After the Braves clinched the division last night, it would have been fair to give all the starters some rest. However, two players weren’t interested in such a luxury — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson, who became the only two people on the planet to play in all 162 regular season games this season.
With an emphasis on health and rest, this is an accomplishment that is rarely reached anymore, and it’s why some believe Cal Ripken’s Iron Man record of 2,632 games is the most unbreakable feat in all of sports. Among active players, only 16 people have played 162 games in a season, with Matt Olson becoming one of six players to do it more than once.
Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson are the only 162-game players this season. Only 15 other active players have played 162 games in a single season.
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There was a story that came out last year by a snowflake that attempted to paint Freddie Freeman as a bully for making all of the Braves starters attempt to play in every game. They even tried to pin that as a reason why Atlanta lacked playoff success. Of course, this hit piece backfired laughably when the Braves went on to win the World Series convincingly.
The days of players playing every game of the regular season are well in the rearview, which I don’t think is a negative thing. Ripken’s record will never be broken, but if there is one team that still puts an emphasis on guys playing as often as possible, it’s the Braves.
This style dates back to when Bobby Cox and Chipper Jones were the leaders in the clubhouse. It was passed down to Freddie Freeman and Brian Snitker, who have passed it on to Swanson, and I don’t expect it to stop there. Some organizations may feel that rest is necessary, but after winning their 22nd division title last night — the most in MLB history — I would say the Braves’ philosophy is doing just fine.
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