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Fun with Colorado Rockies uniform numbers

From 1993 to 2015 and from 0 to 99, a look at the numbers on the backs of the Rockies.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 18th Purple Row edition (and 123rd overall) of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we do not discuss Jon Gray's pitch counts. Let's get into it...

While trying to think of an entertaining topic to write about this week-- a challenge that seems to be growing more difficult as the Rockies' tumble further and further into irrelevance-- I was poking around the Rockies' Baseball Reference page. I eventually found myself on the all-time uniform numbers page and was soon lost inside a rabbit hole of every Rockies' player ever categorized simply by the number (or numbers) he wore on his back while he was a member of the local nine.

I saw names like Jeff Cirillo (7), Jeffrey Hammonds (4), Jeff Baker (10), Jeff Fassero (13), Jeff Francis (26), Jeff Salazar (15) and Jeff Reed (15). I also saw long-lost names like Jeff Frye (6 and 2), who I have no recollection of whatsoever, perhaps because he played just 37 games for the Rockies 15 years ago. This list is where guys like Troy Tulowitzki (2) are categorized right there alongside guys like Jose Ortiz (2) and Aaron Ledesma (2).

So, while we kill time waiting for Dick Monfort to say something stupid that gives me something else to write about, let's have some fun with the uniform numbers of the Rockies.

Some random facts that I found somewhat interesting:

  • 17 and 42 are the only numbers retired by the Rockies' organization. Hopefully you already knew that.
  • Every number between 0 and 63 has been worn by a Rockie.
  • 29 numbers have never been worn:  00 (if you chose to make that distinction), 64, 65, 68, 69 (insert joke here), 70, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 98.
  • The only "80s number" worn by a Rockie is 88 by Josh Outman in 2012 and 2013. He was born in... 1984, so that's not it.
  • The only number between 90-98 worn by a Rockie was 97 by Joe Beimel in 2009 and 2010. Beimel was drafted in... 1998. Maybe there's something there.
  • Three dudes have worn 99, all for just one year:  Alfredo Amezaga (2011), Darren Clarke (2007), and Turk Wendell (2004).
  • 17 appears to be the most prestigious number. It has been worn by the greatest Rockie ever and David Nied, who threw out the first pitch in Rockies' history.
  • Armando Reynoso is the only Rockie to wear 42.
  • It looks like just three players have worn three different numbers for the Rockies. Eric Young Jr. (4 in 2009, 3 in 2009 and 2010, and 1 from 2011-2013), Jordan Pacheco (58 in 2011 and 2014, 22 in 2012, 15 in 2013), and Dexter Fowler (14 and 63 in 2008, and 24 from 2009-2013). This category is difficult to search for so I may have missed someone.
  • The two most common numbers in Rockies' history are 27 (21 different players) and 47 (20 different players).

Definitely some interesting tidbits in there, but if we're honest, looking at uniform numbers is best served for trivial purposes. Like... trivia. Personally, uniform numbers have never been my strongest suit when it comes to baseball knowledge, but let's see how well you stack up. Start by testing yourself on the 2015 Rockies roster numbers.

If you're at the office, this is a great opportunity to grab a pen and paper and make it look like you're doing actual work. If you don't feel like doing that or you're reading this on your phone while in line at Chipotle, just scroll through the list and see what you know. Keep imaginary score in your head if you need to; it's not like any of us have anything better to do on a Tuesday afternoon.

Keep in mind this list includes anyone who has appeared in a game for the Rockies this season.

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

9

10

12

13

15

16

19

24

28

29

31

32

33

34

36

38

43

45

48

49

51

53

54

55

58

60

61

62

62 (again)

63

66

67


I created this damn thing and I still did horribly.

And here's that incredibly valuable answer key...

0

Adam Ottavino

1

Brandon Barnes

2

Troy Tulowitzki

3

Daniel Descalso

4

Nick Hundley

5

Carlos Gonzalez

6

Corey Dickerson

7

Jose Reyes

8

Michael McKenry

9

DJ LeMahieu

10

Ben Paulsen

12

Matt McBride

13

Drew Stubbs

15

Tyler Matzek

16

Kyle Parker

19

Charlie Blackmon

20

Wilin Rosario

24

Jordan Lyles

28

Nolan Arenado

29

Jorge De La Rosa

31

Eddie Butler

32

LaTroy Hawkins

33

Justin Morneau

34

Aaron Laffey

35

Chad Bettis

36

Christian Bergman

38

Kyle Kendrick

43

Rafael Ynoa

45

Scott Oberg

48

Boone Logan

49

Rex Brothers

51

Brooks Brown

53

Christian Friedrich

54

Tommy Kahnle

55

Jon Gray

58

Yohan Flande

60

Justin Miller

61

David Hale

62

Gonzalez German

62 (again)

Jorge Rondon

63

Rafael Betancourt

66

John Axford

67

Kenny Roberts

If you correctly answered the quartet of Justin Miller, Gonzalez German, Jorge Rondon, and Kenny Roberts, please reward yourself with 10 million bonus points.

