As we rapidly approach the end of the 2023 MLB regular season and get set for what is sure to be an exciting month of playoff baseball, much of the attention is obviously on the pitchers and power hitters who can decide how October plays out. But sometimes, a simple single can be every bit as valuable as a long ball. With that as the motivation, let’s take a look at the players with the most postseason hits in MLB history.
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Yankees Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter played in more postseason games than anyone else, so I suppose it shouldn’t come as a great surprise to learn he also registered the most hits in MLB playoff history. That’s not to say, however, that he didn’t thrive in October, and owns this record purely because of the amount of games he was able to play. Jeter slashed an eye opening .308/.374/.465 in 158 postseason games — essentially an entire season’s worth. He hit 20 home runs, drove in 61 runs, contributed 32 doubles, five triples, and even stole 18 bases. Jeter’s reliability towards the top of the New York lineup was one of the primary reasons the Yankees won five World Series titles during his tenure, and he’ll forever be remembered as one of the absolute elite players on the game’s biggest stage.
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Bernie Williams, 128
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Similarly to Jeter, center fielder Bernie Williams was able to participate in a plethora of postseason games during his Yankees career — 121 of them to be exact — and like his longtime teammate, he capitalized on his opportunities. The switch-hitter racked up 128 playoff knocks, including 51 extra-base hits. His postseason slash line of .275/.371/.480 was extremely formidable, and he was a huge part of four New York World Series winners.
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Manny Ramirez, 117
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Right-handed swinging Manny Ramirez was one of the most entertaining and goofy players of his generation, but he was also one of the absolute most dangerous hitters in the game. Ramirez participated in high-intensity postseason games in Cleveland, Boston, and Los Angeles, and seemed to always rise to the occasion. His lifetime postseason slash line of .285/.394/.544 is eye-opening, and the 29 October home runs he blasted are the most of all-time. He managed to rack up 88 other playoff hits as well, and the 117 postseason knocks he finished with are good for the third-most in MLB history.
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Jose Altuve’s Astros have been baseball’s most successful team over the last half dozen or so years, and the second baseman has been a key ingredient in all that success. Altuve has been the MVP of the American League, earned three batting titles, won six Silver Sluggers, and a Gold Glove. And in the postseason he’s come up with clutch hits over and over again. In total, the Venezuela native has piled up 103 playoff hits, many of which contributed to the Astros winning four American League pennants and two World Series championships.
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Jorge Posada, 103
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With all of the success the Yankees enjoyed during the late 1990s and early 2000s, it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that three of the top five players on this list called the Bronx home during that time period. Switch-hitter Jorge Posada was a mainstay behind the plate for the Bombers for 17 years. He was a five-time all-star and five-time Silver Slugger award winner, and most importantly helped the Yankees win four World Series titles. Posada’s .248/.358/.387 playoff slash line was well below his regular-season average, but he did still accumulate 103 postseason hits, and is one of only six players with more than 100.
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Yadier Molina, 102
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For nearly two decades Yadier Molina was an anchor behind the plate in St. Louis, and the youngest of three brothers who all caught on in the big leagues is surely to have his number retired by the Redbirds in short order. Molina is the standard for what an elite defensive catcher looks like, and offensively he drastically outperformed his original projections. The Puerto Rico native helped the Cardinals win two World Series championships and his lifetime postseason slash line of .273/.326/.357 played a big part in their success.
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Chipper Jones, 97
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As was the case in the Bronx, Atlanta spent nearly the entire mid 1990s-mid 2000s in the postseason, which allowed switch-hitting Chipper Jones to participate in 93 playoff games in a Braves uniform. The DeLand, FL native capitalized on the primetime exposure, slashing .287/.409/.456 with 31 extra-base hits in October, and while the Braves only won one World Series championship in this timeframe, Jones was certainly not the problem.
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Outfielder Kenny Lofton played for 11 different major league teams, but the vast majority of his career was spent in Cleveland. Lofton’s speed, however, made him a desired commodity for teams heading to the postseason, which especially late in his career often made him a trade-deadline target. In total, he was able to play in 95 playoff games and for the most part thrived, slashing .247/.315/.352 and most importantly given his role, swiping 34 bases. He did pile up 97 playoff hits, though, good for 8th all-time — an impressive accomplishment especially considering he was never on a World Series-winning team.
