Last Friday I wrote about Etienne Catalan’s sensational NBA uni number spreadsheet. At the end of that post, I said, “Now we just need someone to create something similar for all the other pro leagues!”
Some Uni Watch readers took the hint and got crackin’. First up is Peter Scharl, who’s whipped up this NFL spreadsheet. Just like Catalan’s NBA document, Scharl’s NFL chart shows which numbers are currently roster-assigned by each team (those are the vertical columns) and which teams currently have a particular number assigned (those are the horizontal rows). Retired numbers are shown in neon green.
Among Scharl’s findings:
• The most popular numbers in the league at the moment, currently assigned by 30 of the NFL’s 32 teams, are 25 (in use by every team except the Eagles and Titans) and 26 (all except the Raiders and Jets). Close behind, with 29 teams apiece, are 2 (all but the Browns, Vikings, and KC) and 23 (all but the Jags, Dolphins, and Titans).
• The least popular numbers are 62 (in use by only 10 teams) and 83 (11 teams).
• The most frequently retired numbers, decommissioned by five teams apiece, are 7, 12, 40, and 70.
• The Bears have retired 14 numbers — the most in the league (with the Giants and 49ers close behind with 12). At the other end of the spectrum, with no retired numbers, are the Falcons, Cowboys, Ravens, Texans, Jags, and Raiders.
Again, you can Scharl’s NFL spreadsheet here.
But wait — there’s more! Scharl has also made a spreadsheet for MLB. Here are some notable bits:
• The most popular number is 28 (currently in use by 23 teams), followed closely by 2 (22 teams) and 23 (21 teams).
• Only two numbers are currently unassigned (not including 42, which is retired league-wide): 97 and 98.
• You already knew the Yankees have the most retired numbers (20). The White Sox and Cardinals are next (12 apiece).
• The Marlins and Nationals have no retired numbers (although the Marlins used to have one before unretiring it in 2012).
Meanwhile, Jeremy Tuch has made a similar chart for the NHL, which you can see and download here. Among his findings:
• The most popular number in the league at the moment is 21, which is in use by 20 teams. Close behind, with 19 teams apiece, are 17 and 28.
• The least popular numbers (aside from 99, which is retired league-wide), currently unassigned by any team, are 66 and 69.
• The most frequently retired number (aside from 99) is 9, which has been honored by 11 teams. Close behind, with 10 teams apiece, are 4 and 7.
• The Canadiens have retired the most numbers — 15 of them (again, not including 99). Following them are the Maple Leafs (13 numbers) and Bruins (12).
• Four NHL teams have no retired numbers: the Blue Jackets, Predators, Sharks, and Jets.
Please join me in thanking Peter and Jeremy for compiling all of this fantastic data — great stuff!
Click to see the full panoramic photo
Spoooooky: Former NFL defensive lineman Bruce Smith has a “quarterback graveyard” in front of his house. Reader Mike Monaghan notes that the tombstones contain lots of inaccuracies — a period-inappropriate Giants helmet for Jeff Hostetler, a period-inappropriate Jags helmet for Mark Brunell, a yellow facemask for the Steelers’ helmet, and more — but it’s still a really fun display.
Click to enlarge
Too good for the Ticker: Yesterday was the 59th anniversary of the Detroit Tigers embarking on a goodwill trip to Japan in 1962. What you see above is a ticket from one of the exhibition games they played. Such a great design!
Here are two posters that promoted the tour:
Here’s a program from one of the games. Note the mistaken use of “well come”:
Last but not least, check out this press pin:
If you want to learn more, Todd Radom has a good roundup of items from other MLB teams’ tours of Japan here.
(My thanks to Jeremy Brahm for sending me down this rabbit hole, and to Bruce “BSmile” Menard for the press pin photo.)
ITEM! Uni Watch’s first-ever canvas print: In my continuing quest to offer Todd Radom’s awesome “Hit Sign, Win Stirrups!” design in as many formats as possible, I’m happy to announce that it’s now available as a canvas print, which is available in two sizes. Once again, we’ve adjusted the design slightly to fit this product’s aspect ratio.
The “Hit Sign” design is also available on posters, T-shirts, and hoodies.
Indigenous Appropriation News: MLB commish Rob Manfred says he has no problem with Atlanta’s team name or the tomahawk chop because the local Native American community is “wholly supportive” of them — a position that is, at best, somewhat inaccurate. … In a related item: Jim Squires, who’s running for Congress in Texas’s 22nd district in next year’s midterm elections, was ejected from Tuesday’s World Series game for displaying a sign that said, “The ‘Chop’ Is Racist” (thanks to The Tugboat Captain). … A high school in Connecticut has replaced its “Indians” team name with “Warriors” (from Timmy Donahue).
