Just like Part 1, this post features my favorite athletes who were associated with numbers from 34 to 99 (I say “associated” because NASCAR drivers don’t really “wear” their numbers).
Unlike Part 1, these are consecutive up to a point… Once we get above #59 it starts to skip around a bit.
After a couple of comments on the last post, I feel like I need to point out that I’m not any kind of numerical genius. Although I did the initial draft from memory, it was basically “Who wore this number for the Mets, Yankees, Steelers and Capitals and do I still like them?” After that, I leaned heavily on the All-Time Uniform Number listings on baseball-reference.com and hockey-reference.com (where it’s “Sweater Numbers“), and I also flipped through my “player collection” binder to remind myself who wore which number.
OK, with out of the way let’s get back to the numbers!
34 – Noah Syndergaard
35 – Brandon Crawford
Crawford is one of my “He caught my attention in the minors” guys. I gave serious thought towards going with Mike Mussina, but I’m frankly still kinda pissed that Moose left the Orioles for the Yankees.
36 – Jerry Koosman
37 – Casey Stengel
Casey was with the Mets from the start and his numbered was retired, so he goes down in history as the one and only #37 with the Mets.
38 – Skip Lockwood
39 – Erik Hanson
Hanson is from the same small town in New Jersey that a very good friend of mine is from (but she doesn’t know Hanson)
40 – Bartolo Colon
41 – Tom Seaver, New York Mets
42 – Ron Hodges
43 – Troy Polamalu
44 – Jason Isringhausen
45 – Tug McGraw
46 – Jeremy Guthrie
47 – Jesse Orosco
48 – Jacob deGrom
49 – Charlie Hough
I’ve got a thing for knuckleballers
50 – Sid Fernandez
…I strongly considered fellow Hawaiian Benny Agbayani
51 – Jamie Moyer
Moyer was the last of his kind – a Major Leaguer who was older than I was. Bless you, Jamie Moyer.
52 – Yoenis Cespedes
53 – Chad Bradford
Just like I have a thing for knuckleballers, I also have a thing for submariners.
…and for those of you who have been with me long enough to remember my original header…
…the basis for that header was this 2008 custom I made of Chad Bradford
54 – John Habyan
Like me, he’s a Long Island guy; At the time Habyan broke through, a friend of mine got very excited because he’d played against Habyan in high school ball. I got excited as well.
55 – Kelly Johnson
I chose a 2015 custom card rather than an actual card just because it shows his uniform number (and because I like the card design I’d made for 2015)
56 – Jim Bouton
I love anything to do with the Pilots. Because of “Ball Four”, Jim Bouton is at the center of the Pilot-verse.
57 – Johan Santana
58 – Doug Fister
Fister was a godsend one year I won my Fantasy Baseball league.
59 – Jack Ham
This is bit of a cheat because Ham’s career and my Steeler fandom overlap by just one season… but there are damn few #59’s to choose from.
62 – Tunch Ilkin
My college roommate got me into the Steelers, and at first we both liked Tunch Ilkin’s name… and liked him even better when he became an All-Pro.
66 – Munenori Kawasaki
C’mon, who doesn’t love Muni?
72 – Phillip Evans
Just for the heck of it, and because I got one of these sent to me in a recent package from “Dime Boxes Nick”
77 – Greg Sacks, NASCAR driver
I was sort of a Greg Sacks fan; he’s from Mattituck, NY, way the heck out on Long Island. Every NASCAR fan I knew at the time pulled for him (sometimes grudgingly) because he was “The one local guy”. He raced under other numbers, but this is one of the few cards of his I have, so…
If you’ve seen the Tom Cruise movie “Days Of Thunder”, you’ve seen Greg Sacks in action; some of the footage from the movie came from actual races with “movie cars” in the field, and Sacks was one of those drivers. I’m pretty sure he drove as “Cole Trickle” in at least some of the scenes. Sacks was also a “Technical consultant” on the film.
83 – Heath Miller
86 – Hines Ward
99 – Turk Wendell
You were expecting Wayne Gretzky here, admit it.