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Albert Pujols, 97
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Albert Pujols is easily one of the greatest offensive players in baseball history and the three time MVP’s production didn’t drop off at all under the bright October lights. In 20 postseason series the longtime Cardinals first baseman slashed .319/.422/.572 with 19 homers, 54 RBI, and 18 doubles. He helped St. Louis win two World Series championships, and in the process compiled a lofty total of 97 career playoff hits.
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David Justice, 89
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Rounding out the top 10 on the all-time postseason hits list is left-handing swinging David Justice, who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. The Cincinnati, OH born outfielder played for the Braves, Indians, Yankees, and Athletics at a time when all four teams were legitimate contenders. That helped him reach the playoffs in 10 of his 14 seasons in the big leagues, and in the process, compile 89 postseason knocks.
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David “Big Papi” Ortiz is easily one of the most accomplished players in the long history of the Boston Red Sox, and hands down the greatest DH in the history of the game. Ortiz was a 10-time all-star who helped Boston win the World Series three times in a nine-year period, and in many of the postseason series on the way there he put the team on his back. In 85 career playoff games the big left-handed slugger slashed .289/.404/.543 with 41 extra-base hits and 61 RBI. He also added a healthy share of singles, finishing his career with an impressive 88 postseason hits.
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Yuli Gurriel, 87
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First baseman Yuli Gurriel spent the first seven years of his major league career in Houston on some very good Astros teams, and very quickly became no stranger to the month of October. The Cuban-born right-handed hitter won the AL batting title in 2021 and was an immensely productive starting player in Houston for a long time, but it’s his exploits in the playoffs that are what fans remember him most for. In 85 postseason games with the Astros, Gurriel slashed a strong .267/.321/.390, while accumulating 87 playoff hits. He won two World Series rings with Houston before joining Miami as a free agent last winter, and while the Marlins are currently fading in the National League wild-card race, perhaps a big September from the team could earn him an opportunity to add to this total.
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Switch-hitter Pete Rose is baseball’s all-time regular-season hits leader so it is only fitting that he’s also on the all-time leaderboard for postseason knocks. In the 24 years Rose played in the big leagues his team made the playoffs eight times, and he walked away with a World Series ring in three of them — not a bad ratio. In 67 career postseason games, Rose slashed an impressive .321/.388/.440 with 86 hits, including 20 that went for extra bases.
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Paul O’Neill, 85
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Outfielder Paul O’Neill earned a World Series ring as a member of the Reds in 1990, but that was only the beginning of his postseason heroics. O’Neill was traded to the Yankees in November 1992, and it’s in the Bronx where he did most of the work that landed him on this exclusive list. With the Yankees the left-handed hitter took home four more World Series rings, and the .284/.363/.465 slash line he finished his postseason career with is eye-opening. Across 19 playoff series, O’Neill accumulated 85 hits, placing him firmly in the top 15 all-time.
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Justin Turner, 85
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Infielder Justin Turner began his career as a serviceable role player in Baltimore and New York, but when he joined the Dodgers in 2014, he became much more than that. Armed with a new swing and approach at the plate, Turner morphed into a superstar, and would go on to become one of the most productive hitters in Dodgers history. Los Angeles made the playoffs in each of his nine seasons with the team, allowing Turner to play in 86 postseason contests. He’d slash .270/.370/.460 in those games and tally 85 hits along the way.
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Tino Martinez, 83
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Checking in next on our list is yet another Yankee, this time, first baseman Tino Martinez. The left-handed hitter was acquired by New York in a winter meetings trade with Seattle in 1995. With the Bombers, Martinez would become an anchor at position number three on your scorecard, and help the team win four World Series titles. In total, he participated in 99 postseason games, in which he slashed .233/.321/.351 with nine homers, 38 RBI, and 15 doubles. Those numbers don’t exactly leap off the page, but all those opportunities allowed him to compile 83 playoff hits, which ranks him 16th all-time.
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Carlos Correa, 82
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Of all the active players on this list, Twins shortstop Carlos Correa is probably the safest bet to add to his playoff hits total in just a few short weeks. With Minnesota currently holding a healthy lead in the American League Central, Correa will almost certainly get an opportunity to expand on the already impressive postseason resume he authored in Houston. In 79 playoff games in an Astros uniform, Correa slashed .272/.344/.505 with 18 home runs, 59 RBI, and 16 doubles. He finished his Houston tenure with 82 postseason knocks, and was a huge part of the team’s 2017 World Series title.
