I do not know if any of you remember a movie called ” The Fan “. It starred Robert DeNiro and Wesley Snipes. DeNiro was the fan, and Snipes, a free agent outfielder who signs with the Giants. Problem is that the number he wore with the Braves is already taken by a Giants player who refuses to give it up.
Benicio Del Toro plays that player. Does not matter what Snipes offers the guy, he is not changing numbers. Now, what happens in the movie is that the obsessed fan ends up killing Del Toro’s character, so Snipes gets his number. Far-fetched of course, but there are some real wacko’s out there in fandom.
Just look at those two guys who beat that Giants fan so severely in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, then the fans who stabbed a Dodger fan to death in San Francisco.
I thought about this because Kiké Hernandez is back with the Dodgers. Thing is, Kiké is not going to get his # 14 back. The reason is simple, the number was retired last season when Gil Hodges was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame. Long overdue honor. And I sincerely doubt Gil’s family would be ok with Kiké wearing it.
Doesn’t matter, he is going to get # 8. Also got me thinking about players and their sometimes obsession with wearing the same number throughout their baseball career.
Manny Ramirez wore # 24 in Cleveland and when he went to the Red Sox. He gets traded to the Dodgers and low and behold, he can’t have 24. It is retired for Walter Alston. To Manny’s credit, he went way out of the box and asked for 99.
After he was claimed by the White Sox, he also wore 99 in Chicago. At his next stop, Tampa Bay, he got his beloved 24 back again. Kiké could not get 14 in Boston, so he wore # 5. JT is # 2 in Boston. Jansen has been able to keep his # 74 in Atlanta and in Boston.
I am in the minority maybe, but I do not think pitchers should have single digit uni numbers. When he first came up, Urias wore #78. I do not know what the connection is with him and the number seven, but when he was called up to stay, he switched to seven. When I have the time, and glasses strong enough for me to read the small print, I am going to look in my old Dodger Media Guide and see how many pitchers in Dodger history have worn a single digit number.
Trea Turner wore 7 in DC. Had to wear 6 in LA since Urias had it. He has his 7 back in Philadelphia. When did numbers on uni’s start?
The earliest use of numbers on the uniform dates back to 1907 when the Reading Red Roses of the Atlantic League placed numbers on their players so the fans could identify them. They are credited as such by the Hall of Fame museum.
The first major league team to number their uniforms was the Cleveland Indians. On June 26th, 1916, the Indians took the field in their home park with numbers on the sleeve of their uniforms.
The experiment was tried for a few weeks and then again the next season before being abandoned. In 1923 the Cardinals put numbers on their sleeves, but their players were ridiculed by other teams and were taken off.
In 1929, both the Yankees and the Indians were scheduled to wear numbers on the backs of their uniforms on opening day. The Yankees game was postponed, but the Indians played their game becoming the first team to wear numbers on the back of the uniform.
The Yankees used a very simple way to number their players at first. They wore a number that showed where they hit in the batting order. That is how Babe Ruth became # 3 and Gehrig # 4.
Numbers were not universally used in both leagues until 1937 when the Philadelphia A’s became the last team to adopt the practice.
The Dodgers were the first to adopt putting a number on the front of their jerseys. They were going to do it if they appeared in the 1951 World Series, but Thompson’s homer squashed that.
Not all teams wear numbers on the front of the uniform now. But several do. Dodgers, Mets, Cubs, Reds, Cardinals, Astros, Pirates.
The Dodgers number on the front is red. They wanted it to stand out from the rest of the uniform. The Phillies were the only team who wore the number on the sleeve of the uni and they discontinued that in 2022 with the adoption of sponsors on uniform sleeves.
Placing the players’ names on the back of the uniforms was first done by the White Sox in 1960. It is almost universal in baseball now, with a few notable exceptions.
Yankees home pinstripes, Boston’s home whites. The Dodgers removed the names for a season or so in the early 2000’s. But they have been back for a long time now. Ichiro is probably the only player who used his first name on the back of his uniform rather than his last.
