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Has Any MLB All-Star Pitcher Ever Worn a Single-Digit Number?

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from reader Bryan Duklewski, who’s taken a very in-depth look at a question I posed yesterday. Enjoy. — PL]

Bryan Duklewski

Yesterday Paul noted that Rays pitcher Blake Snell might be bringing his single-digit uni number to this year’s MLB All-Star Game and then wondered aloud who was the last single-digitized pitcher to appear in the Midsummer Classic. I got a little down in the weeds trying to figure out the answer to that question.

First, here’s the list of every pitcher who has been selected for an MLB All-Star Game, and here’s a 2005 Wall Street Journal article that includes a list of all pitchers who’d wore a single-digit uniform number up to that point. (I’m assuming we would remember if a single-digitized pitcher had appeared in an All-Star Game post-2005.)

I copied both of those lists into Google Sheets and filtered out any players who weren’t in both lists. That yielded the following list of players who wore single digits and were selected for an All-Star Game:

Cy Blanton
Bob Feller
Eddie Fisher
Mike Fornieles
Hal Gregg
Atlee Hammaker
Art Houtteman
Bob Lemon
Bill Monbouquette
Hugh Mulcahy
Billy Pierce
Schoolboy Rowe
Ray Scarborough
Hal Schumacher
Eddie Smith
Bill Voiselle
David Wells
Matt Young

However, just because a player wore a single-digit number at some point in his career and was named as an All-Star at some point in his career does not necessarily mean that the player was wearing the single-digit number when he was an All-Star. A bit of additional digging allowed me to eliminate the following players:

• Cy Blanton: Wore Nos. 6 and 7 with the Phillies in 1940. Was an All-Star in 1937 and 1941, not 1940.

• Bob Feller: Wore No. 9 with Cleveland in 1936. Was not an All-Star until 1938.

• Eddie Fisher: Wore No. 7 for three games with the Giants in 1960. His only All-Star Game was in 1965.

• Mike Fornieles: Wore No. 4 for four games with the Senators in 1952. His only All-Star Game was in 1961.

• Hal Gregg: Wore No. 8 for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Was named as an All-Star in 1945, but the game was not played because of wartime travel restrictions in World War II.

• Atlee Hammaker: Wore No. 7 for the Giants in 1985. His only All-Star Game was in 1983.

• Art Houtteman: Wore No. 6 for one game for the Tigers in 1946. His only All-Star Game was in 1950.

• Bob Lemon: Wore No. 6 for Cleveland in 1946. His first All-Star game was in 1948.

• Bill Monbouquette: Wore No. 8 for seven games for the Giants in 1968. His last All-Star Game was in 1963.

• Billy Pierce: Wore No. 5 for five games for the Tigers while Hank Greenberg was in the military in 1945. He wasn’t an All-Star until 1953.

• Schoolboy Rowe: Wore No. 8 for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1942. He was an All-Star in 1935, 1936, and 1947, but not 1942.

• Hal Schumacher: Wore No. 9 for the New York Giants in 1946. He was an All-Star in 1933 and 1935.

• Eddie Smith: Wore No. 6 for the White Sox in 1939. He was an All-Star in 1941 and 1942.

• Bill Voiselle: Wore No. 5 for four games for the New York Giants in 1943. He was an All-Star in 1944.

• David Wells: Wore No. 3 for the Red Sox for the first part of 2005. His last All-Star Game was in 2000.

• Matt Young: Wore No. 1 for the Mariners in 1990. His only All-Star Game was in 1983.

That leaves us with only two players — Hugh Mulcahy and Ray Scarborough — who were chosen for an All-Star Game in the same year they wore a single-digit number. This is getting exciting! Let’s look at those two players:

• Ray Scarborough: Wore No. 7 for the White Sox in 1950 and was named as an All-Star that same year! However, he also wore No. 46 for them that season, and it’s not clear which number he was wearing at the time of the All-Star Game. Also, while he was chosen for the American League All-Star squad, he did not appear in the game.

