Wednesday, March 21, 2012
21s For The 21st
There have been 22, nearly 23 players to wear number 21 for the Padres in the regular season. Cito Gaston was the first, from 1969-'74. Alan Foster was next in '75 and '76 and Gary Sutherland had it in '77 before Chuck Baker in '78. Mike Hargrove, Jay Johnstone and Paul Dade wore 21 in '79 and Dade kept it through '80. Nobody wore it in '81; it was also vacated '84-'86 and 2005. Carney's brother Joe Lansford wore it in '82-'83, Jim Steels in '87 and Dickie Thon in '88. Phil Stephenson got it in '89 and kept it through '92. Billy Bean (the one who actually wrote a book, not to be confused with Billy Beane whom Joe Morgan thinks wrote a book) held it down in '93 and '94 before Ken Caminiti from '95 through '98. Gary Matthews, Jr. wore it in '99. Dusty Allen was hitless in 14 PA for the Padres in 2000 and Matt Clement took the number later that season after the announcement that the 31 he had been wearing would be retired for Dave Winfield. Mike Colangelo in '01, Sean Burroughs in '02, Jaret Wright in '03, Rich Aurilia in '04 and David Wells in '06 all wore it before Heath Bell got it in '07 and kept it through last season. Heath will be wearing 21 for Miami this season; the player who wore 21 for the Marlins last season will wear it for us this year as John Baker continues to pay tribute to his idol Roberto Clemente.