As we creep closer to the start of spring training (it’s THIS MONTH!), I’ve finally started bringing my website up to speed. I’m unfortunately still unemployed from last May, and I found, despite the free time, I wasn’t always in the mood to work on my websites. That’s a feeling that only recently returned to me, and to that, I updated my website’s uniform number history section for 2010. The Rangers finally posted their roster for spring training, and with it come all the uniform number assignments for the 40 man roster as well as all the NRI’s (plus coaches).
A few observations.. The Rangers have had for awhile Zack Minasian as the home clubhouse manager for the last 16 years. After the 2009 season, he was let go (we never really heard much about that story, actually). One of Zack’s “things” from the past was that if there was some “important” Ranger who was with the club, and then was not, their number was not given out for a year after that. Some examples from the past were when Pudge left after 2002, nobody wore #7 in 2003 (until Eric Young got it in 04). Same goes for Juando’s departure after 1999. Nobody had #19 in 2000, but Gabe Kapler had it in 2001. Also Rafael Palmeiro. He had #25 in 2003, then nobody in 2004, until Marshall McDougall had it in 2005.
We have several numbers for departed Rangers that are unassigned in 2010. Now I don’t know who the new equipment manager is, but he appears to be holding up that tradition too. Anyway, the numbers are 8 (Rudy Jaramillo), 9 (Hank Blalock), 33 (Kevin Millwood), & 53 (Joaquin Benoit).
One other amusing thing to me (perhaps only to me, as I don’t think anyone else cares to this level) is the number 21. 2010 will be the first year in a row that the same player has worn number 21 since 2001. That is the most inconsistent number. Check this out:
2000: Ruben Mateo
2001: Ruben Mateo, Craig Monroe
2002: Pat Borders, Reynoldo Garcia, & Todd Hollandsworth
2003: Ruben Sierra, Jason Jones
2004: Jason Jones (only in camp, was released before opening day)
2005: Esteban German, Steve Karsay
2006: Adam Eaton
2007: Sammy Sosa
2008: Milton Bradley
2009: Jarrod Saltamacchia
2010: Jarrod Saltamacchia
The last player who wore #21 for two complete full seasons in a row was Warren Newson, who carried that number in 96, 97, & 98.
Oh, and Johnny Narron (Josh Hamilton’s “life coach”) switched from 73 to 23. :)
There is one thing I was hoping fans could help me by contributing. If you’ve ever looked at my uniform number history page, I’ve gathered over the years pictures of the various numbers being worn on players. I’ve posted some of them on the bottom of each number’s page as an “example” of that number. The Ruben Mateo picture above is one of those. But check out the pages, and look at the bottom. I think it makes for a nice little archive of pictures.
The part you can help with is with pictures. Take a look. If you have pictures of any of the players who I do not have a picture of, I’d love it if you could send me the picture for inclusion on these pages. I’m specifically looking for ones that show the player’s name along with the number. Not just the front where the number is, I really want one with the player’s name and number from the back being shown. I know a ton of you have picture archives (I’ve seen ’em on Facebook & Picasa Web Albums), but I’m sure there’s a ton more I haven’t seen.
Please take a look at what you have, and if you have something useful for this project, let me know, I’d love to get it online. Danke. Here’s some of the ones I’ve collected. It’s the guys who are only up for 2-3 games in a season and then never to return are the hardest to get shots of. :)