He played for Yorkshire throughout his career, and captained the club from 1984 to 1986, Bairstow was influential for his aggression on the field and for his playing statistics. In 459 first-class cricket matches he scored 13,961 runs at an average of 26.44 with a highest score of 145. He snared 961 catches and 137 stumpings and perhaps stands second only to Jimmy Binks in the annals of Yorkshire wicket-keeping. He played 429 one day matches, scoring 5,439 runs at 20.68 with one century. Bairstow played for 21 seasons, three of which as club captain. He was a popular figure with the Yorkshire crowds.