• Hugh Mulcahy: Wore No. 9 for the Phillies in 1939 and 1940 and was chosen for the All-Star Game in 1940 — but he didn’t get into the game.

So based on my research, no pitcher has ever appeared in an All-Star game while wearing a single digit uniform number. If Blake Snell gets to do so, he will apparently be the first.


Paul here. That’s a great deep dive by Bryan — but there are some follow-ups that I want to append to his work:

1. That Wall Street Journal list of single-digitized pitchers did not include Phillies southpaw Ken Raffensberger. But as reader Chris Hickey pointed out in yesterday’s comments, indicates that Raffensberger wore No. 7 for part of the 1944 season before changing to No. 15. He was also the winning pitcher in the 1944 All-Star Game. It’s not clear whether his uni number change came before or after the All-Star Game. (Footnote: Raffensberger went 13-20 in 1944, which I suspect makes him the losingest pitcher ever to win an All-Star Game.)

2. Reader Scott Johnston noted in yesterday’s comments that the 1933 National League All-Stars did not wear their usual team jerseys. Instead, they wore special “National League” uniforms with a fancy number font. It’s not clear whether the players wore their usual roster numbers or if new numbers were assigned to them just for the All-Star Game. If the latter, it’s possible that a pitcher could have been assigned a single-digit number.

3. Scott also points out that 1934 was the year that the All-Star players, for reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained, had new numbers pinned to the backs of their jerseys. The American League starter, Lefty Gomez, who usually wore No. 11 for the Yankees, was clearly wearing No. 9 during pregame warmups and presumably wore it in the game as well:

So it appears that Lefty Gomez wore a single-digit number in the 1934 All-Star Game. But given that it was a temporary number pinned to his jersey, does that even count? Is it a separate category? An asterisk?

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Cap update: After some production delays, I’m told that all of the fitted sizes of the Uni Watch “classic” cap have finally been restocked and will once again be available for purchase today from Ebbets Field Flannels. I’m not sure what time today (keep in mind that EFF is on the west coast), but you can go to this link to check on the availability.

Also: Within the next day or two, I expect to have a page set up where you can pre-order the XXL size of our “alternate” cap. If we get enough pre-orders to justify making the XXLs, we’ll do so; if we don’t get enough pre-orders, we’ll issue refunds to all the pre-orderers. (Meanwhile, the S/M and L/XL versions should be available around the end of July, no pre-ordering needed.)

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A Houston chronicle: By now most of you are probably familiar with the prototype design that served as the basis for the Astros’ famous tequila sunrise uniforms. But here’s something you might not have known: The prototype wordmark had pride of place in the ’Stros clubhouse for well over a year into the tequila sunrise era.

That revelation comes from a photo of Houston pitcher Larry Dierker following his no-hitter on July 9, 1976. That’s Dierker in the cap — look at what’s painted on the wall behind him (click to enlarge):

As you can see, the “A” on the wordmark painted on the wall matches the one from the prototype uni. And keep in mind that the ’Stros began wearing the tequila sunrise design in 1975 while this Dierker photo is from midway through the ’76 season, which means the proto wordmark was up there on the wall for at least a season and a half. Bizarre!

(Photo tweeted by Mike Acosta and brought to my attention by Clint Loerwald. My thanks to both of them.)

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Friendly reminders: In case you missed it on Monday, there was some news that you’ll want to catch up on.

First, we’re currently running a new raffle for a bunch of old Kansas City Chiefs nameplates, which are being generously provided by a Uni Watch reader. Full details here.