Baseball News: An Astros fan attending Game One of the Series swapped out a different shirt for each player in the Houston lineup (from Ignacio Salazar). … Remember how the name “Cleveland Guardians” was already taken by a roller derby team before the Cleveland MLB team announced it as their new name? The roller derby team has now sued the MLB team. Further details here (from Andreas Papadopoulos). … Check this out: Dodgers P Orel Hershiser running the bases during the 1988 World Series while wearing a coach’s jacket. … Interesting article on what Atlanta’s presence in the World Series means for the bank that bought the name to their ballpark (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: Here’s a look at the Press and Congress uniforms from last night’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game. … Something to keep in mind: There’s a good chance that the next three World Series games — Games Three, Four and Five, taking place in Atlanta tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday — will be the last time we see pitchers batting in the starting lineup, as the new collective bargaining agreement, slated to take effect next season, is widely expected to bring the DH to the National League.
Football News: The Cardinals are going mono-BFBS tonight (thanks, Phil). … The Bills will wear their throwbacks this weekend (from Bill Schaefer). … Speaking of the Bills, they tend to play poorly when wearing blue pants (thanks to all who shared). … Bears QB Justin Fields throws right-handed. But a promo for an energy drink shows him as a lefty. … Here’s Jason Von Stein’s Halloween-themed illustration of this week’s NFL matchups. … Here are this week’s uni combos for Cincinnati and South Alabama (thanks to all who shared).
Hockey News: New mask for Canadiens G Sam Montembeault (from Wade Heidt). … Here’s a fun story about the 20th anniversary of the Oilers’ “McFarlane jersey.” … The ECHL’s new Savannah team will be called the Ghost Pirates (from Jack O’Connor and Scott Kaplan). … Here’s North Dakota coach Brad Berry talking about the uniforms that the team will be wearing for this Saturday’s Hall of Fame game against Penn State. … Penguins G Casey DeSmith caught some flak last season from teammate Teddy Blueger, who thought DeSmith’s mask was too plain-looking. So DeSmith has had Blueger design his latest mask (from Chris Weber). … The NAHL’s North Iowa Bulls will wear Busch Light-themed uniforms for two games in December.
Basketball News: The Bucks teased their upcoming City alternate (thanks to all who shared). … Here’s another look at the new City jerseys for the Mavs and the Grizzlies. Both of those had previously leaked, but those links provide fresh visual confirmation. … New throwbacks for Central Arkansas men’s and Northern Iowa men’s (thanks, Phil).
Soccer News: Mexican club Cruz Azul, which translates literally to Blue Cross — the team is named after its parent concrete company — is planning to wear a new red jersey against Club América, in honor of the Red Cross. “The only connection I know of is the name of both organizations,” says Sinuhé Flores. … Players on both teams in yesterday’s Rangers/Aberdeen Scottish Premiership match wore black armbands in memory of former Rangers and Scotland men’s manager Walter Smith (thanks, Jamie).
Olympics News: Here are the staff and volunteer uniforms for the upcoming Winter Olympics (thanks, Phil).
I’m visiting my mom today. She’s had a rough October — spent eight days in the hospital earlier in the month — but seems to be back in decent shape now. Play nice while I’m away and I’ll see you back here tmorrow. — Paul
Wow, if Uni-Watch was represented in congress, Jim Squires would get my vote! Also, the statement by the National Congress of American Indians in response to Manfred is great: link
Hey Paul – sorry to hear about your ma – hope she gets better soon!
Is Peter Scharl’s chart based on the numbers assigned to the players on the 40-man roster at this moment, regardless of whether they appeared in any games wearing those numbers?
I see several numbers on the chart that I know were not used this season, and several that are not on the chart, were definitely used as recently as the last game of the year, but belong to players who are no longer rostered.
I would argue that a spring training number shouldn’t get “counted” until the player actually wears that jersey in a real game. Far too often these high numbers stay on the players’ backs unchanged, but it’s still tradition to give the player a vacant normal-looking number when he makes the regular-season roster.
Interestingly, the Eagles have the least-common number in use (Jason Kelce, 62) and are not using the most common number (25, probably held out for now for Shady McCoy but unlikely to be permanently retired).
Best wishes to Mom.
I read somewhere that the NHL banned the use of #69, along with 0 and 00 (with the claim that their computer system can not handle zero, nor distinguish between a single and double zero. Seems like BS in this day and age.). I will try and look for some proof of this later in the day when I’m not working, but if anyone can back this up sooner, that would be appreciated.
