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Number 9, Number 9
by Derek Smart
There's not much going on this morning, so here's a link to a little puff piece in the Daily Herald about Scott McClain. While naturally designed this way, the article makes him seems like a good guy who's happy to be where he's at, and content with himself in general. Makes me want to root for him all the more, which is what pieces like that are supposed to do.
I can't just leave it at that, though, and in the spirit of further inquiry (and wasting time on a Friday morning) I thought to myself, "If I were to purchase a 2005 home jersey with McClain's number on it, and no name, what other former Cubs might people think I was associating my fandom with?"
Well, I looked around, and McClain is wearing number 9, so thanks to baseball-almanac.com I was able to compile a (hopefully complete) list in reverse chronological order of players who had worn that number since 1932 (the last year they have jersey numbers for).
Paul Bako Todd Hundley Damon Buford Benito Santiago Scott Servais Matt Walbeck Damon Berryhill Butch Benton Larry Cox
Tim Blackwell Joe Wallis Steve Swisher Randy Hundley Cuno Barragan Jim Hegan Del Rice Bobby Thompson Gordon Massa
Bob Lennon Hank Sauer Rube Novotney Chico Hernandez Hank Leiber Frank Demaree Gabby Hartnet Mark Koenig Rogers Hornsby
There are a couple of good names on there - Randy Hundley, Bobby Thompson, Hank Sauer, Gabby Hartnet, Rogers Hornsby - but for the most part, it's a rogue's gallery of unfortunates and "who's that?"'s, which is due in part to the fact that over much of that time the number 9 was used almost exclusively for catchers, many of them second or third stringers.
So, good luck with your new number and new home, Scott. And if you're going to emulate one of your similarly integered predecessors during your stay, take a look at the list above, and please, choose wisely.