I ran across a fun bit of trivia that I would think Mariners fans would know, but it’s still a fun challenge for everybody else.
Do you know what these five Seattle Mariners have in common?
Frank MacCormack (He doesn’t appear on a card with the Mariners, which is why I had to go with a borrowed image of a minor league issue)
…And Harold Reynolds
According to Baseball-reference.com, these are the five Mariners to have worn #24 before this guy…
…And now that the Mariners have announced they will be retiring #24 for Ken Griffey Jr., there will be nobody else joining exclusive club.
FYI, Harold Reynolds also wore numbers other than 24 while with Seattle.
…And to be fair, Baseball Reference doesn’t count coaches and managers, so there may be others to have worn the number.
This is where I went down the rabbit hole I started wondering what other exclusive uni # clubs there are, not counting oddball numbers like 0 or 97. I could think of a few… The Yankees #4 (only Lou Gehrig), the Rays #12 (only Wade Boggs), The Expos #8 (Gary Carter and two other guys – BTW the Nats display but don’t “observe” retired Expos numbers), the Mets #41 (Seaver and five other guys), the Rockies #17 (Todd Helton and David Nied), the Royals #5 (George Brett and four guys), The Brewers #19 (Robin Yount and four guys) and #44 (Hank Aaron and three guys).
According to Baseball Reference, there was only one player who wore #19 before Tony Gwynn… Gene Richards:
But Gene Richards didn’t play in the majors until the late 1970’s. There must’ve been someone who wore the number in the years between 1969 and Gene Richards.
After a little poking around, I found Whitey Wietelmann.
He was a coach from 1969 to 1979, but didn’t wear #19 the whole time… I’m guessing Richards asked for it and Wietelmann gave it up.
Here’s the back of Wietelmann’s SSPC card showing that #19 did indeed belong to him at the time:
ANNNNNNYWAY… These are the ones I found before common sense stopped me from spending the entire afternoon researching these things. Does anybody know of any exclusive club numbers which I haven’t mentioned here?