Sunday, June 22, 2008
Indians Uniform Number 10 - George Uhle
In the "longevity" category, there are only three Indians that I would say qualify: Uhle, Alvis, and Tabler. There are several players that could come close if they had just played for the Tribe a little longer, or had at least stayed in one uniform number longer.
Some may argue that Uhle shouldn't qualify because he played during the era of numberless uniforms, so how could we really know which number he would have worn? That is true, but I don't think that really has much bearing because we should remember that early uni numbers were dolled out based on position. Uhle was one of the best hitting pitchers I've seen yet in this countdown.
Alvis had a long run with the Tribe, and he did well enough to be considered one of the Top 100 Indians of all time. Add to that the fact that he suffered a severe bout with spinal meningitis, only to come back and continue his career. Alvis was also chosen as "Mistake By The Lake's" All-Time #10.
Tabler was considered to be a "big bat at first" during the same year as McGwire. He played six seasons, and handled himself very well during his tenure with the Tribe.
I have to say that overcoming serious illness weighs pretty heavy in favor of a player, but for all-around playability, I have to say that my choice for all-time Triber in a #10 uniform is George Uhle. Not only was he the longest player in the position/number, but he carried a pretty big bat while serving up pitches, too! BaseballLibrary.com credits him with perfecting and naming the 'slider.'