Some weird facts about players wanting their favorite number. When he joined the Blue Jays, Rickey Henderson paid Turner Ward, yeah, the former Dodger hitting coach, $25,000 to give him # 24.
When Brian Jordan joined the Braves, he bought coach Fredi Gonzalez a Harley-Davidson motorcycle for # 33. Juan Pierre bought then Dodger manager, Grady Little a motorcycle for # 9.
When Wild Thing Mitch Williams joined the Phillies, he gave John Kruk 10 bucks and two cases of beer for his #28. Roger Clemens tried to get # 21 from Paul O’Neil but O’Neil refused so Clemens took # 12,
Joe Beimel took number # 97 because his first child was born in 1997.
Some very interesting moves. I do know one thing for sure, Amed Rosario will not be getting his # 1. Seems it is retired for a guy named Reese.
07-28-2023 – MiLB Game Summary Report
by Jeff Dominique
OKC Dodgers 14 – Reno Aces (Arizona) 12
The Dodgers jumped out to a 7-1 lead after 2.5. Arizona scored 7 off Matt Andriese in the bottom of the 3rd to take a 8-7 lead. In this slugfest in Reno, OKC scored the next 7, and Reno scored the next 4. There were 34 hits, 18 by OKC and 16 by Reno. All OKC hitters had at least 1 hit, and all but 3 had at least 2. OKC had 5 doubles and 4 HR.
- Michael Busch – 4-6, 2 runs, 3 RBI, 2 doubles (19) HR (16)
- Kole Calhoun – 3-5, 3 runs, 4 RBI, 2 HR (5)
- Drew Avans – 2-5, 1 BB, 1 run, 1 RBI
- Miguel Vargas – 2-4, 1 BB, 3 runs, 1 RBI, double (4), HR (3)
- Hunter Feduccia – 2-4, 1 BB, 1 run
- David Dahl – 2-4, 1 BB, 2 runs, 1 RBI, 2 doubles (15)
Busch is now batting .313/.431/.581/1.012. 19 doubles, 3 triples, 16 HR, K rate down to 19.6%. Why doesn’t Busch have a MLB job?
Kole Calhoun is now batting .305/.387/.545/.932, 16 doubles, 5 triples, 9 HR, K rate is 17.4%. Somebody has to want to give him another shot, right?
Springfield Cardinals 7 – Tulsa Drillers 2
Springfield scored 7 in the 3.2 IP by Nick Frasso. Frasso allowed 5 hits, including a 2 run HR in the 3rd, and 3 BB. Trevor Bettencourt, Ben Harris, and Ricky Vanasco pitched the final 5.1 innings with 1 hit and no runs.
Tulsa 2 runs came via a 2-out 2-run HR from Kody Hoese. Hoese also singled and drew a walk to reach 3 times.
Great Lakes Loons 7 – Dayton Dragons (Reds) 6
In a back and forth game, in the 4th, the Dragons scored 4 to take a 5-2 lead. In the bottom of the 4th, GL scored five to retake the lead 7-5. Luis Yanel Diaz led off with a BB, and Kenneth Bettencourt singled. That was followed by a pair of doubles by Chris Alleyne (13) and Jake Vogel (14). One out later, Alex Freeland slugged a 2-run HR (6).
The Dragons scored one in the 9th on 2 HBP and 2 BB.
Bettencourt was the only Loon to have 2 hits. Yeiner Fernandez also had a double (12).
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 10 – San Jose Giants 4
The two teams scored all of their runs in the first 4 innings. RC broke it open with 5 in the 4th and a 10-4, that turned out to be the final score.
Peter Heubeck pitched 5 innings allowing all 4 runs (3 earned). Jonathan Edwards, Garrett McDaniels, and Madison Jeffrey pitched the final 4 scoreless innings without a hit.
- Thayron Liranzo – 2-5, 2 runs, 3 RBI, double (12), HR (16)
- Luis Rodriguez – 2-4, 1 run, 1 RBI
- Wilman Diaz – 2-4, 1 run, 2 RBI
- Jose Izarra – 1-4, 1 BB, 3 runs, 1 RBI, double (16)