Friday, January 01, 2010


Continuing with 12 Days of Christmas by the Numbers, I present you with number 5.

The Reds have won 5 World Series, which is the fifth highest for any team in Major League Baseball (not counting the Bankee$. They don't count. They just don't, ok?) I am convinced they would have won it in '81 and '94 if strikes hadn't screwed them.

Only two Reds have worn 5: Whitey Lockman (1960), Johnny Bench (1968-1983). That's according to a website I have since lost, so maybe they're wrong. (If so, let me know.)

Bench's 5 is retired by the Reds.

Five is the position played by Grandpa Rolen for the next three years.

Five is the number I wore as a catcher in high school. The reason is obvious.

Five is the number of pitchers in a starting rotation, regardless of how often Bronson Arroyo thinks he can pitch.

Five is the place in the rotation most of the Reds starting pitchers of this decade would have pitched in if they had played for other teams.

Five is the number of fingers most players have on their hands, the notable exception being Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown, who actually played for the Reds during the 1913 season. (He has his own website!) Antonio Alfonseca, who last pitched in MLB in 2007, has six fingers on each hand and foot, a condition known as polydactyly.

There are five games in a division series. It better remain that way.

Our Holy Day in the baseball religion will occur on the 5th of April this year.

1 comment:

johnu1 said...

It's possible somebody else wore No. 5, and it is very likely to have been a catcher, owing to the Reds numbering system in the 1950s and 1960s that said coaches 1-4, catchers 5-9, infielders 10-19, outfielders 20-29, pitchers 30 on up. That's why Bench is No. 5.

I can't understand how Lockman got No. 5, but some guys changed positions. Whitey was an outfielder, I think.

Finally, the numbering system went out the window in the late '60s, or at least after Hutch's number 1 was retired.

The Cubs also had a similar numbering system in the 1950s.