Sunday, February 3, 2008

Indians Uniform Number - 4 (Part 3 of 3)

Evidently, my eyes played tricks on me when I set out to break up the Uniform #4 list into three equal parts. You see, I originally counted 30 players who wore #4, but when all was said and done, there are 26 total. Regardless of the total, I present to you the final six Indians players to sport the Number 4 on their jerseys. I'll post my final selection after the Super Bowl:

Mark Carreon - part of 1 season (1996) - Carreon only played in 38 games with the Tribe, batting 142 times, and grabbing a career-high .342 average. He was one of the rare folks who batted right-handed but threw left-handed. He was named in the 2007 Mitchell Report as having taken performance-enhancing drugs.

Norm Schlueter - 1 season (1944) - Norm played for Cleveland after being out of the majors since 1939, and it showed. His at-bats and his season batting average were nearly the same number - 122 at-bats with an avg of .123. In those 122 appearances at the plate, he had 2 runs, 15 hits, and 11 RBIs.

Odell Hale - 9 seasons (1931, 1933-1940) - "Bad News" Hale had 4 seasons in which he batted better than .300 and three others in which he batted higher than .275. He was given the name "Bad News" by the pitchers that had to throw against him. In 1934 and '35, he hit 101 RBIs each season. I found it ironic/funny that in 1934, he had even more errors than RBIs (107 errors!), but at the same time, managed to rack up 480 assists. Talk about a guy all over the place. Another interesting tidbit comes from, which reports that in 1935, Boston's Joe Cronin hit a bases-loaded line drive that went straight for Hale's head, which deflected off the noggin to the shortstop (who caught the ball still in the air) who then relayed the ball to second base and then the ball was sent to first for a triple play! I can't resist: Now, that's what I call having a head for baseball! He is buried in El Dorado, Arkansas, which is about an hour and a half from where I live.

Remy Hermoso - 1 season (1974) - Hermoso spent four years away from the MLB after leaving the Expos in 1970. The image is from the 1972 Venezuelan league (winter league?). In 1974, the Tribe brought him back to the majors and then let him go after 122 at-bats. He had 15 runs, 27 hits with 5 RBIs. He left the Indians with a .221 average and then went on to coach in the Venezuelan leagues (you can find cards from his coaching days on eBay).

Rick Cerone - 2 seasons (1975-76) - Even though he only played with the Tribe for two seasons, Cerone was one of my favorite players as a kid. Looking at his stats, it's a wonder I even knew who he was. He only batted in a total of 14 games. And, as many of you may know, in the 70's, we didn't have any kind of satellite or cable channel to show us every Tribe game. My grandparents (who lived in Cleveland and sparked my love for the Tribe) never watched a game on their television that I can remember. Funny how the world seems so different as a kid. In any case, Cerone came into the majors at the same time as the great Dale Murphy. Cerone had a total 28 at-bats in a Tribe uniform, had 5 total hits for 1 RBI. His rookie season average of .250 fell to .125 the next year, and the Indians sent him to the Blue Jays.

Tommie Agee - 3 seasons (1962-'64) - Topps did not see Agee card-worthy until 1965, even though he started three years earlier. Of course, that could be due to the fact that Agee played in a whopping 5 games his first year, and in 13 each his second two. As far as the Tribe goes, Agee was a bust. In his three seasons with the Tribe, he netted 9 total hits, 3 total runs, one double and one home run.

Tony Bernazard - 3+ seasons (1984- part of 1987) - In his first year with the Tribe, Tony tied a record. Unfortunately, it was for the longest hitless streak by a non-pitcher (0 for 44, ouch!). His average dipped to .221, but the Indians stuck by and watched him hit .274 then .301 (his career high). In '87, his average dropped back down to .239 before the Tribe let him go to the A's. In 1986 (his peak season), he had 88 runs, 169 hits, 28 doubles, 3 triples, and 11 homers. In his 562 at-bats that year, he struck out 77 times.

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