That was a nice little exercise, but the 2015 team is, like, really bad. Let's focus on some all-time great Rockies and do one more. The more time I can help you kill on a Tuesday afternoon, the better. This one will be a little different, and probably easier. This is list of the Top 20 Rockies all-time as ranked by Baseball Reference's WAR. Can you correctly remember all 20 of their uniform numbers? (Some of these are current/recent and obvious, but work with me here.) Six guys on this list have a "secondary" number, and a seventh has a "secondary" and a "third-ary" number. Infinity bonus points if you can name all those in addition to the main 20.

Todd Helton

Larry Walker

Troy Tulowitzki

Carlos Gonzalez

Matt Holliday

Ubaldo Jimenez

Vinny Castilla

Aaron Cook

Jhoulys Chacin

Andres Galarraga

Jason Jennings

Nolan Arenado

Jorge De La Rosa

Ellis Burks

Steve Reed

Dexter Fowler

Brian Fuentes

Pedro Astacio

Jeff Francis

Eric Young Sr.

That's an interesting bunch of players, to be sure. Here are the numbers that appeared on their unis.

Todd Helton

17

Larry Walker

33

Troy Tulowitzki

2 (and 14, in 2006)

Carlos Gonzalez

5

Matt Holliday

5

Ubaldo Jimenez

38

Vinny Castilla

9 (and 14, in 1999)

Aaron Cook

28 (and 35, in 2002)

Jhoulys Chacin

45

Andres Galarraga

14

Jason Jennings

32 (and 57, in 2001)

Nolan Arenado

28

Jorge De La Rosa

29

Ellis Burks

26

Steve Reed

39

Dexter Fowler

24 (and 63 and 14, both in  2008)

Brian Fuentes

40 (and 39 in 2002)

Pedro Astacio

34 (and 51, in 1997)

Jeff Francis

26

Eric Young Sr.

21

I suppose I'll be honest and report that I got 18 of 20 in a run-through that lasted about 30 seconds. I gave Burks 28 and brain-farted on Astacio, even though I got my picture taken with the guy when I was like ten. Shame on me. The only "secondary" number I knew without research was Tulo's 14.

Anyway, uniform numbers have provided sports fans with an endless amount of completely useless information for decades. That trend will likely continue as long humans are playing sports.

And when your favorite team is 20 games under .500, useless information becomes far more interesting.

Now we proceed to the weekly departments... (Lots of good stuff this week!)

Stud of the week:

Jason Day won the PGA Championship on Sunday. It was a cool scene.


The real reason I'm giving Day the honors this week is because of this quote I came across yesterday, in which the Australian explains those tears. (It was originally published here, though I saw it in this article.)
"Yeah, that's why a lot of emotion came out on 18. That's why a lot of emotion came out for me. Just knowing that, I mean, my mom took a second mortgage out on the house, borrowed money from my aunt and uncle, just to get me away from where I was to go to school, seven hours drive.

I remember growing up, we -- my mom, I mean, we were poor. We weren't really poor. I mean, I remember watching her cut the lawn with a knife because we couldn't afford to fix the lawn mower. I remember not having a hot water tank, so we had to use a kettle for hot showers. So, you know, we would put the kettle on and go have a shower, and then my mom would come bring three or four kettles in, just to heat them up. And it would take five, ten minutes for every kettle to heat up.

So just to be able to sit in front of you guys today and think about those stories, it gets me emotional knowing that I'm the PGA Champion now and it feels good."

Honorable mention to Madison Bumgarner, who threw a three-hit complete game shutout with 14 strikeouts while going 2-3 at the plate with a double, a homer, and 2 RBIs on Sunday. That's... uhhh... good.

Ass of the week:

Nobody likes Pete Carroll.

Vine of the week:

Back to golf for a second (or six) because this kid was pretty stoked to touch Jordan Spieth.


Some other stuff from around the internet:

For whatever reason, I never got too into wiffle ball as a kid/teen. Maybe it's because I could neither throw, nor hit, nor play defense like this with those weird plastic balls.


Back to the big leagues... this crazy-ass sequence has to be the play of the year, right?


And Anthony Rizzo with one of the cooler catches so far this year.


Russell Martin tried to make a similar play and it didn't work and it was hilarious. Dude jumps up on the railing, then into the dugout while the ball falls harmlessly in the field of play. It was all completely unnecessary and pointless and looks extremely dangerous. Makes for good video though.


This ball boy had better success than Martin.
That's a lot of people jumping over walls in pursuit of baseballs!

Shifting gears a bit to some basketball... (See what I did there?)

Working on being more versatile this offseason S/o to @ttwersky for the dime in the shooting pocket

A video posted by Klay Thompson (@klaythompson) on


I wish I spent my weekdays shooting one-handed threes while riding bikes and taking Instagram videos.

A new Manning brothers commercial came out today. It's kinda not bad I guess.


And finally, here's another video of an animal jacking up a flying, camera-carrying robot. I hope these become a regular occurrence.

(Regular-speed version here)

Happy Tuesday, everybody. Thanks for readin'. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos, or other media I should know about. Follow me on Twitter @TuesWithMitch.