On July 20, 1926, outfielder Al Simmons of the A’s established an American League record by playing in 394 consecutive games to start his career. The record held until Hideki Matsui played in 518 straight games after signing as a Japanese free agent with the Yankees, surpassing Simmons’s mark in 2005.
Here’s a fun little story I found:
On March 27, 2008, Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui made an unexpected announcement: that he had gotten married the day before. Matsui had kept the wedding a secret, telling only friends and family, but keeping it from the press — and, apparently, from teammates as well.
Only a few weeks prior, Matsui had made a bet with teammates Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu about who would be the first to get married. Neither Jeter nor Abreu knew anything about Matsui’s already-pending marriage and were both stunned upon hearing the news. Abreu, once he got over the shock, simply laughed and agreed to write Matsui a check.
Jeter, however, was not so ready to give in. He claimed that Matsui had played him for a fool and arranged for a renegotiation of the terms of the bet. Matsui told the press, “If he doesn’t get married within a year, I win the bet. Basically the bet was, whoever gets married first. Jeter said he himself doesn’t have a girlfriend, so he’s getting a one-year handicap.”
Kepner, Tyler. “Matsui Gets Married, and Not Just to Beat Jeter.” New York Times 27 March 2008. Web. Accessed 27 March 2013. http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/matsui-gets-married-and-tries-to-take-jeter-for-a-ride/