A Game of Numbers: #89-80

On Monday, we looked at the top players to wear the top numbers: 99-90. We continue our 10 day series with the best players who wore the numbers 89-80.
NOTE: We are NOT looking for the total career statistics of players, just their stats while wearing the number listed.
#89-80 (No player has ever worn the numbers 89,86, or 80).
#89 NONE
#88 Albert Belle, OF, DH (1999-2000)
While Belle didn’t necessarily live up to the huge contract that the O’s gave him in 1999, his two years while wearing 88 were good enough to make him the best player to have worn that number. Belle, who wore the number 8 while with the Indians and White Sox, had to change his number after signing with the O’s; 8 was already taken. In his two season wearing 88, Belle hit .289/.374/.509, while hitting 60 home runs and compiling a WAR of 4. While Belle doesn’t have the highest WAR of any player who wore 88 (Rene Gonzalez had a 4.4 WAR while wearing 88 over 9 seasons), Belle was able to have that WAR in just two seasons. If Belle’s degenerative hip osteoarthritis hadn’t forced him into early retirement, we might be talking about him as a Hall of Fame candidate.

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#87 Dan Otero, RP (2012)
Otero wore the number 87 for a little while with the Giants in 2012, making him the first and, thus far, only player to have ever worn that number. Otero also wore 37 and 43 durning 2012, so he didn’t wear 87 all of 2012. He pitched in 12 games in 2012, posting a 5.84 ERA in 12.1 innings.
#86 NONE
#85 Lastings Milledge, OF (2009-2010)

Milledge wore 85 in part of two seasons with the Nationals and the Pirates. After wearing 44 for most of his career, Milledge made the switch in 2009 because Adam Dunn wanted that number after Dunn signed with the Nationals. Milledge chose 85 because it was his birth year. Milledge is the only player to wear 85 for more than one season, giving him the highest WAR for any player who wore that number. While he only played 65 games in 2009, Milledge was able to compile a .5 WAR and a .4 WAR in 2010.

#84 JT Snow. 1B/DH (2006)

While JT Snow is better known for playing on the Giants, where he wore number 8, Snow played one year with the Red Sox in 2006. He wore the number 84 to honor his deceased father, Jack, who wore the number as a wide receiver in the NFL. Snow’s tenure in Boston didn’t last long; after 38 games, he was released, ending his career. While Snow is the only player to have worn 84, next season, Prince Fielder will dawn that number for the Rangers, meaning JT Snow’s time at best player at number 84 is sure to end.

#83 Justin Turner, 3B, 2B, DH (2009)
As one of two players to wear 83, Turner wore this number as a September call-up when he was on the Baltimore Orioles. While Turner only played 12 games and had only 22 at bats, he was still good enough to have a .2 WAR. The only other player that has worn 83 was Eric Gange when he played with the Boston Red Sox at then end of his career. That season, Gange only pitched 18 innings, but gave up 14 runs.
#82 Johnny Lazor, OF (1943)
Not only does he have an awesome name, but Johnny Lazor is also the only player to have worn the number 82. Lazor only wore 82 one season with the Red Sox, 1943, where he hit .226 in 83 games. Lazor came up as a wartime replacement player, but managed four seasons in the bigs, with a career .263 batting average. In his best year, 1945, he hit .310 in 101 games, while wearing number 14. Lazor wore the highest number in Red Sox’ history until Snow donned the number 84.
#81 Eddie Guardado, RP (2006-2007)
While “Everyday” Eddie Guardado is better known for his time with the Twins, his two-year stint with the Reds puts him on this list. For most of his career, Guardado wore #18, however, Guardado flipped his number when he joined the Reds. Guardado didn’t play much in Cincinnati, as injuries and ineffectiveness limited him to 30 games over those two seasons. Even though Guardado’s time in Cinci wasn’t stellar, he still tops this list as the top player to have worn 81, besting the unmemorable Ben Diggins and Lou Lucier, who wore the number for one season each.
#80 NONE
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4 thoughts on “A Game of Numbers: #89-80

  1. Pingback: Friday’s P.M. Hot Clicks | Extra Mustard - SI.com

  2. Pingback: A Game Of Numbers: #79-70 | Serious Jammage

  3. Pingback: Game of Numbers: #69-60 | Serious Jammage

  4. Pingback: Game of Numbers: #59-55 | Serious Jammage

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