He played on several teams in the National League beginning on September 17, 1912: the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1912 to 1917; the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1918 and 1919; the Philadelphia Phillies in 1920 and part of 1921; the New York Giants from 1921 to 1923; and the Boston Braves in 1924 and 1925. He played in three World Series: in 1916 for the Dodgers and in 1922 and 1923 for the Giants.
He is better known for managing than playing. His first managerships were on the Brooklyn Dodgers (from 1934 to 1936) and Boston Braves (1938-1943), where he was not very successful, never finishing better than fifth in an 8-team league. In 1949 he became manager of the New York Yankees, where he set records for championships, being the only person to manage a team to five consecutive World Series championships, and won two additional world championships and three additional league pennants afterward.
After being involuntarily retired from the Yankees in 1960 as too old, he went on to manage the New York Mets, at the time an expansion team with no chance of winning many games, from 1962 to 1965. Though the Mets finished last in a 10-team league all four years, Stengel was a popular figure nonetheless.
Stengel is the only person to have worn the uniform (as player or manager) of all four Major League Baseball teams that played in New York City in the 20th Century (while each team was in New York City): The New York Giants (as a player), the Brooklyn Dodgers (as both a player and a manager), the New York Yankees (as a manager), and the New York Mets (also as a manager).