The number nine is as synonymous with baseball as anything the grand old game has to offer.
Nine...the #9...is 9 innings per game, 9 players on the field, all numbered, 1-9...and 9, that's the right fielder, who catches a fly ball, and in the score card you enter, FO-9.
Nine and baseball...Carlos Guillen of the Detroit Tigers, Terry Pendleton of the Atlanta Braves, and the great Reggie Jackson...as an Oakland Athletic.
#9 is Juan Pierre of the Florida Marlins catching the final out of the 2003 World Series, and Chone Figgins dashing around the bases for the Angels, helping bring a championship to Anaheim for the first time, in 2002.
The number nine is Gold Glove 3rd baseman Craig Nettles of the Yankees, the Cubs Jim Hickman, and the Astros Hunter Pence.
Nine is a grand number in big league baseball.
Roger Maris is #9, back to back MVP Awards in 1960-61 for the Yankees, and a World Series champion with both New York and the St. Louis Cardinals.
#9 is also a young Joe Torre, wearing the number nine proudly as he won the 1971 National League MVP as a 3rd baseman for the Cardinals.
The number 9...or, maybe 99...Many Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and now the Tampa Bay Rays.
Nine is baseball, the number is everywhere, and we, as fans, know that there is really only one #9, the one player, who, rose above all others who wore the number. His name was Theodore Samuel Williams
"The Splendid Splinter", Ted Williams.
Ted Williams is, simply, the best player to ever wear number 9..."Teddy Ballgame"..."The Kid."
Ted Williams... 521 Home Runs, the last player to hit over .400, at .406 in 1941, and the only American League player to win the Triple Crown twice, in 1942, and 1947.
Many baseball fans and historians consider Williams the greatest hitter ever, in part, because of Williams 5+ years serving as a Marine in WWII and in the Korean War.
I think Williams is in the Top 5 players ever, along with Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Lou Gehrig.
Do you have a favorite #9?
Who did I leave out?
See you next time for the best of the number 10...and the perfect 10.