by "Scoops" Mibble
All Time League Freelance Sports Reporter
This is the 13th issue of the ATL Sporting Life, so I was taken off
my usual hospital run and sent to hunt down 13's. I guess they figured
my being around the injured and trainers so much, I would have an
inside line on this.
Before we go to uniform numbers, let's take a quick look at other
number 13's. On April 13th in the ATL, four players got injured: Carl
Furillo (3 games), Ernie Banks (15 games), Dick Allen (2 games) and
Tony Gwynn (20 games). On May 13th two players got injured: Alejandro
Oms (7 games) and Frank Chance (0 games). Then there's Wilbur Cooper
who was injured for 13 games on 4/8, and Eppa Rixey and Tommy Bridges
both injured for 13 on 4/11. OK, that finishes the hospital run.
Then there's winning streaks. The Newark Eagles think 13 is unlucky
because they just had a 12-game winning streak. Satchel Paige lost the
13th game of that streak, 3-2 against Stan Coveleski and the San
Francisco Seals. The Eagles had the bases loaded with no outs in the
bottom of the ninth in that one . . . but Coveleski closed them down
with only 1 run.
So, who's wearing number 13 on their back in the ATL, and how are they doing?
Lance Parrish of the New York Giants does. Let's see, Lance is batting
.082 in eleven games and 24 AB. He has compiled 9 K's and 2 ribbies to
go with his 2 hits. Lance is backup for Bill Dickey, and with those
numbers he won't be moving up in the world anytime soon. Lance does
have a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 9 games behind the plate,
with 34 Putouts and 4 Assists.
Alex Rodriguez of the Montreal Royales also wears the number 13. A-Rod
is playing regular shortstop and batting second for the Canadian
Royales. So far in 180 AB Alex has swatted 9 HR, driven in 26 RBI,
scored 23, has stolen 3 out of 8 bases, and is batting .261. In the
field, in 42 games, A-Rod has a .972 fielding percentage, good for
second in the Legends League on 6 Errors, 72 Putouts, 141 Assists, and
Edgardo Alfonzo of the Toronto Blue Jays has 13 on his back. Edgardo is
playing second and third for the current North Division leaders. In 41
games he is batting .254 in 138 AB, with 8 Doubles, 4 HR, 20 RBI and 17
Runs. In 27 games at second base he is fielding .976, and in 16 games
at third base he is fielding .979 -- which would be good for second in
the league if he had enough chances.
John Valentin would like to wear number 13, but he is still a free agent looking for a team to play on.
Omar Vizquel wears #13 for Havana, but Omar has spent the season in the
Minors and on the bench. He hasn't appeared in a game yet.
Another shortstop, Ozzie Guillen, would wear #13 if his agent can get him a job somewhere.
Ralph Branca would wear 13, but he doesn't even have an agent to get
him a roster spot somewhere . . . Ralph isn't in the Player Set at all,
and neither is Felix José or Lee Mazzilli or José
Vizcaino. Ralph, Felix, Lee and José have to sit this League out
this season. Now that is unlucky.
Nobody in Major League Baseball history has had the number 13 retired
for any team. That's not so unlucky though, as nobody who has worn the
number 12 has either, nor 18, 22, 25, 28, 31, 36, 38, and then a whole
lotta numbers between 41 and 85, which is the highest number retired
(August Busch Jr. -- why? Hey, if you got enough money you can get
anything, even a number retired in Major League Baseball).
There are more who wear the number 13, but time and knowledge have fallen short so here we are at the end of the article.