Also from Monday, I provided a bunch of new details about my upcoming stoop/open-house sale, which will give you a chance to literally own a piece of Uni Watch HQ. Full details on that can be found here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Less than a month after Phillies OF Rhys Hoskins became the first MLBer two wear two C-Flaps at one time, he has now removed one of them but will keep the other one (from Frank McGuigan). … The Rays unveiled renderings of their proposed new ballpark. It may look sleek, but this Twitter thread from @MLBcathedrals has some interesting critiques. … The T-shirts the Reds have been wearing in warmups for their series against the Indians contain an apostrophe catastrophe (from Casey Hart). … Speaking of the Reds and Tribe, both starting pitchers wore No. 47 last night (from B.S. Brewër). … Players with Adidas endorsement deals, including Aaron Judge and Aroldis Chapman, will wear these cleats during the All-Star Game. … The Red Sox serve popcorn in red batting helmets, even though the team doesn’t wear them on the field (from @kleiny42). … The Missoula Osprey, the Rookie League affiliate of the D-Backs, have been wearing 1950s Missoula Timberjack jerseys on Saturdays this season, and gave away a Timberjacks poster last Saturday (from Ronald Yaworski). … The Sussex County Miners of the Independent Can-Am League wore Relay for Life jerseys in support of cancer research on Saturday (from John Cerone). … The Lansing Lugnuts will wear Backyard Baseball-themed uniforms in August, and are letting fans pick the team’s temporary nickname (from our own Kris Gross). … The Rochester Red Wings will wear Naked Mole Rat caps on July 16 (from Daniel Knapp).

Football NewsTeam USA wore these helmets during the International Federation of American Football U19 championships on Saturday (from Griffin Smith).

NFL NewsNew signage has been added to Broncos Stadium at Mile High (from Brinke). … New Panthers new owner David Tepper said yesterday that the team is required to keep the statue of former owner Jerry Richardson in front of the team’s Stadium despite the sexual misconduct and racial allegations against Richardson. … 49ers DE DeForest Buckner is donating football equipment and cleats to the youth football association in his hometown in Waianae, Hawaii (also from Brinke).

College Football NewsIowa State unveiled their new uni set yesterday. … Arkansas is making some minor alterations to their uniforms, including dropping the matte finish from the helmets. … New GFGS jerseys for NCAA D-II West Liberty University (from Yancy Yeater).

Hockey NewsThe NHL unveiled the logo for the 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium yesterday (from our own Anthony Emerson and Benjamin Kassel). … Twenty-fifth anniversary logo for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL (from Griffin Smith).

NBA News: NBA uni sleuth Conrad Burry and beat writer Ben Axelrod may have some new potential leads on new Laker unis. … Speaking of, the NBA store is now fully stocked with Lakers jerseys that LeBron James will never wear (from Bobby Caivana ). … Staying in LA, Brendon mocked up a new concept for the Lakers. … Ryan found this Bulls-esque Philippine Athletic Association of Chicago basketball jersey on Etsy.

Soccer NewsWhy do soccer players touch their heads (NYT link) after missing a penalty kick? Psychology has the answer. … Lots of soccer news from friend of the site Josh Hinton: A World Cup referee was spotted wearing indoor shoes instead of cleats during the Croatia-Russia on Saturday, C.F.  Monterrey of Mexico’s Liga MX have a new home kit, RCD Espanyol of Spain’s La Liga released their new jerseys yesterday and jerseys leaks from Bundesliga’s Wolfsburg. … New jerseys for the UNC Asheville men’s team (from William I. Wells). … More from Josh Hinton: Fulham FC released their home and away kits, and new home kit for Wigan Athletic.

Grab BagGolfer Justin Thomas will wear a tie during his Sunday round of the British Open later this month. Here’s the rest of his planned outfits. Does anyone know the last golfer to wear a tie during a professional round? … For those who have wondered why Williams College goes by the Ephs (from Paul Friedmann).

Comments (71)

    Something funny in the graf about Ray Scarborough. I don’t think he was traded from White Sox to White Sox.

    Scarborough was traded from the Senators to the White Sox on May 31, 1950. I that would have been before the All-Star game.

    Right. But he wore two different numbers for the White Sox that year, and we don’t know which one he was wearing at the time of the ASG.

