Braves’ Kazmar plays in first MLB game since ’08

The Braves placed Sean Kazmar Jr. on the active roster Saturday. The 36-year-old infielder appeared as a pinch hitter in the…

The Atlanta Braves placed 36-year-old infielder Sean Kazmar Jr. on the active roster Saturday, a move that put a big smile on the face of manager Brian Snitker.

And for good reason. Kazmar hasn’t played in the major leagues in more than a decade.

“That was probably one of the greatest moments I’ve had as a manager at all the levels, quite honestly,” Snitker said of informing Kazmar of his return. “It’s amazing. You go from ’08 to 2021, in between, you’ve got to be kidding me, to have the perseverance and the dedication and the drive.”

Kazmar’s re-debut came in the top of the fifth inning Saturday to face Cubs right-hander Trevor Williams. Kazmar’s Braves teammates climbed to the top of the step in the dugout as he pinch hit for pitcher Huascar Ynoa. Kazmar grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Kazmar had last played in the major leagues on Sept. 23, 2008, with the San Diego Padres, appearing in 19 games that season for his only major league action. He has since played in Triple-A for the Padres, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets and Braves organizations.

Kazmar’s gap between major league appearances is the longest since 1950, surpassing those of Minnie Minoso (12 years, 68 days) and Satchel Paige (12 years, 3 days). The most recent player with a longer gap was right-hander Ralph Winegarner, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Winegarner played on June 23, 1936, for the Cleveland Indians and did not return to the majors until July 7, 1949, with the St. Louis Browns — a span of 13 years, 14 days.

The Braves also placed left-hander Jesse Biddle on the active roster, recalled right-handed pitcher Bryse Wilson, placed left-hander Sean Newcomb on the injured list and put outfielder Ender Inciarte on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hamstring.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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