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It’s all in the numbers: the Rockies’ history of #2

Colorado Rockies news and links for Thursday, December 16, 2021

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Every player on a Major League Baseball team generally has 101 numbers to choose from that he can have on the back of his uniform. Some numbers are retired, some are out of circulation, some have loads of history behind them, and some have never been used before. No matter what, there’s something about a uniform number to talk about. In their nearly thirty years of history, the Colorado Rockies have all but a handful of available numbers at least once. The Rockies have not used 69, 70, 73, 75, 76, 78-87, 89-96, 98, and 00. That’s so many numbers to talk about for one of the younger franchises in the league!

This is another idea for off-season content that you can weigh in in! If you have a number you would like to explore the history of, drop it in the comments and it may be discussed in a future installment!

Uniform Player Number 2

Since the Rockies’ inaugural season in 1993, ten players have worn the number 2 emblazoned on their jersey, and some are more well known than others. Well... One is more well known than the others. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

1993: OF Gerald Young

The first wearer of the number wasn’t exactly one for the record books. Honduran outfielder Gerald Young played parts of six seasons with the Houston Astros before singing as a free agent with the Rockies in 1993. He had 19 at-bats in 19 games, slashing .053/.217/.053 with one RBI, no extra base hits, and drew four walks to one strikeout. He was released in May of that season and bounced around the minors the rest of the year. His final major league appearance came in 1994 during a short-lived stint with the St. Louis Cardinals.

1999: INF Juan Sosa

Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Rockies took infielder Juan Sosa in the 1997 minor league draft. He would make his big league debut in the 1999 season in the second consecutive short-lived use of the uniform number. Sosa had just nine total at-bats in a Rockies uniform, where he went 2-for-9 with two walks and no extra base hits. He started just one game in 11 appearances. The Rockies traded Sosa to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, where he had just one major league at-bat (his last). Sosa did have a fairly long minor league and international career, but never had another big league appearance.

1999: INF Chris Petersen

The number 2 had a second wearer in 1999 with second baseman and shortstop Chris Petersen. Signed as a free agent prior to the 1999 season, Petersen is the first player on the list to start more than one game. Petersen started four of the seven games he appeared in, making his big league debut in May of 1999. He was 2-for-13 in a Rockies uniform, with two RBIs, and was released following the season. Peterson never had another big league at-bat.

2000: INF Aaron Ledesma

Infielder Aaron Ledesma came to the Rockies prior to the 2000 season from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays with pitcher Rolando Arrojo in exchange for franchise third baseman Vinny Castilla. Ledesma played a whole 32 games with the Rockies (the most on this list so far), starting three of them and slashing .225/.275/.279. He’s also the first player on this list to have an extra base hit. In what seems to be a trend now, Ledesma was a free agent after the 2000 season, and never had another major league appearance.

2000: INF Jeff Frye

Jeff Frye was acquired in a trade from the Boston Red Sox with a handful of players in exchage for another handful of players including Mike Lansing. Frye had the most work of any number 2 thus far (though he also wore the number 6) with 18 starts in 37 games and a line of .356/.412/.425. Frye was a free agent at the end of the season and played with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2001.

2001: INF Brent Butler

Brent Butler was the first player on our list to have more than one season with the Rockies, though he did only wear the number 2 for just one year. Acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the trade that saw the Rockies jettison Darryl Kile, Butler wore the number in 2001, where he became the first player wearing the number to hit a triple and to hit a home run. Butler played for part of three seasons in Colorado, slashing .248/.285/.380 before becoming a free agent after 2003 and never seeing the majors again.

2002: 2B José Ortiz

Acquired from the Oakland Athletics in a three-team trade that sent franchise shortstop Neifi Pérez to the Kansas City Royals, Ortiz wore 12 in 2001 before switching to 2 in 2002. He slashed .253/.314/.407 with 14 home runs across two seasons with the Rockies before—say it with me now—never having another big league appearance. He did have a fairly long minor league and international career, playing in Mexico as recently as 2012.

2007-2015: SS Troy Tulowitzki

Beloved franchise superstar shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was the very first player on the Rockies to wear the number 2 for more than a single season. Oddly enough, he wore 14 in his debut season of 2006. The four time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner, and runner up for the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year established himself as the best shortstop in franchise history by slashing .299/.371/.513 in purple. Injuries kept Tulowitzki from unlocking his Hall of Fame potential, and he was infamously traded away to the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2015 season, which fractured his relationship with the team,

2017: UTIL Alexi Amarista

The little ninja! Alexi Amarista was a favorite of Rockies manager Bud Black when they were together with the San Francisco Padres, and followed Bud to Denver for the 2017 season. In 96 games with the Rockies, Amarista slashed .238/.269/.351. hit three home runs, and was possibly the origin of the phrase “sneaky pop.” Amarista is also the shortest player in Rockies history at a towering 5’6’’. He hasn’t played in the majors since leaving the Rockies, but Amarista is still playing international ball today.

2021: OF Yonathan Daza

The most recent wearer of the number, Yonathan Daza made his debut in 2019 while wearing the number 31, He switched to 2 for his breakout 2021 season, where he slashed .282/.332/.355 with two home runs. The speedy outfielder will look to win a starting job in 2022 out of spring training.

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