    For some reason I was thinking he wore number 7 with the Senators, but it was actually the White Sox. Regardless, he didn’t make an appearance in the All-star game.

    What cracks me up about the Rays stadium page is that the intro paragraph says: “Rays Ballpark will be a unique, reimagined, intimate neighborhood ballpark located in the heart of Tampa Bay.”

    Tampa Bay is a body of water. The “heart” of Tampa Bay would be on the sea floor, wouldn’t it?

    Tampa Bay is both the body of water and the name for the combined metro area of Tampa / St Pete / Clearwater.

    Not sure I agree. That would be the “Tampa Bay area” or “Tampa/St. Pete” or some such. I stand my statement that the “heart of Tampa Bay” is underwater.

    Anywhere other than the current location of The Trop would be an improvement. That having been said, this thing looks even worse than the aforementioned Trop. It must’ve taken hard work to come up with a design this bad.

    So, Iowa State. If you could have a completely new alternate with whatever look you want….. why would you make it so that you look like your rivals?

    Also, the NYT hands-on-head article is about any scoring chance, not just penalties (but it happens for penalties too).

    I like the numbers for Iowa State. Fits in with the team name. The lines within the digits reminds me about spiraling winds that you would see in a cyclone.

    Do not like the black uniforms. Should have opted to go with yellow jerseys again for an alternate.

    Honestly wouldn’t be surprised if there is a yellow alt and they just didn’t release it. I could see them just rolling up in it against Oklahoma with no prior notice. That being said, I seem to recall someone saying that the coach didn’t like the yellow pants

    I like the “twisty” numbers. Don’t get BFBS, particularly when your rival and the only other major conference football school in-state wears black.

    Any explanation on the Lakers concept for what looks like snakeskin? White Mamba? Reptiles have as much to do with the Lakers as the name “Lakers”.

    “Team USA wore these helmets during the International Federation of American Football U19 championships on Saturday”

    Isn’t it will wear the helmets on Saturday? The tournament opens Saturday, July 14 and US plays Australia. Schedule found here:


    The helmet at the front has no glare, which makes it the easiest to count. I see eight columns of six stars each. Where are the other two stars?

    Bottom right. The flag is depicted as waving so you have to count them all and not just multiply x times y.

    Nope. The stars are aligned in waves to give the impression of waving. 48 stars are visible in a 6×8 arrangement. You can infer that those lines are straight if the flag is stretched taut, which would leave no room in those (wavy) lines for 2 additional stars.

    That helmet flag has 48 stars. I printed it, and manually “x’d” every one of them out. Is this another “Yanni/Laurel” situation?

    I really prefer the current Laker uniforms to those shown. The white number, purple outline looks better

    Ryan Moore has worn a tie several time over his career. A quick google search shows 10 or so different ties he has worn.

    Locally, Cincinnati is often referred to as the ‘Nati, obviously the apostrophe is short for “Cincin.”

    It also bothers me that on the little Ohio Cup logo, the Cleveland C is over NE Ohio but the Reds’ logo isn’t in SW Ohio. They must not have thought about geographic placement, but I do

    The new Rays stadium concept is very disappointing. After reading that feature on the concept for the White Sox stadium a few months back I can’t help but think how the renderings for the Rays park show something that had to check of a committee/focus group generated list, not something that springs up organically from the neighborhood it is in. Of course, aside from all of that, the use of artificial turf immediately makes it a failure.

    That Armour Field concept looked special. Maybe the White Sox can build it after their lease ends in 2029 (and will all but likely build a new stadium after).


    Little on off topic with this question. Are your collection of vintage pencil sharpeners from your place going with in the move or are they going to be sold at the yard sale? Just curious. Love that collection.

    I love that collection as well. But there’s no good spot for it in the new apartment, so I’ll be selling all of the pencil sharpeners.

