Saturday, March 8, 2008

Indians Uniform Number - 7 (Part 1 of 3)

After a bit of a delay due to illness and technical issues, I finally present the first of three posts for Tribe Uniform #7:

Al Rosen - 10 seasons (1947-'56) - Rosen wore the Number 7 throughout his career, except for one (in which he wore #17). His career began slowly as he batted in 7 games his rookie year and ended up with a .111 average. His next season brought him a .200 average in 5 games and his third year netted him a .159 in 23 games. Things were not looking good, but the Tribe stuck with him and put him on the roster full time in his 4th year. He answered by batting .287 with a .405 OBP, and things proved solid from then on. Over the next 6 seasons, his average stayed at or above .265, with 3 of those seasons batting .300+. In fact, in 1953, he batted .336 and was unanimously elected MVP that year. During his career, he played in four all-star games and played with the Indians during their 1948 and 1954 World Series appearances. After injuries suffered in a car wreck and his treatment by the Indians management and fans (salary cuts despite great playing, and booing from fans), he retired in 1957 at the age of 32.

Alan Bannister - 3 seasons (1981-'83) - Comedian Jimmy Pardo once said Bannister was his favorite player. Bannister averaged .265 over his three-year stint with the Tribe. He played in 286 games for the Indians, batting 957 times. During that time, he got 254 hits, 10 home runs, and 103 RBIs on 52 doubles and 6 triples. He struck out 103 times and was walked 89 times. He also had 40 stolen bases (16 in 1981, 18 in 1982, and 6 in 1983).

Bernie Carbo - part of 1 season (1978) - Until now, I did not realize that Carbo only played part of one season with the Tribe (batted in 60 games). I always thought he had one of those cool baseball names. In his very short time with the Tribe, he racked up a .287 average, getting 21 runs on 50 hits with 4 home runs and 16 RBIs. He did manage to steal a base during that half season as well. He was so well liked in Boston, where he played before and after his time in Cleveland, that fellow player Bill Lee QUIT the Sox when Carbo was sold to the Tribe! Talk about friendship.

Billy Hunter - Part of 1 season (1958) - Like Carbo, Hunter was with the Tribe for only half a season (76 games). Unlike Carbo, however, Hunter only managed to hit a .195 average in 190 at-bats. One of his "now, that's weird" stats include his 37 hits and 37 strikeouts in the same time period. Even though he only got 37 hits, he did manage to score 21 runs on those 37 hits, and he had been walked 17 times. Doesn't really make it any easier to swallow, does it? Dang.

Blas Monaco - Parts of 2 seasons (1937, 1946) - Now, you talk about a cool name, "Blas Monaco" sounds more like a movie actor than a baseball player, but it's still a great baseball name. In 1937, Blas wore the Number 7 while batting 7 times in 5 games. He got 2 hits with 2 RBIs. He struck out twice and was hit by a pitch. He ended the season with a .286 average and then was traded to Buffalo. I have no idea what happened, but he came back to the Tribe in 1946, he batted 6 more times. He scored 2 runs in '46 without any hits or stolen bases (he was walked once). I'm not quite sure how that happens.

Bob Lipski - 1 season (1963) - Yes, we have yet another Triber who made a very, VERY brief appearance with the Indians. How brief? In two games, he batted one time, and managed to whiff. At least defensively, he managed to post a perfect 1.000 with 3 put-outs in 2 innings over 2 games...

Brandon Phillips - 4 seasons (2002-2005) - Brandon split his Indians career between numbers 7 and 61. In 2002-2003, he sported the Number 7, which also happen to be his two best seasons with the Tribe. In truth, he only had one complete season (2003). In his rookie year, he had 31 at-bats, netting a .258 average with a .343 on-base percentage and a .419 slugging percentage. The Indians put him in full-time in 2003, and his batting slipped (208 avg/242 obp/311 slg). In 2004, his baseball days were numbered. He batted in 6 games for only a .182 average, and the next year, the Tribe had seen more than enough. Phillips again appeared in 6 games, but this time his average hit the bottom. His .000 season sent him to Cincinnati.

Bubba Phillips - 3 seasons (1960-1962) - Phillips appeared previously in our countdown wearing Number 5. 1960 brought Phillips his worst season (.207 average). In 1961, though, 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.

Buck Frierson - 1 season (1941) - Buck played in 5 games with 11 at-bats in 1941. He got 2 runs on 3 hits with 2 RBIs. He also struck out once and was walked once. He had a .273 average before being released. I could not find any specific information, but I can only assume Buck went off to fight in WWII and never returned to baseball.

Cam Carreon - 1 season (1965) - Cam played in 19 games with 52 plate appearances. He got 6 runs on 12 hits with one homer. He had 2 doubles, a triple, was walked 9 times and struck out 6 times. Nearly 40 years later, Cam's son Mark (who appeared in our #4 countdown) would also don a Tribe uniform.

Chris James - 2 seasons (1990-'91) - A utility DH for the Tribe, James batted .299 in his first year as an Indian and a .238 his second year before being sent to the Giants. His career in Cleveland netted 262 hits on 965 at-bats, scoring 93 runs with 17 homer runs, scoring 111 RBIs, leaving him with a .265 Tribe career average.

Del Crandall - 1 season (1966) - Crandall came to the Tribe from the Pirates, playing in what would be his final season in the majors. He batted in 50 games, scoring 10 runs on 25 hits with 4 homers and 8 RBIs. He ended his only AL-playing season with a .231 average.

Ed Montague - 4 seasons (1928, 1930-'32) - Montague had a respectable .262 career average with the Tribe. He wore #7 only in '32, but part of that comes from the fact that the Indians did not use uniform numbers before '31. Montague's lowest average was during his rookie year as he batted .235. His next two years netted .263 and .285 averages, respectively. He left the majors with a .245 in his last season. Overall, he had 105 runs on 161 hits while being walked 85 times and being hit by the ball 6 times. He was not a home run hitter, only knocking two of them during his 4 season career. Though his son with the same name is a major league umpire, baseball buffs may recognize the name as the scout who "discovered" Willie Mays and brought him to the major leagues.

1 comment:

  1. Love these uniform posts. Can I ask a dumb question. What is the most common reason for a player to wear two different numbers for the same team? Is it that he comes back after playing for another team? Sorry for duh.