What does Bob Feller, Tony Gwynn & Jim Gilliam have in common?
They all wore
And their team have retired their number.
A total of five teams have retired uniform #19.
The players, Team and date the number were retired are:
Bob Feller (HOF) – Indians – December 28, 1956
Billy Pierce – White Sox – July 25, 1987
Tony Gwynn (HOF)– Padres – September 4, 2004
Jim Gilliam – Dodgers – October 10, 1978
Robin Yount (HOF) – Brewers – May 29, 1994
I dedicate my August blog ranking at #19 to all these fine gentlemen!
Bob Feller (HOF)
Bob Feller family farm in Iowa is in the National Register of Historic Places. It would be so cool to visit this place.
Billy Pierce looks so skinny. His height and weight: 5’10” 160 pounds.
During his 18-year Major League career, pitcher Billy Pierce tossed more than 3,300 innings. He won 211 games, and compiled a sterling 3.27 career ERA. He pitched for the Tigers, White Sox and Giants.
Pierce tossed 38 shutouts lifetime, 193 complete games and was All-Star seven times. I loved reading about his pitching days even if he pitched well against the Dodgers when he was a Giant.
Tony Gwynn (HOF)
I am glad I got to see Tony Gwynn play. He is the last hitter to get close to hitting .400.
I remember when Jim Gilliam passed away in October 1978, a few days shy of his 50th birthday.
I dedicated my post before to Jim Gilliam when my blog ranked #19 in May, 2012. Post here http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/2012/06/02/jim-gilliam-and-the-number-19/ Jim Gilliam is buried in the Inglewood Park cemetary. I was surprised to find many celebrities buried there.
Robin Yount (HOF)
Robyn Yount spent his entire 20 year baseball career withe the Milwaukee Brewers.
Very nice Q&A from Tom Hoffarth, columnist Inside SOCAL: http://www.dailynews.com/sports/ci_17047393
From the article:
Robin Yount’s family moved from Indiana to Woodland Hills when his dad took a new job at the Rockewell Rocketdyne plant. Robin Yount was a 1-year-old at the time.
The Taft High Class of ’73 grad was the third overall draft pick that year, and the next April, took over as the Milwaukee Brewer’s starting shortstop at age 18
From the article I like the last sentence of Yount’s response to one of Tom’s questions:
“My dad and grandfather were big Reds fans. And, as bad as this is going to sound, and I certainly went through my share of scuffles over it, but I was really a Giants fan. I don’t know why. Maybe I liked the color of their uniforms better. I remember Mays, Cepeda, Marichal – they were cool guys. Not that the Dodgers didn’t have them, but something attracted me to the Giants. Maybe I was too little to know better”
Yeah, I liked the last sentence. 🙂
Dodgers at Arizona
Dodgers against the Diamond Backs at Phoenix. Kershaw & Kemp are back on this September 11th, a day that we will never forget.
ref: Baseballsavy, wikipedia, Baseball Almanac, deadball era. Insidesocal.com, Baseball.about.com
In the MLB fan blogs, my blog came in at
Jim Gilliam made his major league debut in 1953.
Quoting Jim Murray: They broke him in easy. All he had to do the first year was replace Jackie Robinson.
He proved capable, batting .278 with a team-leading 125 runs for the NL champions. His 17 triples led the NL, and remain the most by a Dodger since 1920; he was second in the league (behind Stan Musial) with 100 walks, and third in the NL with 21 stolen bases.
For his excellent season he earned NL Rookie of the Year honors, as well as The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award.
Gilliam played his entire 14 year career (1953 -1966) in a Dodger uniform
Junior was part of the first all switch hitting infield in Major League history, with Maury Wills, Wes Parker, and Jim Lefebvre.
Gilliam hit behind Maury Wills when he launched the modern stolen base era with 104 in 1962. He was the ultimate team player sacrificing himself for the good of the team.
Gilliam taught Jim Lefebvre how to bat behind a base stealer, as Lefebvre did behind Lou Brock in 1974, when he stole 118
Gilliam contributed to four World Series clubs and seven pennant winners.
His glove is on display in Cooperstown.
The Dodgers used him at every position in the field except for pitcher and catcher.
In 1965 he was replaced at third base and became a first base coach but after injuries and dismal hitting average at third, the Dodgers activated Gilliam who went on to contribute with his hitting.
Jim Gilliam passed away prior to the start of the 1978 World Series at which time his number was retired and the Dodgers wore a commemorative patch on their sleeve in his honor.
Los Angeles Times sports columnist Jim Murray penned a tribute for Gilliam, the versatile non-star. His effort to describe Jim’s end began with these words:
“I guess my all-time favorite athlete was Jim Gilliam. He always thought he was lucky to be a Dodger. I thought it was the other way around.”
I love reading old columns from Jim Murray.
In Colorado: Dodgers stop the losing streak by winning 6-2!
ref: SABR, Jim Murray’s columns, Truebluela, pics from Sport Illustrated & google