Welcome to the first post in the "Cleveland Indians All-Time Players by Uniform Number." Yeah, the title needs a little work... Note: The "Mistake by the Lake" blog did an all-Cleveland version of what I am doing, but it is only as recent as 2004, and the one you are reading here is specific to the Indians only.
I am starting with uniform #00. So far as I could find, only two players have worn the lowest number available. What mental state do you have to be in that you would request 00 as your jersey number? Or, what kind of player do you have to be that you might be ASSIGNED the ol' 00? Well, as far as the Tribe goes, we have one such player (White). The two players I found are Paul Dade ('77-'79) and Rick White (2004).
Looking over the two players, I chose Paul Dade. Factors involved include longevity within the Indian organization and overall stats. Now, the longevity was a no-brainer. In the stats department, White pitched a total of 78.1 innings and managed to rack up a 5.29 ERA. Seriously. I am not surprised that he did not stick around long! Dade, on the other hand drew a consistent .325+ OBP with only a .250+ overall batting average. His best AVG was in 1977 where he hit for .291. Though his RBIs dropped from 45 to 18 during his tenure, he managed to hit three home runs each season he was with the Tribe. Yeah, he may not have hit many, but he was consistent, right? According to "Mistake," Dad was traded one-for-one for Mike Hargrove. I'd say the Tribe got the better end of that deal!
The decision to name the "All-Time" double-zero had me scratching my head the more thought I put into it. After all, if I were to choose the player who most DESERVED to wear the number, it would have to be White. But, I am trying to build the "best of the best," so given the candidates, Dade is the clear -er,um- winner.
BTW, I am collecting my information from a variety of sources: www.baseball-almanac.com, MLB.com, the "Mistake by the Lake" blog, search engine results, the cards themselves (when and where applicable), and my own personal feelings/observations.
Next time, I will look at Uniform #0.