Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday the 13th

Today is Friday, February the 13th, 2015.

I was thinking about baseball and the number 13, and why any player would ever want to wear the "unlucky" number on their baseball uniform.

Then I thought, hey, my Detroit Tigers current starting catcher Alex Avila wears #13... did another Tigers backstop, former Gold Glove catcher Lance Parrish...

...a classic baseball poster!

Bill Shores of the 1931 Philadelphia Athletics was the first big league ballplayer to wear #13, and there has been a total of 293 big league ballplayers to wear the number 13.

The number 13 and baseball.

Ralph Branca is probably the most famous #13 big leaguer.

Branca, pitching for the Brooklyn Dodgers in relief, served up a fastball in Game 3 of the 1951 National League playoff to Bobby Thompson of the New York Giants in the bottom if the ninth inning, a ball that landed in the left field seats at the old Polo Grounds in New York, sending the Giants to the World Series,  and Branca into #13 infamy.

Roberto Clemente briefly wore #13, for the 1955 Pittsburgh Pirates, as did Zack Greinke, Bobby Tolan, Ray Fosse, Mort Cooper,  Joe Ferguson, Harold Baines,  Dick Pole, Ozzie Guillen, Steve Kemp, and Bobby Wine.

Omar Vizquel  is the all-time leader in wearing #13.

Omar donned a big league uniform with the number 13 on the back for a big league record 21 years, from 1989-2001.

Runner-up players include...

19 years...Dave Concepcion (1970-88)

 18 years...Lance Parrish (1977-95)

16 years...Ozzie Guillen (1985-2000)

Some players wore #13 as champions, like Concepcion, the shortstop on the 1975-76 Big Red Machine of Cincinnati, Lance Parrish of the '84 Tigers, 1981 Dodgers catcher Joe Ferguson,  and Mort Cooper of the 1942 and 1944 Cardinals.

Myself,  I'm not afraid of the number 13, and I'm not overly superstitious when it comes to breaking glass, or walking under laders, and I even own two black cats.

One of my black cats is named Mr. Paws, after the Detroit Tigers mascot.

My Mr. PAWS...

Have a great Friday the 13th.

Play Ball!

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