they were with:
10 teams – Michel Petit
10 teams -- J.J. Daigneault
10 teams -- Olli Jokinen
The record for most teams by an NBA player is 12, shared by four players:
Jim Jackson – 14 years (1992-2006) Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trailblazers, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Lakers
Chucky Brown – 13 years (1989-2002) Cavaliers (twice), Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets (where he became champion in 1994–95), Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets (twice), San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, and Sacramento Kings
Tony Massenburg – 16 years (1995-2011) Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers(2x), Minnesota Timberwolves (twice), Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers (twice), Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks, New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Lakers
Joe Smith – 16 years (1995-2011) Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers (twice), Minnesota Timberwolves (twice), Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers (twice), Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks, New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Lakers
Edwin Jackson – A right-handed pitcher for nearly two decades, Edwin Jackson played for 14 different teams. He broke the record for most teams in 2019 when he played his final season with the Toronto Blue Jays. During his lengthy career in the majors which lasted from 2003-2019, Jackson posted a rather mediocre 107-133 record as a starter. However, he enjoyed some notable highlights: Jackson was an All-Star game selection in 2009; he threw a no-hittr in 2010; and he was a member of the 2011 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Here are the other MLB players ranked by the number of teams they were with:
13 teams – Octavio Dotel (pitcher
12 teams – Mike Morgan (pitcher)
So, the correct answer to the original question is a baseball player – Edwin Jackson.