I'm looking for athletes in the top North American Leagues: NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL that played more games in a season than games scheduled for a team.

For example, each NFL team is scheduled to play 16 games per regular season. I'm wondering if there has been any player who played more than 16 games in a season. This can happen if a player gets traded to a team with less games played and plays all games for both teams (or all teams if he played for more than 2 teams in that season).

To make this clear I'd like to know if there have been cases of athletes who played

  • 17 or more NFL games
  • 163 or more MLB games
  • 83 or more NBA or NHL games

in one regular season given that the NFL and MLB teams play 16 and 162 games respectively and NBA and NHL teams play 82 games each regular season.

1 Answer 1


In short, YES

Several examples with detail: NFL: (source) . All of these were because of trades and extra bye-week game scheduling.

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(via trade) Frank Taveras played 11 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and 153 for the NY Mets in 1979.

Willie Montanezin 1976 played 60 games for the SF Giants and 103 games for the Atlanta Braves.

(not via a trade but extra regular season games) - Games that end with a tie score, due most commonly to darkness (in the old days), rain-outs, or curfews are replayed, with the result not counted in the standings, but all of the individual stats count for the players.

In 1962, Maury Wills of the LA Dodgers played all 165 games. When the 1962 season ended the San Francisco Giants and the Dodgers were tied with a 101-61 record. ... Wills played in all 162 regular season games and the 3 tie-breaker games, which are counted as regular season games, much like today's one-game playoffs are counted as regular season contests. In the same season, Jose Pagan played 161 of 162 regular season games and 3 extra games for the opposing SF Giants.

In 1965 the Chicago Cubs played in 164 regular season games, because two of them ended in ties (due to darkness, so apparently they could not be made up). In that year Ron Santo and Billy Williams played all 164 games and Ernie Banks played in 163.

There are several other examples of ties impacting individual stats but not team W-L.


Quant Hockeysays 170 players played more than 82 regular season games.

Jimmy Carson has the regular season record for NHL players with 86 in 1992-1993 - traded mid-season, he played 52 with the Detroit Redwings and then 34 with the LA Kings.

Bob Kudelski tied Carson a year later playing 42 games for the Ottawa Senators and then 44 with the Florida Panthers.


Walt Bellamy has the NBA record for most regular season games played (88) in the 1968-69 season. Traded during the season, he played 35 games with the New York Knicks and then 53 games with the Detroit Pistons.

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