Last night, Didi Gregorius played his 700th MLB game. In the 7-2 win over the Seattle Mariners, Didi went 1 for 4.
With that 700th game, Didi set a record of most MLB games played by a Dutch-born player, overtaking Bert Blyleven, who participated in 699 games in his extensive career.
Next, to the 692 pitching appearances, Blyleven had seven pinch-run appearances, all with the Pittsburgh Pirates: three in 1978, one in 1979 and three in 1980.
After a long slump, Didi appears to have straightened the ship again as he is hitting .316 in the month of June, compared to the .149 in the month of May.
Didi was originally signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 2009. After three years in the Reds’ minor league system, Didi was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 2012, who traded him to the Diamondbacks immediately.
With the Diamondbacks, Didi spent time at their Major League squad but was sent down to AAA Reno as well, since the D-Backs didn’t really know what to do with him. They tried him at shortstop but with the top prospect Chris Owings emerging, they moved Didi to third base. When Chris Owings did not pan out the way the Diamondbacks hoped, they decided to platoon him with Didi at shortstop, an experiment that didn’t pan out the way they hoped either.
Eventually, on December 5, 2014, the Yankees acquired Didi in a three-way trade that sent 2B Domingo Leyba and LHP Robbie Ray to Arizona Diamondbacks from Detroit RHP Shane Greene to Detroit Tigers from the Yankees. The Yankees’ intention was to replace Derek Jeter, who had retired after the 2014 season. In his first season with the Yankees, Didi struggled at the start as he tried too hard. But eventually, he found his groove.
After his first season in which the fans weren’t too happy with him, Didi has turned into one of the fan favorites. This is also partly thanks to his Tweets after Yankee victories in which he always praises his teammates but never puts himself into the limelight.
Didi started his baseball career with the Amsterdam Pirates as his parents both played there. His father, also nicknamed Didi, pitched for the club and his mother played softball in the flagship softball team of the club.