***Originally featured over at Sully Baseball.***
But among the many retired numbers throughout baseball, there are some notable and sometimes strange omissions.
Our good friend “Sully” has the ten most egregious snubs that should be fixed this year.
26 - Wade Boggs,
Red Sox Boston
According to the team’s website, the Red Sox only retire numbers for Hall of Famers who played ten years in
. Well, Boggs meets both standards. Boston
Why isn’t his uniform retired?
Why have Wes Chamberlain, Alejandro Pena, Aaron Sele, Orlando Merced, Chris Snopek, Rob Stanifer, Sean Berry, Freddy Sanchez and Ramiro Mendoza all worn Number 26 for the Red Sox since Boggs left? Yeah I loved Lou Merloni too, but he wasn’t a Hall of Famer.
Was it because he went to the Yankees? He was non-tendered! The Red Sox, in their infinite wisdom, just cut him loose. And he clearly cared about playing in
. Who else was crying in the dugout? Boston
Sure he had an affair…I have a feeling he wasn’t the only one. Retire Number 26 already!
25 - Bonds,
Giants San Francisco
Bonds? Which Bonds? Is it for Bobby? For Barry? Let’s avoid all controversy and have it just say “BONDS”.
For those of you who don’t want to honor the family name “Bonds”, let me ask you two questions? Do you like that great ballpark by
? You think that would have been built if not for Number 25? China Basin
I think that is worth not having anyone wear Number 25 again.
8 - Gary Carter,
Mets New York
Of all the massive blunders the Mets have made recently, the most unforgivable is not retiring Number 8 before Gary Carter passed away.
We all learned that the heart of the greatest team in Mets history (and the man who started the rally in Game Six of the 1986 World Series) was dying last spring. They had almost a whole season to organize a Gary Carter Day and give Met fans a chance to cheer him and immortalize Number 8.
It would have been the only reason to go to a Mets game in 2011!
Instead any honor given to The Kid will be posthumous. Retire his number. The 1986 team needs to have at least one name immortalized.
54 - Rich
Yankees Gossage, New York
Any conversation about the greatest reliever of all time would have to include the “Goose”. He pitched before there were setup men and specialists. He threw long saves and piled up relief innings.
One of the few relievers in the Hall of Fame, Gossage clinched the 1978 ALCS and World Series, but neither were his biggest game that year. He came into the one-game playoff against the Red Sox in the seventh inning.
It wasn’t his prettiest line (he let up two runs in 2.2 innings) but saving the “Bucky Dent Game” was no doubt his sweetest save.
29 - Satchel Paige,
The great Paige, one of the great pitchers of all-time, only spent a few years in
(picking up his World Series ring) and his best big league years were for the St. Louis Browns. Cleveland
But one of the great and legendary figures in baseball history does not have his number retired. That isn’t right, and can be easily corrected.
And if it makes young fans ask “who was Satchel Paige?” then that isn’t such a bad thing either!
29 - Dan Quisenberry,
Royals Kansas City
“Quiz” is no longer with us, but his legacy in
still is. He had a better career than I remembered with a look at his stats (compare him to Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter!). Kansas City
And remember the Royals lost the 1976, 1977 and 1978 ALCS to the Yankees because of their uncertain bullpen. But the Royals beat the Yankees in 1980 with the arrival of “Quiz”, who also was the closer in the Royals lone World Series win.
50 - J.R. Richard,
For a team that has a grand total of one pennant in their history, the Astros have a lot of retired numbers. Yet, oddly, they have left Richard out of their roll call.
Seriously, how is his number not retired? He was on his way to a Hall of Fame career. A healthy J.R. Richard with Nolan Ryan wins the 1980 pennant! Maybe the 1981 World Series! He would have dominated the National League into the new decade…if he hadn’t had the stroke.
The Astros retired Don Wilson and Jim Umbricht’s numbers after tragedies. So why not J.R.? He is still alive, and any ill will he had, was with ownership that has long since sold the team. New owner Jim Crane should correct this stupid omission.
34 - Dave Stewart,
To casual observers, the great A’s run in the late 1980s and 1990s happened because of the strength of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. Others might say it was on the consistency of Dennis Eckersley or on the legs of Rickey
. But those closely following the team knew that the leader of the team was Dave Stewart. Henderson
“Stew” was a journeyman spot starter but Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan transformed him into a legit Cy Young contender.
Consistently good for 20 wins a year, Stewart won two postseason MVP awards (1989 World Series MVP and 1990 ALCS MVP). Plus the
native gave back to the city with his charity work, much of which he did with little publicity. Oakland
Yes, Number 34 is retired in
in honor of Rollie Fingers. Shame on the A’s for issuing that number after Fingers left. But the Yankees retired Number 8 for two players (Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra). Why can’t the A’s honor two players who wore Number 34? Oakland
34 - Fernando Valenzuela,
Dodgers Los Angeles
The ripple effect of “Fernandomania” is still felt in Chavez Ravine. Walk around Dodger Stadium during a game and Number 34 is still one of the most popular jerseys worn by fans. He remains one of the most loved Dodgers of all-time. He still gets a huge ovation when the camera catches him in the Spanish language radio booth.
Nobody has worn Number 34 since he stopped being a Dodger. Why not make it official? He isn’t getting into the Hall of Fame, but it is safe to say a “Fernando Day” will draw quite a crowd.
14 - Anonymous,
Only one person has worn Number 14 since Pete Rose’s suspension. That would be Pete Rose Jr. during his eleven game call-up with the 1997 Reds.
The Reds should just retire the number without any ceremony. Just hang Number 14 up with the other retired numbers in
Fred Hutchinson, Johnny Bench, Willard Hershberger, Joe Morgan, Sparky Anderson, Dave Concepcion, Ted Kluszewski, Frank Robinson and Tony Perez are all honored. So should the greatest Red of them all, even if his name must not be mentioned.
***Sully’s insightful (often hilarious) videos can be found on the Sully Baseball Channel on YouTube.***