Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Indians Uniform Number - 5 (Part 1 of 2)

There are 20 players who have sported the Number 5 on their uniforms. That's a little surprising, considering that in 1970, the number was retired by the Indians. We'll talk more about that later, though. Right now, let's take a look at the first ten players who have sported the Number 5:

Bobby Young - 1+ seasons (part of 1955-1956) - It's not often you find a player who experiences a career high average followed by his career low. But, Bobby Young managed to give the Tribe just that. In 1955, Young came to the Indians from the Orioles to bat in 18 games in which he got 14 hits and 6 RBIs. He finished up with a .311 average. The next season, he batted in one game and ended up with a zero average.

Bubba Phillips - 3 seasons (1960-1962) - In 1961, he hit two grand slams (the only ones of his career) and batted his highest Tribe-based average (.264). In his three years as an Indian, he had 151 runs on 353 hits with 32 homers in 1412 at-bats, getting 159 RBIs.

Buddy Booker - 1 season (1966) - Buddy only played in 18 games. At 28 at-bats, he got 6 runs, 6 hits, and 2 homers while bringing in 5 RBIs and striking out 6 times. He left the Tribe with a .214 batting average.

Cal Neeman - Part of 1 season (1963) - Neeman only played in 9 games as an Indian. In nine appearances at the plate, he was walked once and struck out 5 times. Unfortunately, he joins the list of Tribers who left Cleveland with a .000 average.

Chuck Tanner - 2 seasons (1959-1960) - Being from Pittsburgh, I am much more familiar with Tanner as a Manager/Coach during the "We Are Fam-I-Ly" days of the Pirates. As a Triber, he played in 35 games total, scored 9 RBIs on 8 runs (19 hits, 15 strikeouts) and came up with a .250 in '59 and .280 (his 2nd highest average) in 1960. Having the split personality of a person who likes both the Tribe and the Pirates, I have to say I'm glad Tanner went on to a Managerial career later in life.

Hank Majeski - 4 seasons (Part of 1952 - part of 1955) - There is a bad personal watercraft pun in here somewhere, but I'll leave it to you to come up with it. In his first three seasons with the Indians, he batted for .281 or better. He had 273 at-bats in a Tribe uniform, scoring 26 runs with 44 RBIs. In '52, he pulled a .296 avg (.377 OBP and .333 SLG) without hitting a single home run. According to, "he replaced Al Rosen at third base in Game Three of the 1954 World Series and delivered a pinch-hit home run in Game Four." Unfortunately, he left the Indians batting .188 before going to the Orioles.

Jim Lawrence - 1 season (1963) - It's hard to say he played for a season when he only caught for 2 games. He had no at-bats, so sadly, he represents yet another goose-egg Triber. The difference here is that at least he can say he never got the chance, right? I would have posted a picture, but the only one I could find was actually a scan of a 3x5 autograph for sale on eBay. Guess he gets a goose-egg there, too...

Joe Altobelli - 2 seasons (1955, 1957) - Most notable known for managing the O's to their 3rd World Series championship, Altobelli barely squeaked out .200 averages during his time in a Tribe uniform. One area he was scarily consistent? How about this: In his 3 years as an MLB player, he struck out 14 times EACH YEAR...

Johnny Romano - 5 seasons (1960-1964) - Romano scored 40 runs, 12 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs, with 52 RBIs on 86 hits during his first year with the Tribe (.272 avg). The next two years, he played for the AL all-star team (21 homers in 1961 and 25 homers in '62). During his Indians career, he maintained a .460+ SLG except for one season ('63) which he had fractured his hand. Though he won't be able to pull off the All-Time #5, we'll see how he fares in the #11 list of candidates.

Kit Carson - 2 seasons (1934-'35) - Carson shares his name with the American Frontiersman, which is always cool. Our Kit Carson, though, played right field. In his two seasons, he only played in 21 games, netting him 40 at-bats. He wasn't able to pull off any home runs, but he scored 5 runs on 10 hits. He also had 4 doubles, a triple and 2 RBIs during his career. He batted .278 his first season followed by a .227 avg.

No comments:

Post a Comment