I would, but there is no way I am going to type “69” and Bettman” in a google search for fear of what shows up.
I don’t know if the NHL has banned it per se but Andrew Desjardins was the last player to wear it in 2012.
Manfred’s comments on the Chop were shameful and incredibly weaselly
Jim Squires is just trying to get votes, doubt he has ever thought of the the Chop until Monday night
1) It’s the job of every politician to try to get votes.
2) A cursory glance at Squires’ Twitter feed shows that he’s been speaking out about the chop at least since the start of the playoffs. We don’t have to speculate about facts that can be looked up.
3) Dude’s from Houston, and he’s an Astros fan, and he’s spoken out against the Astros cheating scandals too. But a prominent Astros fan denouncing his team’s World Series opponent should not be regarded as odd or a big deal.
4) I find it weird to see “chop” capitalized. Like, one might do the wave at a stadium, but nobody does the Wave. But it fits with a theory of mine that some combination of team promotion and fan culture has made the chop even more central to the team’s identity and many fans’ relationship with the club than the team’s name. The chop has become a quasi-political shibboleth for in-group/out-group identity and victim-posing. I think a similar phenomenon happened in Cleveland, where it seemed there was more vocal resistance and folks claiming some kind of oppressed victim status around the phase-out of Chief Wahoo than over the renaming. Though there that might have just been a matter of timing/sequence; once Wahoo was gone, it was clear the name thing was gonna happen eventually, so Wahoo was the relevant hill to fight on. Still, I’ve come to suspect that Atlanta fans would be less upset by the team changing its name to Hammers or whatever than by the team banning the chop.
Weaselly, but correct.
So were his quotes in moving the ASG from ATL to DEN.
I’m seeing all of the text in strikethrough starting with the last ticker entry in the Hockey section all the way to the end of the page.
A strikethrough miscue!
^^^ This is the comment of the week for me. I think I like “strikethrough miscue” even more than “apostrophe catastrophe” – and I loooooove “apostrophe catastrophe.”
Remember how the name “Cleveland Guardians” was already taken by a roller derby team before the Cleveland MLB team announced it as their new name? The roller derby team has now sued the MLB team. Further details here –try “clevelandians”
The Guardians Roller Derby team is gonna get eviscerated in their lawsuit based on that 1st bullet point of theirs alone. “Can’t have two teams in the same city with the same name! Imagine having another sports team in NYC named the Yankees! It would never be allowed!”
It would’ve taken a 30 second Google –> Wikipedia search to find the old New York Yankees of the NFL, and Yankees of the AFL, and the Yankees of the ABL, and the Yankees of the ASL…
I get that brand power is a lot different now than it was in the 40s, but like…maybe just leave that bullet point out in your argument.
For 27 years there were two teams called the St. Louis Cardinals. I think I can handle two teams called the Cleveland Guardians.
You also don’t have to go back to the 1940s to find teams with the same name in different sports. In 1987 there were two teams called the St. Louis Cardinals, one in the NFL and one in MLB.
One time, I had two students named Emily in my class. It was impossible.
I doubt if the two St. Louis Cardinal franchises would have thought about suing each other. Unfortunately it is a far different time today.
I would imagine a large % of Cleveland sports fans had no idea there was a women’s roller derby team named the Guardians. But they had the name first and there is no reason for them to give it up.
Yeah… I’d like to add New York Giants to the list of two teams/same name/same city.
That part about the DH coming to the NL ruined my morning….
If it happens and I’m sure it will I’m just glad my cubs won in my lifetime before they dumbed down baseball completely. The DH violates literllay the first rule of baseball, “1.01 Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or more umpires.” People complain pitchers batting is boring. Well if pitchers, who were almost always the best players growing up and could hit great, worked on that aspect of their game also they would be even more powerful in the game. once the universal DH happens you might as well just have separate offenses and defenses. Watching a Javy Beaz bat is boring he just strikes out. but he’s great to see in the field. Lot of players hit well but can’t field. Just make them different lineups. This ruins the game.
When covid disrupted everything in 2020 and MLB instituted the DH, I thought that it would be here to stay, and so I assumed that Gerrit Cole would go down in history as the last pitcher to bat in an MLB game (Game 5, the last game in the 2019 World Series played in Washington). Now, I’ll be watching Game 5 in Atlanta to see who might replace Cole as that trivia answer.