    I wondered about this. That’s gotta feel like a dagger to the heart for you. That entry way in your apartment looked incredibly cool. That said, I’d love to purchase one, except I’m in Pittsburgh and can’t make it to your stoop. Darn it. -C.

    god i love the sharpener door frame. by themselves, MEH. But by golly if I could rip that entire doorframe out and keep it intact, that would be the cat’s meow for sure!

    Justin Thomas wore a tie last year in round one of The Open Championship. Prior to that, Ryan Moore (no relation) had rocked a tie in fall of 2010 for a tournament and Jesper Parnevik was known to wear them on occasion over the last decade. I’d not be surprised if ties popped up in some lesser known tournaments between here and Europe, but those are the first three examples that came to mind.

    Just my thoughts. The “pinned” number 9 on Lefty Gomez in 34 ASG
    should count. At the time that’s the concept they used to assign numbers in all star game. They wore it in game, that’s how all the players wore them, therefore no asterisk, he is only pitcher to wear single digit number to date.

    I wonder what happens to Justin Thomas’s planned outfits if he doesn’t make the cut. Do they just never see the light of day? Recycled for a later tournament?

    If anyone knows Hugh Mulcahy’s nickname (without looking it up), it is astounding that he was picked for an All Star team in 1940, but I guess someone had to represent the Phillies. Check out his yearly stat lines…


    Losing Pitcher. He accumulated a lot of tough losses throughout his career, so it seemed fitting.

    I hope this comment is not inappropriate for a PG-rated site, but ever since the Jerry Richardson statue was unveiled outside the Panthers’ stadium, I can’t help but thing that one of the two Panthers, based on the positioning and the angle of its body, is basically a giant phallus protruding from Richardson’s lower body.

    For those not familiar with the statue, here is a pic:


    I did not know about the statue until today. A little bit jaw-dropping from my perspective. Seems really egotistical for an owner to put a statue of himself like this one up at the stadium.

    I am positive that the new West Liberty University jersey is white, it just isn’t shot with the best lighting. I don’t think it is GFGS at all.

    Just bought my fitted hat (signed up for and received an email from Ebbets to advise of availability).

    Today is a good day to buy as Ebbets is having a 20% off sitewide sale today. 30% off flannels.

    Ebbets Field Flannels is on the west coast…holy irony, Batman!

    As for pinned uni numbers, we all know the early uni numbers signified spot in the batting order. Before Lou Gehrig Day in 1939, I doubt anyone gave much thought to numbers being retired. So they likely thought the batting order convention could continue as players retired and new players came in. Wonder if managers of the time were hesitant to change batting orders due to uni numbers assigned? Holy tail wagging the dog…ok I’ll stop that. Odd that Babe and Lou would have the same numbers pinned on their jerseys that they already wore.

    Several of the players had pinned-on numbers that were *the same* as their regular numbers. Babe Ruth, for example, had a pinned-on 3. What was the point of that?

    It’s safe to presume that the American League starters received numbers according to their place in the batting order, and those numbers were removed and given to other players as they entered the game. Also note that Lefty Gomez got #9, presumably for his spot in the order as a pitcher.

    I remember watching highlights of Japanese high school games and seeing pinned numbers on players, but this may have been for their field position instead of the batting order. I don’t recall what they did for designated hitters, though.

    Don’t know if it makes sense that they would give someone entering the game the same number already used. What does make sense is they used pinned numbers, because not all teams used numbers yet in 1934. Still doesn’t explain why Ruth and Gehrig needed pinned numbers of their own numbers. Unless they had the foresight back then to auction off the pinned numbers, LOL.

    ” I remember watching highlights of Japanese high school games and seeing pinned numbers on players, but this may have been for their field position instead of the batting order.”

    Those are pinned on because high school teams, who usually don’t cut anyone, only issue numbers to players who participate in games (the uniforms are blank-backed). Some tournaments allow 16 or 17 players; others allow more.

