Posted at 12:20 PM on July 5, 2005
by Bob Collins
There are certain things that are just wrong. While watching the Indians game yesterday, one of them violated the sanctity of my July Fourth. Lousy players wearing #44.
The number, of course, belongs to a slugger. Aaron wore #44. Reggie Jackson wore #44. Willie McCovey wore #44. (By the way, that's a great trivia question. Those are the three retired #44s in Major League Baseball.)
Josh Bard (.197 1 HR 7 RBI) should not be allowed to wear #44. Josh Bard shouldn't even be allowed to look at someone wearing #44.
It's wrong. It's just plain wrong.
A look at some of the people wearing the number as of the start of the season.
|Arizona:||Michael Gosling (argh!)|
|Cincinnati:||Adam Dunn (acceptable)|
|Colorado:||Preston Wilson (Preston, be gone!)|
|New York Mets:||Mike Cameron (OK, he hit 30 HR last year)|
|St. Louis:||Jason Isringhausen (Pitchers shouldn't wear #44. Ever)|
|San Diego:||Jake Peavy (This is more than a pet Peavy, I tell ya!)|
|Washington:||Larry Broadway (Larry started the season as #44 and is now listed as #64, but you have to root for this guy. This is the greatest name in baseball since Bombo Rivera.|
|Boston||Jay Payton (absolutely not)|
|Minnesota||Robert Bowen (A Josh Bard wannabee....and wanna-is)|
|Oakland||Erubiel Durazo (Power hitter. OK.)|
|Seattle||Richie Sexson (A fine example of a deserving 44.)|
|Toronto||Billy Koch (This is allowable since with the exchange rate it's really only 37.)|
I always felt like there are three numbers a player shouldn't be allowed to wear unless he's really got the talent to carry it: #1, #24, and #32. Some other numbers have loaded connotations as well (like all odd numbers from 1-9), but those three are the most loaded for me.
A player wearing #1 seems to be making a statement about himself. If he's not a team leader and star with a little flash to his game, he should take it off. Casey Blake, I'm looking at you.
Of course #24 belongs to Willie Mays. I don't expect every #24 to be the next Willie, but the guy should be a star hitter and good all-around athlete. I like LeCroy, but a pudgy platoon DH shouldn't be wearing that number.
And since #32 has been worn by so many great stars in baseball, basketball, and football, I think anybody short of a Hall of Famer is committing an egregious act of hubris by putting it on. Terry Tiffee? Oh, hell no.