Monday, March 10, 2008

Indians Uniform Number - 7 (Part 2 of 3)

Tonight, I offer you the second group of players to have donned the Number 7 uniform. As you'll see, several of them wore other numbers during the same year they wore #7... And, in all honesty, there is probably only one person in this Part 2 that might qualify for the final vote of All-Time Number 7. After this, we have one more set of players to review for #7:

Ed Wheeler - 1 season (1945) - Selected by the Indians in the Rule 5 Draft (winter), this is not the Wheeler that played with the Superbas. He batted in 46 games (72 at-bats) resulting in 12 runs on 14 hits with 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 8 walks and 13 strikeouts. His single year in the majors netted him a .194 average.

Fred Hatfield - Part of 1 season (1958) - Hatfield, reportedly a direct descendant of the Hatfields and McCoys family feud, batted 8 times as an Indian. He got 1 hit, 1 RBI, 1 walk, and 1 strike out. He was traded to the Reds for a player and $10,000. I'd have to say with a .125 average, the Tribe made a good deal....

Gene Leek - 1 season (1959) - Leek came to the Tribe as a free agent and played in 13 games. He got 8 hits which resulted in 7 runs. He brought in 5 RBIs and hit a home run. He was walked only twice in his 36 at-bats, but struck out 7 times. He did not play in 1960, getting picked up by the Angels in the expansion draft. He left the Tribe with a .222 average and a .389 slugging percentage.

George Case - 1 season (1946) - Case wore two uniform numbers during his single season with the Indians (#15 and #7). After a lengthy career with the Senators, he came to the Tribe after batting a .294 season. He batted 484 times in 118 games, grabbing 109 hits, 23 doubles, 4 triples, and a single homer. The Indians obviously had high expectations, but Case's .225 season sent him back to the Senators in 1947. (Shown in Senators uniform)

Granny Hamner - Part of 1 season (1959) - Granville "Granny" Hamner had one of those names that may have been either cool or a flat-out slam. Given his multiple all-star appearances in addition to a World Series appearance (all with the Phillies), I'd say it was a 'cool' name. Unfortunately, that coolness came to an abrupt halt in 1959. While batting .297 with the Phillies, he was sent to Cleveland where he fumbled his way to a .164 average. He was given a right-out release at the end of the season. (shown in Phillies uniform)

Hal Jones - Parts of 2 seasons (1961-62) - Jones wore #7 in 1961, then switched to #15 in '62. In '61, he batted 35 times, getting 2 runs on 6 hits with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs. Unfortunately, he struck out 12 times, and his rookie average barely climbed past .170. At least the next year, he batted half as many times and raised his average to .313.

Hal Trosky - 8+ seasons (1933-1941) - Troksy batted in 11 games his rookie year (wearing #21), knocking 6 runs on 13 hits with a double, two triples, and a home run, bringing in 8 RBIs. He hit for a .295, so the Tribe put him in full-time after that. The next two years, Trosky batted in all 154 games, grabbing a .330 average and a .271 respectively. In 8+ seasons, HALF of those were .330 or better, and three of the remaining four were better than .290! In SIX of his seasons with the Tribe, he drove in 100+ RBIs per season. He was the "close buy no cigar" guy when it came to the all-star games throughout his career. He just never could muster up enough votes to get into the all-stars. Over the course of his Indians career, he knocked 1365 hits in 4365 at-bats. He scored 758 runs with 911 RBIs (216 home runs), while being walked 449 times and being beaned by the ball 15 times (that's almost twice a season). He also struck out 373 times. It is next to impossible to talk about Trosky without at least mentioning the "Crybaby" incident in which 10 players went to the owner to complain about the manager (Vitt). Trosky was not happy with Vitt, but believed confronting the owner about the situation was not warranted. Nevertheless, Trosky was pulled into the fiasco on the day of his Mother's funeral. The owner finally admitted that the accusations were well founded. His career suffered greatly because of his migraines. All that said, he retired early, after suffering years of intense migraine headaches. He left the Indians with a career batting average of .310, and on-base percentage of .376, and a .539 slugging percentage (remember, that's over an 8+ season career).

Harley Boss - 1 season (1933) - Now, THAT'S a baseball name! Elmer (his first name) batted in 112 games in 1933. In 438 at-bats, he had 118 hits with 53 RBIs and 54 runs, 17 doubles, 7 triples, and a home run. He struck out 27 times and was walked just about as often (25 BB and hit by a pitch once). He left the major leagues with a cool name and a .269 average.

Harvey Kuenn - 1 season (1960) - Kuenn may sound familiar to you. He appeared in our countdown wearing #6. In case you forgot, he was the one booed often during his time in Cleveland. Many fans blamed him for Colavito's leaving town. So much so in fact, that he is solely responsible for what Tribe fans called, "The Curse of Colavito," which even earned its own Wikipedia page (here). Of course, the Tribe of the mid-late 90's and of much more recent years has all but squashed the curse (now if we could just win the big one!). Despite the not-so-warm reception, in 474 at-bats, he knocked 65 runs on 146 hits with 24 doubles and 9 homers. He also managed to bring in 54 RBIs and only 25 strikeouts. He left Cleveland fans with a .308 average to mull on...

Jack Brohamer - 4+ seasons (1972-'75, 1980) - Brohamer was one of my favorites as a kid. He wore the #7 during his rookie year, then the #10 until 1976. When he came back in 1980, he donned #8. So, we will see him again throughout the countdown. As for his rookie year, he batted 527 times, getting 123 hits. He scored 49 runs with 13 doubles, 2 triples, and 5 home runs, driving in 35 RBIs. He finished his rookie year with a .233 average. We'll see how he stacks up as the countdown goes on.

Jack Conway - 3 seasons (1941, '46-47) - We first saw Conway wearing #4, and we will see him again wearing #18. He sported the #7 during his last season with Cleveland. His 9 hits in 50 at-bats netted 3 runs with 5 RBIs. He was also walked 3 times and whiffed out 8 times. He left the Tribe that year batting .180, a long way from his 2 at-bat .500 rookie year.

Jeff Juden - Part of 1 season (1997) - Juden pitched in the World Series for the Tribe in two games. He pitched in 2 innings over those two games, and racked up a whopping 4.50 ERA. Ouch. Before that, the Indians should have had a clue. After all, in the 5-game, 31-inning season he had with Cleveland, he gave up 6 home runs, walked 15 batters, gave up 32 hits and 21 runs. Holy smokes, people... This does not look good. The envelope, please: 5.46 ERA... I can't even talk about it... I'm too verklempt. Here's a topic: Name the 1st and only Indian aside from C.C. Sabathia to win the AL Cy Young Award? (first to answer correctly wins a prize)

Jim Mahoney - 1 season (1962) - Mahoney (not related to the character in the "Police Academy" movies) wore #16 and #7 during his one-year stint with the Tribe. He had 74 at-bats in 41 games. Of those, he got 12 runs on 18 hits with 5 RBIs, 4 doubles, and 3 home runs. Striking out 14 times did not help, though. His Indians career average was also the highest of his four years in the majors, a .243 avg.


  1. The answer to your question is Gaylord Perry.

  2. Suterb gets the prize! Congratulations! Email me: with your contact info for the prize!

  3. In response to your comment on the Pack blog, wouldn't a Lofton-Crystal-Franco outfield be wonderful? Scott

  4. ROTFL, talk about an "old-timers" crew!