Friday, December 15, 2006

The History of Number 18

My friend Chris sent me a fascinating email this morning. Now that our newest hero, Daisuke Matsuzaka will be wearing the number 18, he sent me the complete list of Red Sox players who've won that number in team history, starting with the first 18, the immortal Danny MacFayden in 1932 (when the Red Sox first started wearing numbers).

Here is the complete list:

Danny MacFayden 1932
Hank Johnson 1933
Johnny Welch 1934
George Pipgras 1935
Walt Ripley 1935
Jack Wilson 1936-41
Yank Terry 1942-45
Otie Clark 1945
Tom McBride 1946-47
Eddie Smith 1947
Jack Kramer 1948-49
Charley Schanz 1950
Ray Scarborough 1951
Bill Kennedy 1953
Frank Sullivan 1953-60
Gene Conley 1961-63
Jerry Stephenson 1965-66
Garry Roggenburk 1966
Elston Howard 1967-68
Don Lock 1969
Ken Brett 1970-71
Lew Krauss 1972
Mario Guerrero 1973-74
Ted Cox 1977
Fred Kendall 1978
Glenn Hoffman 1980-87
Carlos Quintana 1988-91, 1993
Rich Rowland 1994
Reggie Jefferson 1995-99
Andy Sheets 2000
Midre Cummings 2000
Tomokazu Ohka 2001
Willie Banks 2001
Johnny Damon 2002-05
Dustan Mohr 2006
Jason Johnson 2006

Well, at least Daisuke Matsuzaka won't be the first Japanese player in team history to wear the number, as Tomo Ohka wore it briefly in 2001. It's been worn by a number of pretty nondescript players in history (Garry Roggenburk?), but I do recognize Ted Cox, the rookie who had a sensational September of 1977 and was traded in 1978 to Cleveland in the Dennis Eckersley deal, and Fred Kendall, the father of Jason Kendall who was also a catcher. And of course, Ken Brett, brother of George, and Gene (I'm Going To Israel) Conley. Judas may have been the most famous player to wear it, but Glenn Hoffman (Trevor's older brother and former SS) wore it the longest, for eight years in the 1980s.


Jere said...

I'm glad Hoffman got a mention in your post. I'll always think of him when I think of the number 18. (Although a nice decade of Daisuke could change that.)

The Omnipotent Q said...

Me too, Jere. I became a Red Sox fan in 1977, and he wore it for the formative years when I began following the team....

KAYLEE said...

lets all forget about that last guy thay wore #18 yeah I am talking about jason johnson.he was awful last season.lets forgt him.

Peter N said...

And the number 18? Hebrew, it means "to life." And "good health." Hence when you hear the toast, "l'chaim," it means "to life." Or "good health." A nice wish for anyone. I hope that's exactly what Daisuke will bring to our quickly rebuilding and ALMOST finished team for '07. And I read at Jere's place something about a spot with you speaking about Howard? Where can I find that? I've been a fan of his (Howard, but Jere, too), and met him, way back when he was at WCCC, in '78-'79. Thanks!

The Omnipotent Q said...

Peter: Go to my recent post titled: "I Was a Teenage Media Whore," and there's a link to a YouTube video of me from 1985 being interviewed during a news segment about Howard Stern...I still can't believe it survives to this day.

Anonymous said...

I love seeing Matsuzaka holding up the 18 jersey. He couldn't have made a better choice!