San Diego Padres third baseman Ha-Seong Kim throws to first for the out on Seattle Mariners' Jose Godoy during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, May 21, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Count ‘em! MLB hits 20,000 players when Godoy debuts for M’s

SAN DIEGO (AP) — There was a big number reached in Major League Baseball during the San Diego Padres’ 16-1 blowout over Seattle, and it had nothing to do with runs.

Because when Mariners backup catcher José Godoy made his big league debut Friday night, he became the 20,000th player in MLB history.

There was no fanfare at Petco Park when Godoy came in to catch in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Mariners trailing 12-1. The 26-year-old from Venezuela who signed with St. Louis in 2011 and joined the Seattle system last winter grounded out and walked in his two plate appearances.

But to fans who had been tracking the procession to 20,000 on the Twitter postings by the web site Céspedes Family BBQ, it was a big deal.

The Mariners got in the spirit, too, marking the occasion with a “Jeopardy!”-style answer to: “Who is José Godoy?”

“Welcome to the show and baseball trivia lore, José!” it said.

The list of big leaguers began in 1871 and ranges from A to Z — there has never been a player whose last name started with X, although there have been several with first names that start that way, including Red Sox star Xander Bogaerts.

First on the alphabetical chart is pitcher David Aardsma, who moved into the top spot ahead of Hank Aaron when he started out in 2004 for San Francisco. Aardsma’s last season was 2015 — that was the same year the player last on the list, pitcher Tony Zych, made his debut with the Mariners.

Of the 20,000 players overall, 266 have reached the Hall of Fame. Walter Alston played two innings in his only game in 1936 for the Cardinals, striking out in his lone at-bat and making an error at first base — and later reached Cooperstown as the longtime manager of the Dodgers.

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