In baseball, 12 years is an eternity.
Things happen quickly in this sport. Players come and go. Teams rise and fall. Trends roar to life and fizzle out. A dozen seasons is more than enough for a player to start and then end a career worthy of a place on the Hall of Fame ballot (where the minimum is 10 seasons).
So the news that emerged Saturday was, frankly, astonishing: The Braves called up infielder Sean Kazmar Jr., a 36-year-old whose last MLB appearance came for the Padres on Sept. 23, 2008. Ever since, Kazmar has toiled in the Minors, waiting for another opportunity. Now it’s here. When Kazmar got into the game at Wrigley Field as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning, his drought between MLB appearances (12 years and 206 days) was the longest since 1950, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
In recognition of Kazmar’s incredible journey, here are 12 notable things that have happened in baseball since his last appearance in an MLB game (one for each full year of his absence):