Monday, January 21, 2008

Indians Uniform Number - 2 (Part 1)

There are 30 Indians players that have worn the number 2 since uniform numbers were put into place in the late 1930's. I decided to post the first half of the list here, and then I'll post the second half and announce my choice for the best player to wear #2 on his jersey. Enjoy "Number 2, Act 1:"

 Al Cihocki - 1 Season (1945) - Cihocki, who played as a utility infielder, batted for a .212 average in his year with the Indians. One of the most confusing things I found was that he seems to have no official stats for playing with the Orioles, yet many sites ONLY picture him in an Orioles uniform. Perhaps Kevin might be able to shed some light?

 Alex Cole - 2.5 seasons (1990-part of 1992) - He started out promising - a .300 rookie year followed by a .295 2nd year. He also posted .379 and .386 on-base percentage, respectively. In 1992, however, the wheels seemed to have come off and he was traded away to Pittsburgh.

 Ben Chapman - 2 Years (1939-1940) - Chapman came from the Red Sox after he hit a .340 average (his career best). With high hopes, Cleveland hit for .290 and then .286. The Indians decided they didn't want him anymore, so they sent him to Washington.

 Bob Seeds - 4 seasons (1930-1932, 1934) - Seeds batted .285 and .306 in his first two seasons with the Tribe. In 1932, he played only two games and went 0 for 4 and was then traded to the White Sox. After then being traded to the Red Sox, Seeds returned to Cleveland in 1934, where he batted .247. The card images I found of him show him in Red Sox, Yankees, or Giants uniforms. I am going to look hard for a Play Ball or similar of Seeds on a Cleveland card, and hopefully find one to post here.

 Boze Berger - 3 Seasons (1932-1936) - Berger, despite having a cool-sounding baseball name, had a rather dismal career with the Tribe. In '32, he batted in only game game for one at-bat and struck out. The next season, he managed to bat for .258, but followed that up with a .173 the next year. When I saw this Berger card up for grabs on eBay, I snagged it right away!

 Brett Butler - 4 Seasons (1984-87) - Butler came to the Tribe with Brook Jacoby (not bad company!). As far as Tribers sporting #2, he batted very well throughout his time with the Indians (.269, .311, .278, .295). One of his claims to fame includes being the first player EVER to face Roger Clemens (1984). His 1985 .311 average turned out to his career high. In addition to his .269+ yearly averages, he also boasted a .350+ OBP each year with the Tribe (whacking a .399 OBP in 1987). Ten years after leaving the Tribe, he would write a book ("Field of Hope") about his life in baseball and his battle with a rare throat (tonsil-related) cancer.

 Buddy Rosar - two seasons (1943-44) - Rosar batted .283 and .263 in the two years he played with the Tribe. He batted consistently, nailing a .340 and a .339 OBP. Unfortunately, I did not find much about his overall career, let alone his time with Cleveland. The image I found is of a trimmed W603, signed "Baseballically Yours." Nothing like a guy who can coin his own term...

 Dick Porter - 6 Seasons (1929-1934) - Porter somehow managed to keep himself in the minors for many years, smacking .300+ seasons consistently before the Indians were finally able to grab his MLB contract. For the first four years of his career, he knocked .308+ per year avergaes while also boasting .373+ OBPs each year. I read that he was given the name "Twitchy" because he flicked his bat constantly while waiting for the pitcher to throw the ball. In addition to knocking the ball around, he was able to pull two .500 stolen base seasons (1930, 1933) and when he wasn't stealing for .500, he still managed .375, .400, and .333 (1929, 1931, 1932). The image comes from another eBay find (I snagged it up quickly, too).

 Doug Hansen - 1 season (1951) - Though Hansen played in only one game for three at-bats, he managed to score two runs. He did this without a single at-bat, to boot. He had been called in to pinch run on three occasions, getting left on the bag once. Despite his very brief career, there is a VERY extensive write up about him on the Baseball Biography Project.

 Eddie Bockman - 1 season (1947) - Bockman played in fewer than 50 games for Cleveland, hitting .258. Much of the information I found about him was related more to his appearance in the Pacific Coast League All-Star games with the likes of Bob Feller and Satchell Paige.

 Einar Diaz - 7 seasons (1996-2002) - Diaz came to the Bigs in order to serve as back-up to Sandy Alomar Jr (seems to have been a popular career choice for several catchers during Alomar's rein in Cleveland). In his 7 seasons, he saw his career rise, peak, and fall again, with a first-season avg of .000 to a peak of .281 (his overall career high) and come back down to a still respectable .272 (for this group, anyway). Yes, Dodger fans will say, "But in 2006, he batted .667!" True, he went 2 for 3 in the three at-bats in as many games that he had - nothing to sneeze at, but nothing to make a career over, either. For the players that have sported the number 2, he has one of the longest careers as a Triber and has good all-around stats to go with it.

 Gee Walker - 1 season (1941) - Best known for his days as a Tiger, Gee played for the Tribe for only season, racking up 48 RBIs, a .283 average and a .313 OBP. He hit 26 doubles, 11 triples, and 6 homers. Not too shabby!

 George Strickland - 8 seasons (1952-1960) - Strickland came to the Tribe after playing a few years with Pittsburgh. He was a member of the '54 Tribe World Series team. He mainly played Shortstop, though he also covered 2nd and 3rd bases throughout his career. His beast seasonal average came in 1953 (.284) and he never broke .240 at any other time in his career. Following his Indians playing career, he also served as their manager in the mid/late 60's.

 Hugh Alexander - 1 season (1937) - Alexander was 19 years old when he signed on with the Tribe to play in the Bigs. He lasted 7 games, had 11 at-bats, got 1 hit and struck out 5 times. He was released and became a scout instead.

 Jack Kubiszyn - 2 seasons (1961-62) - Kubiszyn, whose career ended before his name could catch on, played in 25 games each year with the Tribe. His 2 seasons with Cleveland also marked the length of his baseball career. He averaged 214 the first year and fell off to 164 during his second. In his 50-game stint in the Bigs netted him 1 home run.

 Jhonny Peralta - 5 seasons so far (2003-2007) - Peralta came in to fill the Shortstop position when Omar Vizquel was injured. In 77 games, he hit .227 and 4 home runs. In 2005, he took over full-time at Shortstop after Vizquel was traded. Peralta stepped up, knocking 24 home runs and batting .292, which set the Indians record for a shortstop. Each year since 2005, he has hit for at least .257 with 65+ RBI's.

 John Kroner - 2 seasons (1937-38) - The Indians snagged Kroner after he had hit 62 RBIs and a .292 average for the Red Sox. His first years with the Tribe, Kroner hit 26 RBIs and had a .237 average. In 1938, he upped his average to .248, despite dropping his RBIs to 17.

 Johnny Berardino - 4 seasons (1948-1950, 1952) - For the most part, Berardino's batting average hovered around .200 throughout his Cleveland career. The main exception to this rule is his .400 in 1950 - a year in which he played in 4 games (1 run, 2 hits, 3 RBIs). Though his MLB career flundered, he made a slew of B-movies before landing the role of Dr. Steve Hardy on "General Hospital." He played Dr. Hardy from 1963-1996. He also garnered a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


  1. Hey David, great job as always. Looking at your picture of Cihocki, I assumed that he played for the International League's Baltimore Orioles, who bridged the gap between the major league Oriole teams (the original AL Orioles moved to New York in 1902, eventually becoming the Yankees, and of course the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954).

    This site says that Al played for the IL Orioles from 1946-1952:

  2. These uniform number posts are all fantastic. Great job!