    In general, the starter at each field position gets that number, so you will see the ace pitchers wearing number 1 most of the time. The second-string pitcher usually gets 10 or 11, the backup catcher gets 12, and the other backups get 12-16 or however high they go.

    When watching a Koshien game, and you see a number like 3 or 7 on the pitcher’s back, that means that the first baseman or left fielder has come in to pitch.

    Also, super-crazy trivia that I don’t think anyone notices: the number 1 is often rendered in a slightly thicker font than all the other numbers. Not the digit 1; you’ll see a regular-thickness 1 on numbers 10 and up; just number 1.

    After I made my original post, I was thinking the same thing you just wrote. Indeed Gomez started the game and batted ninth- thus number nine. Good catch !

    Sorry, I didn’t respond to your question. I don’t know why Ruth got a pinned #3 when he already wore that number (same goes for Gehrig and his #4); I think this was done for the sake of uniformity.

    I would like to propose “The Fish Bowl” as a nickname for any potential Rays stadium with a fixed glass roof.

    I’m no engineer or anything, but it seems to me that the cost to air condition what is essentially a giant greenhouse during the Florida summer would pretty easily overrun that of just building a retractable roof in the first place.

    I wonder if Lefty Gomez was given No. 9 because he was batting 9th in the batting order. I don’t think that was common for pitchers in the early years for uniform numbers, but as most of you know, it was common for the starting position players to be numbered 1-8 based on batting order (e.g. that’s why Ruth wore No. 3, Gehrig No. 4, etc.). And if so, I would then assume that Carl Hubbell was also wearing No. 9 as the starting pitcher for the NL.

    I thought maybe a good guess for a single digit All- Star would have been when the All- Star game originated in 1933, around the same time uniform numbers became prevalent. But this gave no answer either as players typically were assigned a uniform number for their spot in the batting order. A team’s best pitcher was assigned 10 or 11 (Lefty Grove, Lefty Gomez, Carl Hubbell, etc.). I guess no. 9 was reserved for fielders also.

    The new Iowa State unis are a major downgrade. The use of black is brutal. I am hoping Chad Morris takes Arkansas back to a more traditional look next year (I know he had nothing to do with this new design).

    I’m just glad they don’t look like Southern California any more. I also like the white, but the cardinal red is pretty bland. And I agree that BFBS is terrible.
    So now only Iowa has a copied uniform in the State.

    I always felt like the comparison of Iowa State’s uniforms to USC’s was overblown. It’s not like USC has a trademark on red jerseys and helmets with yellow pants. The shoulder stripes and number fonts were different and Iowa State had a work mark across the chest while USC does not. The new uniforms largely do away with those USC comparisons, though, mostly because of the lack of gold pants.

    I don’t mind the simplicity of the new uniforms. Generally speaking, I think less is more when it comes to uniform design. The lack of excessive striping and piping allows the color scheme to stand out. (Except, of course, on the BFBS, but that goes without saying.)

    The new number font is a bit gimmicky, but I guess I don’t mind the idea of invoking swirling winds with the curving diagonal lines through the middle of the numerals. The execution feels a bit forced on a few of the numbers, though.

    Overall, I generally preferred the uniform set Iowa State is leaving behind, but I can live with the new unis. Except the BFBS look. That is hot garbage and should be obliterated immediately.

    From the new Uniwatch home office in Schenectady, NY…


    10. Tugboat Captain wont share the wi-fi password
    9. Paul prepping for scary Friday the 13th
    8. Grommets
    7. Purple
    6. Purple Grommets
    5. Boycotting out of respect for Blake Snell
    4. Raging hangover from Croatia win in World Cup over England
    3. Cant remember if Username is Uni*Watch or Uni-Watch
    2. Nike bots hacked site


    “Site is closed today due to a family issue.”


    No humor guy

    Well, I am a southern baptist…

    Truthfully, I don’t mind humor, but if there was a death of a close relative, there’s no need to come up with comical reasons that the site is down.

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