I didn’t watch every game in the NL postseason; did a pitcher get a hit in any of the various series? If not, going back to the regular season, I wonder who will go down in history as the last MLB pitcher to get a hit?
Shohei Otani will continue to be a pitcher who hits.
Tony Gonsolin had a single in game 3 of the NLCS. If no pitcher gets a hit in the Series and the universal DH is adopted in this offseason, he’d be the last pitcher to get a hit in a no-DH game.
I’m not a huge follower of baseball and I’m genuinely curious: Does this mean Ohtani won’t bat next season? Or that he’ll have to make a choice to pitch or bat each game/season? Or may he continually be the “last pitcher to bat” until another generational talent comes along?
From MLB’s site:
The DH must be selected prior to the game, and that selected hitter must come to bat at least one time — unless the opposing team changes pitchers prior to that point. A team that chooses not to select a DH prior to a game is barred from using a DH for the rest of that game. A player who enters the game in place of the DH — either as a pinch-hitter or a pinch-runner — becomes the DH in his team’s lineup thereafter.
If a player serving as the DH is later used on defense, he continues to bat in his same lineup spot. But for the rest of the game, his team cannot use a DH to bat in place of the pitcher. A team is also barred from using a DH for the rest of the game if the pitcher moves from the mound to another defensive position, a player pinch-hits for any other player and then becomes the pitcher, or the current pitcher pinch-hits or pinch-runs for the DH.
I am guessing that if Ohtani bats for himself, the Angels lose the DH if/when he is taken out for a relief pitcher. Any subsequent pitchers would have to bat for themselves.
I like the idea of having a DH for the starting pitcher as a compromise. When you pull the starting pitcher, you lose the DH. It would create a bit more strategy & could lead to starting pitchers staying in longer.
Worst of all worlds, actually. The Atlantic League was using it this year, and managers seemed to use their worst hitter as the DH since they didn’t want to lose that player when the starting pitcher left the game.
Three takeaways from today’s blog:
– Is Rob Manfred an idiot? (rhetorical, obviously; of course he’s an idiot) I suppose a brown shirt, red armband, and Nazi salute isn’t really anti-Semitic, amirite?
– Ironic that the NAHL would allow a team to dress up like a bunch of Busch Light cans, considering that no one in the entire league is of legal drinking age. Did I say ironic? I meant stupid.
– In the immortal words of Crash Davis, “I believe there ought to be an act of Congress outlawing artificial turf and the designated hitter.”
If the DH comes to the NL, I will consider baseball to have officially died. Sure, something that looks like baseball will continue, but it really will be a different sport from then on.
Positive vibes going out to your mom Paul. Both my parents are sick with covid atm. My grandma already passed away from it, so we’re a bit on edge here.
Hey Paul… hope all is well with your mom
Interesting (at least to me) that the Tigers Japan tour posters show them facing 2-4 opposing teams on some dates. I suppose those were mixed squads?
They were. The Tigers also faced all-Japan all-star teams, designated by 全日本 (zen nihon) on the schedules.
Prayers for your Mom, Paul.
Speaking as one who is caring for an aging mother, I send prayers for you and your mom, Paul.
Thank you for sharing Paul.
Happy to hear you are getting some family time in.
I hope everyone has a safe awesome Halloween.
There is a fundamental difference between usage of Indian symbols and celebrations by Florida State, and their use by the Atlanta Braves. But as long as it happens in Tallahassee, it’ll keep happening in Georgia.
I’ve been a casual Braves fan since the ’80s, and my opinion on their name and the chop is conflicted at best since I grew up thru their rise in the ’90s. But if they want anything to change, they need to rip the bandage off and just go ahead and change the name. People will complain, but it will be a lot less painful in the long run. If you ban the chop but keep the name, fans will just come up with something else.
Does the Marlins’ #16 count as a retirement?
On the subject of NHL retired numbers, please note that the Wilds and the Krakers retired numbers are “feel good, honorary number retirements”, not number retirements of actual players who accomplished something.
Three of the four Japanese posters have a player who looks like Al Kaline, their biggest star of the time. The player with #7 on his road uniform sleeve looks a bit like Rocky Colavito, who wore that number.
I really want (or is it need?) those Tigers Japanese tour posters! I wonder if they played the Hanshin Tigers?
The NHL numbers spreadsheet needs to be updated. Detroit has retired number 6 for Larry Aurie but it is curiously not hanging in the rafters.
Cardinals wearing pink numbers and NOBs tonight!
Prayers for your Mom Paul are out there
I can’t help but think #25 not being used has more to do with Tommy McDonald than Shady McCoy but I can’t cite anything.