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Reggie Jackson, 78
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Outfielder Reggie Jackson is a five-time World Series winner who earned the moniker ‘Mr. October’, so it was a pretty safe bet he’d find himself somewhere on this list. The Abington, PA native took on a leading role in postseason runs with both the A’s and Yankees, and finished his career with one of the most complete playoff resumes in history. Across 17 postseason series the left-handed slugger slashed .278/.358/.527 with 18 home runs, 48 RBI, and 14 doubles. The 78 total playoff hits he registered currently rank him 18th all-time.
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Alex Bregman, 76
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Third baseman Alex Bregman was selected second overall by the Astros in 2015 coming out of LSU, and since the moment he debuted the following summer both he and his team have enjoyed almost comical levels of success. In the six full big-league seasons he’s played, Bregman’s Astros have reached the World Series four times and taken home the championship trophy twice. All of that postseason success has given him ample opportunities in October, which is why despite a relatively modest playoff slash line of .237/.345/.427, he’s still been able to pile up a healthy share of hits.
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Steve Garvey, 75
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Right-handed swinging Steve Garvey was the National League MVP winner in 1974, was selected to 10 All-Star Games, and won the World Series with the Dodgers in 1981. But despite all of that success, he’s not a name you hear nearly enough about today. While he was obviously a tremendous regular-season player in L.A., Garvey fits the bill of a guy that took his game to a whole another level under the bright October lights. In only 55 career postseason games, he slashed a phenomenal .338/.361/.550 with 22 extra-base hits and 31 RBI. The 75 hits he recorded in those 55 games is obviously a stellar ratio, and they have him sitting comfortably inside the top 20 all-time.
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Roberto Alomar, 72
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Switch-hitter Roberto Alomar is certainly in the conversation when debating who the best second baseman in the history of the game is, and in his prime it would be hard to vote against him. The native Puerto Rican made 12 all-star teams, won 10 Gold Gloves, earned four Silver Sluggers, and helped the Blue Jays win back-to-back World Series titles in the early 1990s. During his career, Alomar played in 58 playoff games, slashing .313/.381/.443 with 21 extra-base hits and 20 stolen bases. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 and — not that it needed it — his postseason resume certainly buoyed his candidacy.
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Johnny Damon, 72
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The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is still probably the best in baseball, and outfielder Johnny Damon is one of only 12 players who have won the World Series with both iconic franchises. Damon was a member of the 2004 curse-breaking Boston team, and five years later — with much less hair — earned a ring in the Bronx. He also appeared in a handful of playoff games with both the A’s and Rays, and was consistently a productive October player. In 59 total postseason contests, Damon slashed .276/.323/.452 and piled up an impressive 72 knocks.
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Alex Rodriguez, 72
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Alex Rodriguez’ regular-season resume is nearly unparalleled, and based on pure talent alone, there are very few players who have ever touched his raw abilities. His career later obviously became littered with controversy that we are not going to get into here. Strictly speaking about the postseason, Rodriguez was much more human against the better pitching you see in October, but he was still productive. In 76 playoff contests, he slashed .259/.365/.457 with 29 extra-base hits. Despite the relatively low batting average compared to his regular-season marks, the 72 hits Rodriguez notched in October was still close to one per game.
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George Springer, 72
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During his time with the Astros, outfielder George Springer earned a reputation as one of the most clutch playoff performers in the game, and while the Blue Jays are still in the thick of the AL wild-card race, they’ll need a big September to leapfrog one of the teams in the AL West and give him a chance to build on his October resume. In 65 postseason contests to date, Springer has slashed .270/.350/.539 with 19 homers, 38 RBI, and 15 doubles. He crushed five long balls in the 2017 World Series against the Dodgers and was named series MVP, and has consistently proven his ability to take his game to new heights when the lights shine the brightest.
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Nobody has won more World Series rings than Yogi Berra, who owned one for every finger, and the three-time MVP’s legacy as an elite October participant could not be more secure. Berra played in 75 postseason games with the Yankees, slashing .274/.359/.452 with 12 home runs, 39 RBI, and 10 doubles, while providing the team with a defensive force behind the plate.
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Matt Holliday, 71
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Matt Holliday has been in the news a lot lately thanks to his son currently being widely considered the best prospect in all of baseball. But let’s not forget just how good Jackson’s dad was in his heyday. Holliday was a seven-time all-star, a four-time Silver Slugger award winner, and a NL batting champ, who also earned a World Series ring with the Cardinals in 2011. In 77 total postseason games, his .245/.303/.421 slash line does not jump off the page, but he did connect on 24 extra-base hits and record 71 total October knocks.